2008 Sooners: 12-2, Big 12 Champions

Any Sooner loss is disappointing to Sooner fans, particularly in a big big game. Speaking only for myself, I’m not as disappointed as I might have thought. After the 2003, 2004, and 2007 seasons, I was really crushed by the bowl losses, because the team I saw playing the bowl game was not the Oklahoma Sooners team I saw play much more strongly throughout the rest of those seasons.

The Sooners who played the Gators tonight were the Sooners I’d seen all season long.

Their only two losses were to top-five teams (and guess which of the two was the lower-ranked team), by ten points, after leading or being tied at halftime. In Dallas, the Sooners lost a key defensive player in the third quarter and couldn’t compensate.

In Miami, the Gators just made some tremendous plays. While it is apparently in FOX’s BCS contract that they announcers must not go ten seconds without complimenting Tim Tebow, to me, the real play of the game was that final Florida interception, where the defender literally took the ball out of the Sooners’ hands. Had that drive completed, the Sooners would have gone ahead, and even Tim Tebow tends to get flustered when he’s behind. (Did you see him run for 12 yards in the third quarter and react as if he deserved a trophy? That was…odd.)

(The more disappointing aspect of the evening was the aforementioned FOX booth team. I realize that Tebow’s speech after Florida’s loss to Ole Miss took the cynical sports media by surprise, but it was not the Sermon on the Mount.)

On the way to tonight’s game, however, the Oklahoma Sooners picked up their sixth Big 12 South division title over the screaming objections of the guys who didn’t beat Texas Tech, as well as their 42nd conference championship, and played in what is at least their 12th bowl game to decide the national championship. Bob Stoops got his 100th win as head coach, making Oklahoma the first and only program in major college football to have had four head coaches with at least 100 wins each (the other three are Barry Switzer, Bud Wilkinson, and Benny Owen). They set the record for the most number of weeks ranked #1 all-time in the AP poll, and extended their all-time lead for number weeks ranked #1 in the BCS.

And this quiet kid from Putnam City North won the Heisman Trophy, and made Kirk Herbstreit die just a little bit inside. :-):

So you can see why I’m still proud of that team, and of the 2008 edition of the organization we have in common. The Pride of Oklahoma earned their name the entire way—as you could see for yourselves, because FOX had them on streaming webcam live throughout the entire game. Even now, well after the game is over, I’m still watching the drumline live in the stands at Dolphin Stadium during the BCS trophy presentation. (It just cut off at 11:00 PM CST.)

They did the uniform and Sooner Spirit proud, and we’re honored to welcome the outgoing seniors into our membership.

You can now view the broadcast video of pregame and halftime, the broadcast video of the Florida band’s halftime show (“Big Noise from Winnetka!” No kidding!), and the streaming webcam live footage from the overhead cable cam that showed all of both bands’ halftime shows right here on our site. Just click here.

BTW, we sent both the streaming webcam news and the halftime video link to everyone on the OUBAA Mailing List before or during the game, so those of you on the list got the news faster and may have seen more. If you’re not a member of our list, click here to join today and stay in touch with your fellow former Pride members.

With the end of the football season, news here slows down until we start planning for Homecoming 2009, sometime after we actually learn when it will be. (So far, we know it will be during a home game in the fall of 2009. Other than that, it’s a bit up in the air.) We’d welcome Sooner Showmen or WBB alumni who wanted to keep the home page updated for basketball season, so if you’re interested, drop me a line.

Also, very soon we’ll have ways to donate securely, online, to the OU Band Alumni’s accounts at the OU Foundation, so you can help future members of The Pride in their academic and musical careers. Donations to these accounts are tax-deductible and will be made securely, online, through the Foundation’s Web site but directed to our specific scholarship accounts. There will even be a link on the page to click to see if your company will match your gift, doubling the scholarhip potential of your donation. We’ll have more about that when it’s ready, but I wanted to give a heads-up about how easy it’s going to be.

Until we meet again, it has been a privilege bringing you news this year, and —hmm, do I hear a concert A♭?

Our chant rolls on and on!
Thousands strong
Join heart and song
In alma mater’s praise
Of campus beautiful by day and night
Of colors proudly gleaming Red and White
’Neath a western sky
OU’s chant will never die.
Live on University!