It was Nov. 8, and it was a dark time for Oklahoma football. The Sooners were a day removed from a 41-12 shellacking at the hands of Baylor. OU was sitting at 7-2 and most were pegging the Sooners for an 8-4 season or 9-3 if OU got some breaks.
It’s two months later, and now OU is the “cool school” to go to again. Recruits are trying to find ways to visit OU. The Sooners will eventually have to tell top-tier kids there is no room in Norman for them.
How in the world did we get here?
OU took care of business on the field in wins against Iowa State and Kansas State to move to 9-2 heading into the Bedlam showdown at then-ranked No. 6 Oklahoma State on Dec. 7.
All bowl possibilities pointed toward OU playing Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Antonio. OU earned one break when Northern Illinois was upset in the MAC championship by Bowling Green. It eliminated the Huskies from BCS consideration and opened the door for OU.
All the Sooners had to do was win at OSU and punch their ticket to the Sugar Bowl. A dramatic last-minute comeback gave OU a 33-24 win against the Cowboys. What was OU’s reward? A Sugar Bowl battle against then-ranked No. 3 Alabama.
Not much of a reward, huh? Most considered the Crimson Tide the best team in the nation and certainly the best team not in the BCS championship. Oddsmakers agreed with that sentiment. When OU and Alabama met, the Crimson Tide were favored by 17 points. That line ends up being the largest in BCS history.
But on a national stage, it was OU that came to play. Sparked by big-time offensive plays and a punishing defense, the Sooners earned every last bit of their 45-31 victory against the Tide.
There was no doubt OU was going to receive a boost in the recruiting world with that type of performance against a program that has won three of the last five national championships.
However, nobody knew it was going to happen so fast. Less than 48 hours after the win, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom five-star running back Joe Mixon delighted OU players, coaches and fans across the nation in picking OU at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Coincidentally, the announcement happened in San Antonio at the exact same venue everybody thought OU would be playing in Dec. 30.
Since the Mixon commitment, OU has added two key pieces to the puzzle in offensive linemen and is poised to close stronger than it has in recent years with its 2014 class.
From the Alamo Bowl and coming so close but so far with top recruits to Sugar Bowl champions and bringing in top prospects like crazy – it has indeed been a sensational month for OU.