Perennially wounded and facing both a strong team and a string of bad officiating calls, the Oklahoma Sooners isolated the exorcism gene today in the Sun Bowl, and, for now, radiated the hell out of it.
Sooner Nation had begun to wonder if a victory in a close game wasn't some myth created by the school administration to appease a highly vocal alumni and fan base incessantly clamoring for OU's return to greatness. If not greatness, a tight victory would have to suffice here at the end of an agonizing season.
The Sooners provided the oath, holding onto a shaky lead for a 31-27 expulsion against No. 19 Stanford in the 76th Sun Bowl. At several points in the game–hurtful penalties, bad officiating calls and non-calls, injuries to key players, a Cardinal team that wouldn't go away–the minds of Sooner fans surely began to fabricate for themselves a rather ugly drama of another close setback.
But not this game. Not from this outgoing group of seniors and future NFL juniors whose visions, set on a national championship, ended on the mountains surrounding the El Paso stadium.