Outside of football Oklahoma has had few real legends of late. The state started off like a house afire with the land run, the oil boom, Jim Thorpe and Will Rogers. Then came the Dust Bowl, the Okie migration and of course the Grapes of Wrath. We have been fighting upstream ever sense.
OU did its part to help Oklahoma recover from the Great Depression by giving us President George Lynn. Cross hired Bud Wilkinson who in turn created the greatest team in America for its time. David Boren was a mere pup sitting in the stands the day Notre Dame snapped the 47 game win streak. Boren developed a love affair for Oklahoma, as well as for OU football similar to that of Dr. Cross. He would eventually be asked to help OU overcome Oklahoma’s 2nd Great Depression.
Oklahoma had been torn asunder with the unraveling of the Barry Switzer era. David Boren became university president and almost immediately fired John Blake and replaced him with Bob Stoops. He eventually replaced Bob Stoops with Lincoln Riley.
I know from first-hand experience how much Boren hated the Okie migration story. I also know first-hand how much he loved Oklahoma, OU football and the university. As an Oklahoma fan, it has been painful for all of us to watch the wheels come off the Sooner Schooner since Boren’s retirement.
Regardless of your loyalties to the new guy or the old guy, OU is now in total free-fall. The latest bad news pains me the most. A year ago, OU was listed for the first time by U.S. News and World Report as a top 100 national university. Due to the undoing at the university over the past year, the latest Report now lists OU as unranked.
That’s right Oklahoma’s flag ship university now appears to be in the midst of its 3rd Great Depression. Once again, we need OU football to save the day.