Originally Published: Nov 20, 2009 12:15 PM CDT
Two simple questions will be answered in the next eight days. They are more about geography than football strategy. Not about bubble screens and zone blitzes.
No, these vitally important and elementary questions center on real estate: location, location, location.
Can OU win on the road? Can they lose at home?
The two questions are related. And to a BCS talking, 9-2 OSU team, they want to believe the answers are no and yes. But with Bedlam looming eight days from now in Norman, the Cowboys mostly want the second answer being yes.
No matter the OU spin some try to put on it, OU's record in games played out of Norman speaks for itself.
And no matter the OSU spin, Stoops is 65-2 at home since he arrived eleven years ago. Both facts are non-negotiable.
The Cowboys will draw a big break if the Sooners road woes continue with a loss at underdog Texas Tech. While I slightly lean to that not happening, it would not be a shocker.
The performances and overall record in games played outside the city limits of Norman the past few years have been unimpressive-to say the least. Truth is, for a national power, those road performances have been as bad as the home wins have been good.
It's really unimpressive if you just isolate on this season--the most relevant time period. The lone road win came against a Kansas team that was coming off a loss and was in the early stages of a free-fall into a chasm that will end up with its program in utter disarray and its coach without a job. So the 2009 numbers 1 and 4 when off Owen Field.
Until an impressive Brandon Weeden saved the day with an extraordinary second-half performance last night in rallying the Pokes past woeful Colorado, the only relevant Bedim question was whether Zac Robinson would be healthy enough to play next Saturday in Norman.
His family indicates to me that he will--although not throwing a ball in pregame warm-ups and no one outside the closed-lipped inner sanctum having any clue about possible concussion issues must concern OSU fans.
But I saw enough last night from Weeden to believe that if OU doesn't win in Lubbock, Robinson might not need to be ready. Calm and steady. Strong and able. Mobile and accurate. Leader. Weeden looked to me like a been-there-done-that kind of guy who, at least on a football field, has not been-there and done-that.
Until Weeden's exceptional second-half performance, weren't you thinking like me? That the Landry Jones guy in Norman is a darn good number two guy. All I could think as I saw OSU stink up the joint with its backup QB was that maybe OU has been disrespected as they have played most of the season without a guy who was good enough to win the Heisman Trophy.
And that those tight losses away from Norman to ranked teams should have perhaps been more admired than besmirched: BYU, Miami, Texas and Nebraska.
But you can talk besmirch this and besmirch that. You can talk about a play here or a play there and you're undefeated and headed to another BCS title game. But no one wants to hear how many hours your work, no one wants you to tell them about every shot they took in a golf round and no one wants to hear you say what your record "could" have been.
At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that a four loss OU team is playing on the road.
A Lubbock win puts the onus on what would be a nine-win, nine-point underdog Cowboy team coming to Norman with health questions surrounding its QB.
A Tech win would leave a five-loss OU team praying that the old location, location, location thing can help them avoid the nightmare of nightmares.
This brings us back to question number one. Can OU win on the road? Haven't we been there before?