Texas Crucifies the Bob Stoops Curse

Bert HancockCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2008

Today, Mack Brown's Texas program triumphed its third time in four tries over Bob Stoops' Sooners, this time with the latter as the top team in the country. The talking heads' familiar refrain of "Stoops being in Mack's head" can be put to rest, if it hadn't been already.

For several years, all Texas Longhorn fans seemed to hear was how OU had their number, how the Sooners (though no more talented) possessed a huge edge in the mind.  Considering Oklahoma's five-game dominance, the on-field results made that case well enough.

No more. While the Longhorns rolled the Sooners in 2005 under Vince Young's leadership, 45-12, the mileage gained off a second straight win in '06 under Colt McCoy was nullified by a late-season collapse that left Bob Stoops' program again on top in the Big 12.

Last year's game was a see-saw affair that saw OU come away with a narrow 28-21 advantage, causing many to automatically start the Stoops over Mack song. Again, with Oklahoma once more capturing the conference crown, there was some merit.

But after today's thrilling, come-from-behind 45-35 knockdown of top-ranked Oklahoma, any notion of a Stoops spell has been vanquished, at least in their head-to-head match-up.

This Texas squad constantly stared down adversity, falling behind by 11 points twice (last at 21-10) and seemingly without a clue how to stop the ultra-precise passing of Sam Bradford.

Instead of folding like a program submitting to the Sooners, the Longhorns continued to roar back, finally taking the lead, 30-28. OU's ensuing score only gave Texas another reason to retake the lead.

It wasn't the No. 1 Sooners who had the key plays in pocket or the stamina to go toe-to-toe for four quarters, but instead the underdog and under-appreciated Longhorns.

An immensely tough schedule (including Missouri and Texas Tech) remains for Texas, so punching the ticket to the Big XII title game is premature.

But for a team much overlooked this year and figured on not being ready for big-time football until 2009, this has to give Mack Brown and staff a lot of credit.

Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, it's a sweet win for a program apparently back on the upswing.

It certainly has given its fans reason to shout "Hook 'em," at least for another week.