It seemed terrible, even impossible, that the Sooners' common troubles, instead of drawing them together, might split them apart.
Not this week. Not this Bedlam Series game.
With a defense that made Oklahoma State's offense look like it was being herded together at the point of a shotgun, Oklahoma blasted the Cowboys, 27-0, Saturday.
On the verge of a coveted BCS bowl berth–or, more appropriately, birth–it was as if OSU discovered that all it really wanted was something to want. Forced into 14 punts in 15 possessions the Cowboys, in perhaps the most important game in school history, went down with a whimper. (The lone non-punt Poke possession ended with an interception.)
The Sooners, meanwhile, shone in the afternoon sun. They glittered. They dazzled.
What a relief, to themselves and to their fans, who no doubt watched, almost silent at first in strained expectancy, to see which Oklahoma team would hit the field. This Sooner squad proved resplendent, scattering a shower of sparks to the blushing admiration of Sooner Nation.
This Bedlam Series game marked, in final analysis, the drastic difference between the two head coaches. The teams played accordingly.
Mike Gundy strives to appear grown-up and reasonable. Yet, he is only two years removed from his adolescent and sexist "I'm a man" diatribe. His team played like boys who knew they didn't belong.
Bob Stoops, on the other hand, hears the voice of his own conscience. He leads his team with embarrassed pride and a bottomless fund of trust hard-earned from his players. On this Senior Day, his team played like young men with something to prove.
It proved to be a Bedlam Series beatdown.