Sooners deserve same treatment as Buckeyes


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Fairly or unfairly, Ohio State has become the national whipping boy for its recent struggles in big games, especially the BCS championship.

Well, the Buckeyes have some company in the basement of blame.

Oklahoma deserves the same treatment Ohio State has received in recent months. The Sooners' 24-14 loss to Florida in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game on Thursday marked their fifth consecutive loss in a BCS game and their third straight in the championship. Last I checked, Ohio State has a more recent BCS bowl win (2006 Fiesta) than Oklahoma (2003 Rose).

The biggest reason why Oklahoma likely won't receive the same backlash as the Buckeyes is the nature of its losses. Three of Oklahoma's BCS losses came by 10 points or fewer, two in the title game (2009 and 2004), while Ohio State dropped the last two championship games by a combined score of 79-38. More people were entertained by Thursday night's championship than they were in each of the past two years. It's easier to lash out at Ohio State than Oklahoma.

But sorry Sooners, a loss is a loss. Oklahoma has lost its ability to win big-time bowl games, and head coach Bob Stoops should be treated exactly like his Ohio State colleague, Jim Tressel. My guess is if the Big Ten had a championship game like the Big 12, Ohio State would win its share, just like Oklahoma.

Make no mistake, there are dozens of programs and coaches around the country that would give anything to be like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Stoops and Tressel. Those two programs have repeatedly found a way to reach the national spotlight.

But both teams haven't achieved their final goals, and both should be viewed equally.