Big 12: Sir Demarco Bledsoe

Sooners aim to end TCU's success in Norman

September, 27, 2008
9/27/08
6:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

NORMAN, Okla. -- Greetings from Owen Field, where TCU will attempt to keep up its surprising recent winning ways over the Sooners.

  

The Horned Frogs don't figure to be intimidated by any kind of aura about playing at Owen Field. They've won four of their last five games in Norman, including the shocking opener from the 2005 season. Several key Oklahoma players are still around from that game.

Oklahoma has much to play for tonight. Their performance will be judged against the winner of the Georgia/Alabama game to determine the No. 1 position when the polls are released.

The Sooners haven't been No. 1 since Mike Stoops left the program to become the head coach at Arizona. It's been fashionable in many circles to say that Bob Stoops has never been able to return the program to that level since then, particularly from national sources who don't realize the domination the Sooners have had in the Big 12. So it would be an important accomplishment for Bob Stoops if his team could rise to that level.

But TCU would be able to show something to the country with an upset. The Horned Frogs cracked the Top 25 and could continue a march to the first BCS bowl berth in school history with a win tonight.

TCU is a much better program than in 2005, at least in terms of personnel, because TCU coach Gary Patterson has been attracting better athletes into his program. The best example of that is along the defensive front. Many teams would have taken a step back after losing key producers like Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz. So what has Patterson done? Just plug in guys like 2008 starters Jerry Hughes and Matt Panfil.

A hot night is expected with temperatures expected to be around 90 degrees at kickoff. Here are some things I'm interesting in watching from the (thankfully) air-conditioned press box tonight.

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