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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Sooner fans should take their fingers off the panic button

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The Sooners struggled in their 24-7 win over Texas-El Paso last Saturday, and crimson fans' stomachs are unsettled by fears that OU will continue to play mediocre football for the rest of the season.

This year's team is actually in some pretty impressive company of past Oklahoma teams that struggled in season openers when they should have won in blowouts.

*Barry Switzer's 1974 squad was ranked No. 1 in 1974 when Baylor came to Norman and the Sooners were heavy favorites. They won 28-11 and went on to finish 11-0, capturing the Big Eight and national championships.

*Three years later, OU was tabbed as a 30-point favorite over Vanderbilt. OU edged the Commordores, 27-25, but went on to a 10-2 record and another Big Eight title. The Sooners finished the season ranked 7th in the AP poll and 6th in the UPI poll.

 

*In 1979, the Sooners were 28-point favorites over Iowa, but defeated the Hawkeyes, 21-6. OU wound up 11-1, 3rd nationally in both polls and winner of another Big Eight championship.

 

*Six years later, Oklahoma won the national championship, but not after struggling against Minnesota, 17.5-point underdogs in the season opener against Oklahoma. OU won, 13-7, and wound up with an 11-1 record and another conference title to go with the national crown.

*Bob Stoops' 2004 Sooners were tabbed as 32.5-point favorites in their season opener with Bowling Green. OU edged the Falcons, 30-24, but finished 12-1, with a Big 12 championship and ranked 3rd in the polls after losing to USC in the national championship game.

*Two years later, Oklahoma was a 21.5-point favorite over Alabama-Birmingham. The Sooners did win, 21-17, but they did so in ugly fashion. The Sooners again won the Big 12 title, finishing 11-3 with a No. 11 ranking in the polls.

*In 2010, Utah State came to Norman as a 34-point underdog. The Sooners escaped with a 31-24 victory and went on to finish 12-2. OU captured yet another Big 12 championship, finishing the season ranked 6th in both polls.

History says the odds look pretty good for this year's squad to have success and settle some fans' churning stomachs. A lackluster performance against Florida A&M Saturday night? That would be reason for hitting the panic button.