The second and third days in January 2014 were set up well for fans – casual and hardcore – to cheer on the Sooner State in prime time.
By most accounts, people were willing to support both OU and OSU, regardless of Sooner/Cowboy party lines, against the Evil Empire of the SEC.
From a fan experience, that is, outside the stadiums themselves in New Orleans and Dallas, the consensus appears to be that the viewing pleasure reached only 50 percent. And that really had nothing to do the final scores.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl provided excitement from the opening moments. When Alabama scored on its opening drive and in just four plays, the Twitterverse exploded. Fans were celebrating the Crimson Tide’s sure victory and many national commentators were again bemoaning the fact that the country would be robbed of a true coronation for a college football monarch since Alabama was not playing in the BCS title game.
The exciting back-and-forth pace kept folks from going to bed early and missing out on what could be a thrilling finish. And of course, with the Sooners’ 45-31 victory, many stayed awake longer to gloat on Facebook, Twitter and any other form of social media they could get their hands on. The mighty SEC had a chink in its armor and Bob Stoops is once again “Big Game Bob.”
It was a real coming-out part for Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight. And people around the state were once again enthused about what the next season will bring for the Sooners.
But less than 24 hours later, the excitement turned into narcolepsy.
Neither Oklahoma State nor Missouri looked the part of a team that wanted to shine on the big stage of the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The Cowboy offense seemed stagnant in the early going. And although the Tigers were on the field for what felt like much longer than 30 minutes of game time in the first half, Mizzou receivers couldn’t catch a cold.
FOX sent out excitement-generating Gus Johnson to call the game. But he was quickly nullified by a Big Ten officiating crew that wanted (needed?) to review a large amount of calls on the field.
The game itself dragged on a staggering four-plus hours. And from other than committed OSU and MU supporters, social media displayed messages of discontentment and discouragement with time it was taking for the drama to play out.
And drama finally came. It did!
The fourth quarter was exciting – for those who kept the channel there and their eyes open to watch it. Oklahoma State, after tying the game on three separate occasions took the lead. Missouri got it back. But OSU was driving to score before the game-ending fumble that was returned for a touchdown in the final minute.
There was excitement. It just came a little later than desired.
Keeping the television on following the Sugar Bowl to hear the great post-game comments from Knight was easy to do. Keeping the television on for the length of the Cotton Bowl was not had people questioning the use of too much electricity.
Inside the AT&T Stadium, the Cotton Bowl festivities and game looked to provide a great experience not easily forgotten.
The experience from home was one to forget easily in favor of watching the NFL’s wildcard weekend.