(Editor’s Note: When you have as much upside as this Oklahoma team it’s hard to find things to worry about. So every week, we are going to find reasons to give Saturday some added stakes.)
I’m not going to lie, FAU terrifies the hell out of me. I don’t even know why. Maybe I’m just too into the narrative. Just picture it as a cheesy sports movie.
Former wunderkind head coach Lane Kiffin, exiled to Boca Raton like so many elderly folk, turns a 3-9 afterthought into an 11-3 Group of Six conference champion. Armed with an under the radar, All-American tailback and a flashy offense, the Owls travel to Norman, Oklahoma to face one a college football Goliath: the Oklahoma Sooners. Leading the charge at quarterback is none other than former Oklahoma recruit Chris Robison, the “bad boy with a checkered past” who returns to the school that cut him for his shot a revenge. In Theaters, Fall 2022.
Oh and to make matters worse, Gus Johnson, the architect of iconic March Madness calls, is calling the game for Fox. If that isn’t cinematic, I don’t know what is.
It seems like Oklahoma football has been the standard “springboard upset Goliath” team for upstart programs everywhere. Everyone thinks of the Boise State Fiesta Bowl as the prime example of OU getting hit with a program starting upset. However, there is a game in my mind that draws more similarities to this FAU game.
Flash back to 2005. #7 Oklahoma, fresh off a brutal National Championship loss to USC, starts a new season. While they lost a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in Jason White, there are two quarterbacks battling to replace him. Luckily, they have a relatively tame schedule with the only BCS conference opponent being UCLA. The season opener is an 11 AM, nationally televised, home game against an unranked, yet scrappy TCU squad out of the Mountain West.
That day, the Sooners lost to the Horned Frogs 17-10. The win proved to be a major springboard for TCU football, culminating in a run of success that placed the Frogs in the Big 12 and into the upper echelon of major college football.
FAU might be poised to make a similar jump. The one final thing the Owls need to put their rise into full gear is a signature win. Beating OU in Norman would certainly qualify. The Owls are good enough to get it done if OU doesn’t show up Saturday.