A season that started with promises of a defense repaired, a mystery filling the shoes of a legend, a running back stable so deep that it might have been the deepest and most talented in the history of this storied program, soon devolved into chaos, injuries, and promise unfulfilled.
Nonetheless, the Sooners walk onto the field in Morgantown tonight, without de facto "best player on the team" (to start the season at least) Rodney Anderson, without the embattled and appropriately maligned Mike Stoops, and without the guy that led them to victory the last three times they faced the 'eers, but with a mission all too familiar in these parts: Win the Big 12. In what was once imagined as the front half of a sure-fire double header, now emerges as a must-win, survive-and-advance battle of offensively gifted teams still reeling from unexpected stumbles.
WVU feels rightly confident in their attack, going up against a Sooner squad that gifted 40 to the unimpressive Jayhawks and their diminutive running back, and OU, as they've done so many times over the last several years, walk in relying on the heroics of a diminutive quarterback and a stable of skill players that are unmatched across the land.
It's a little crazy that the past few months come down to this night (and hopefully we get to say all the same things next week, too), all the ups and downs, all the arguments, all the hashtags, and all of it comes down to a singular hope and a Sooner chant: Beat west virginia. Amazing that the same answers are still missing - can the defense get a stop when it has to get a stop? Can Kyler keep filling Baker's shoes? Can Sermon and Pledger and Brooks avoid more of the injury bug that bit the others? Will Lincoln stay aggressive? How much pressure will Ruffin send after Grier?
All of it's different and more important and more urgent than it was weeks ago when we teed off against Lane Kiffin's FAU - and somehow it's all the same. Just win, and go play for a Big 12 title. Same as it was then. Same as it's been for two decades. It occurs to me that, while this is an incredibly new position for the Mountaineers, it's all old hat for the Sooners. Time to do what you do, fellas. Time left to prove wrong the doubters and naysayers. Time left to make an impression. Time left to atone. This is it, the time to win. Same as it was, same as it should always be.
See you all tonight, C&C'ers.