The past nine months have been filled with turmoil and upheaval in Oklahoma's football program. After an offseason of injuries, suspensions, defections, illnesses and the like, you'd think the Sooners couldn't wait to get on the field last night at put all that aside.
Instead, Oklahoma came away with a thoroughly unimpressive 24-7 win over presumed cream puff UTEP.
OU played with a level of enthusiasm befitting a Poindexter climbing the rope in gym class. Then again, OU's players didn't really have much to get excited about. Miscues and missed opportunities abounded.
Apologists could point to any number of reasons to excuse the ugly performance. UTEP is no powerhouse, but a road game down near Mexico with a 9:30 kickoff makes for an odd set of circumstances to start the season. (It was reminiscent of the flat performances versus Kansas and Texas Tech last season.) Then there's the classic line that OU "didn't open up the playbook."
Once everyone works the excuses out of their systems, that kind of performance still reflects very poorly on Bob Stoops and his staff.
For all the offseason talk of a new attitude at OU, the Sooners who took the field against UTEP bore an uncanny resemblance to the somnambulant squad that slogged through the end of last season. If the Sooners can't snap out of it, and quickly, don't expect the results to be any different.
Unless they're worse.