|No. 4 Sooners making a list and don't want to be on it twice|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2007 10:09|
The single sheet of paper listed the results of 31 games this season in which a Top 25 team was upset by an unranked foe. A little more than halfway down was Oklahoma's own defeat at Colorado three weeks ago.
``It's eye-opening, but it's a great lesson to learn and let you know going into a game against a non-ranked team. The way things are going and the way football is nowadays, you can lose to anybody,'' Sooners running back Jacob Gutierrez said Tuesday.
``It's kind of a wake-up call just to know that you've got to stay on top of your game and prepare the same way every week.''
There have been enough upsets in college football that Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) has been able to climb back up to No. 4 in The Associated Press poll and were fifth in the BCS standings this week. But all that could change if the Sooners have another flop like the one in their last road game.
``It can happen anytime, anywhere if a team just comes in thinking it's a routine thing, thinking you're going to just win or everybody's going to do what they always do,'' defensive tackle Demarcus Granger said. ``If you just come in not focused, any team can get beat at any time.''
Losing might be the last thing on the Sooners' mind this week. Iowa State (1-6, 0-3) finds itself alone at the bottom of the Big 12 North standings after a 56-3 loss to Texas on Saturday. The Cyclones have lost at home to Kent State and Northern Iowa already this season, although they bounced back to stun Iowa 15-13 for their only win.
Oklahoma is 66-5-2 in the all-time series and has won the last 19 times the teams have played in Ames, Iowa.
So, Sooners coach Bob Stoops saw a reason to make sure his players weren't overconfident.
``It's just pretty obvious to anyone that's paid attention at all to what's gone on through the whole year that anyone can beat anybody if you're not at your best,'' Stoops said. ``That's always the case, but and it's been evident this year more than any.''
Of course, the players were already aware of at least some of the upsets around the country. If they don't go looking for the scores or stumble across them while watching television, they're often informed when reporters ask them.
``It's something to where we've seen it, heard about it, read it. Just to see it all together on paper kind of puts it into some perspective what's been happening week in and week out,'' safety D.J. Wolfe said.
The issue for Stoops at this point is that his team hasn't progressed past making fundamental mistakes. He had another list for those problems, ticking off an ineffective running game, missed reads on defense, fumbles, bad decisions on punt returns and blocking that could be cleaner.
``We just set ourselves up in some areas that I don't feel are hard to overcome. To me, if we're really playing on top of our game, we can do those things,'' Stoops said. ``And we've got to start doing them.''
Stoops noted there have been improvements in avoiding penalties and making plays in the decisive fourth quarters of wins against Texas and Missouri the past two weeks. The lingering mistakes seem to overshadow that.
``I just am disappointed. I just feel overall as a head coach that we should be better than we are right now, and that's our job as coaches to get that kind of level of play that we feel we're capable of,'' Stoops said. ``Hopefully the players have enough pride to realize there's some things that we have covered a lot that they need to get better at.''
By eliminating some of the issues on Stoops' list, the Sooners stand a better chance to avoid being among the additions the next time the coaches put together a handout.
``I just don't want us to make the list twice,'' Granger said.