Monk's Trip to Norman for Nebraska-Oklahoma: Thoughts on the Contending Sooners

SportMonkAnalyst INovember 2, 2008

As a Husker fan who grew up in Oklahoma, this game has a special place in my heart. OU is tied with Oklahoma State as my second-favorite team, so I can appreciate the Sooners doing well.

I went to the game with my parents (Dad's a Sooner, Mom's a Husker) and a good friend who's an OU fan. When Joe Ganz took that very first snap and looked to his left, I turned to my friend and said, "Pick Six." Then the Oklahoma defender intercepted the ball and brought it into the end zone to put the Sooners up big early.

Then Ganz gave up mentally. It wasn't until Nebraska found a little success in the running game (really? That's new) that Ganz showed up to make a couple throws again.

I knew the game was gonna be rough for me. Oklahoma is amazing this year and Nebraska has been struggling this season. It was still fun because of the rivalry history and my inner struggle between my home state and my favorite team.

Despite the loss to Texas in the Red River Shootout, I still think Oklahoma is a contender. Of course, much will have to be proven in a couple of weeks when OU has to play Texas Tech—and the Bedlam game in Stillwater will probably be the biggest game in the history of that rivalry.

Oklahoma's offense is amazing. Sam Bradford was completely protected behind Oklahoma's front seven and had all the time in the world to make throws. He continues to build a case for himself for Heisman.

The receivers he has to throw to are so quick, and the tandem of running backs really helps alleviate pressure from the passing game (not that it ever needs it).

Oklahoma's defense hasn't been talked about much this season, but they played extremely well Saturday. Granted, it was against Nebraska (I love my team, but I can admit when we play terribly), but the pressure they put on the Huskers showed some maturity and an ability to move on after Ryan Reynolds' injury.

The atmosphere at Owen Field is unique unto itself. Even though the "Boomer! Sooner!" can be annoying to fans not wearing crimson, one has to admire the fervor of the fans.

The fans are also extremely gracious. I haven't encountered any fans as sportsmanlike and hospitable (outside of Lincoln, of course) as the Sooner fans. The woman and her son that sat next to my friend and me were really funny and friendly.

I would say an overwhelming majority of Sooner fans were even supportive of Nebraska to some degree—or at least supportive of us visiting Husker fans.

During halftime, there was a special homecoming for the 1971 "Game of the Century" OU and Nebraska players and coaches. I was impressed that Johnny Rodgers and Tom Osborne were met by standing ovations from OU fans.

I love Oklahoma.

I think OU has a good chance to still do some great things this season. A rematch in a BCS bowl with Boise State is certainly a game I'm dying to see. Or some really crazy stuff could happen, and OU could make the trip to the Big 12 Championship. They just have to beat Tech in a couple of weeks and O-State after that.

Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to Norman. I might have liked it better if Nebraska had won, but you can't win them all, right Texas?