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Sooners Excited About Improving Upon Texas Performance

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

It's rare we ever see a perfect performance from a college football team. However, Saturday's domination of Texas was as close to a perfect performance the Oklahoma Sooners have had in several years.

Obviously, it wasn't completely perfect. Landry Jones threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, there were a couple drops, and missed assignments on both offense and defense, but you have to dig really deep into the game to find those minuscule mistakes.

Simply put, it would be very hard for any team in the country to dominate a game more than the Sooners did Saturday.

In spite of the complete performance the Sooners displayed at the Cotton Bowl, there was only talk of improvements at Monday's weekly press conference.

"A lot of guys are not settled with just making big plays," defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland said. "You can get an interception and we celebrate then, but they want more. I don't feel like we've reached our peak yet."

Instead of talking about how well the Sooners played Saturday, McFarland spoke as if the Texas game was just another step in the journey to becoming a national championship caliber football team.

"Everyone wants to be better," McFarland said. "Everyone wants to get better and I think everyone's mental state of mind is to reach the top. It's not to just win the big games. Everyone wants to win a national championship here and that's why we've come here."

Strong words indeed.

There's no doubt the Sooners have improved dramatically since they flopped against Kansas State Sept. 22. The only question that remains is just how much more this OU team can improve.

The biggest factor is going to be the way Bob Stoops handles this recent run of success. Although, even he is staunchly behind McFarland's thought that OU has a ways to go to be the team they could be.

"It's only our sixth game," Stoops said Monday. "I still feel we have a high ceiling. We have to keep pushing to make improvement. Hopefully when you're playing week to week we can get in a rhythm of doing that. We're going to need to do that."

The drive of a football team always comes from the top. Somehow, despite glowing reviews week in and week out, Alabama is always up for every game, and somehow finds the motivation to improve each week.

Of course, that's all thanks to Nick Saban, who had the gall to criticize the media for writing positive stories after his team's demolition of Michigan on opening weekend. Saban also made freshman linebacker LaMichael Fanning write a letter of apology to Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel for body slamming one of Missouri's running backs late in Saturday's game.

Saban obviously has his team focused on nothing but a national championship, and perfection is all Saban is concerned about. Stoops doesn't have to be a massive control freak like Saban, but he also has to keep his eyes focused on the goal of a title, and in turn, the eyes of his team.

However, based on players' comments Monday, it doesn't appear Stoops is going to have a lot of problems getting players to buy into the idea they can never stop improving.

And that's a scary thought. Can you imagine the team we saw dismembering Texas, only much better? It's hard to think about, but we'll be able to see for ourselves over the next few weeks whether or not that's possible.

This week against Kansas won't give much of an indication, but in two weeks, undefeated No. 5 Notre Dame comes to town (and they have a real defense, unlike Texas). If OU duplicates Saturday's performance against the Irish, the rest of the country is going to take notice.

Something is building in Norman, something big. There's a quiet air of confidence around both the coaches and the players. Saturday's massacre was one significant step of many on the road to returning to national title contention. If the Sooners can in fact improve as much as they think they can, watch out.

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