Defense doesn’t win championships. Offense and defense, together, wins championships.
It may be an 80-20 operation on the defensive side.
That one season Trent Dilfer happened to play quarterback for the Ravens and won the Super Bowl was like that.
It may be an 80-20 operation the other way.
The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011 and the Saints in 2009. Neither played much defense.
Still, the landscape is littered with fantastic offenses that fell short.
The Dan Fouts Chargers. That undefeated UNLV team that ran into Duke in the Final Four. The 1988 Sooners who fell to Danny and the Miracles. The 2008 Sooners who fell to Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer.
Yes, we’re skipping around, sport to sport.
And yet …
The 1982-83 Edmonton Oilers scored 74 more goals than any other NHL team, but was swept by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals.
However, the next season, the Oilers scored 86 more goals than anybody and 100 more than all but two teams.
Those Oilers took the Cup from the Islanders in five games. The next season, they kept the Cup by routing the Philadelphia Flyers in five games.
Coach Lincoln Riley’s Sooners can the Oilers of more than 30 years ago.
They are the best offense.
Not by a little.
Oklahoma is averaging 8.6 yards per snap. One team is within a yard of of OU: Alabama, at 7.6. Ten different tams are within a yard of the Crimson Tide.
OU is way out in front.
Maybe the Sooners cannot be stopped.
One team slowed OU this season and that team was Army, which did not lose again, finishing with 11 wins, including a 70-14 bowl victory over Houston.
Yet, even that game, the Sooners averaged 8.9 yards per snap. They were only slowed because they snapped the ball but 40 times, the Black Knights owning a time-of-possession advantage of almost half an hour.
Time of possession is not a big Crimson Tide thing. Alabama, on average, has possessed the ball about a minute more than its opponents this season.
It’s not like we’re trying to paint some far out Sooner victory scenario here.
All we’re trying to do is point out that, yes, sometimes a team simply can’t be stopped.
Sometimes, one team being so good at one part of the game can tell the tale. It doesn’t happen often. You wouldn’t want to bet your life on it. But it happens.
OU could be that team.
It’s fun to think about.
We may never see another athlete like Kyler Murray come through here or anywhere else. And believe it, we’re entirely too close to it to fully appreciate it.
Pretend Doug Flutie was the ninth pick in the 1984 baseball draft. That he had the one season that captivated America, then left for another sport.
Yet, Flutie was a three-year starter at Boston College.
How about that amazing run of BYU quarterbacks: Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco. What if one of them had been the ninth pick in the baseball draft?
Of course, BYU played in the old WAC, not a power conference, all of those guys started more than one season for the Cougars and, though some threatened, none won the Heisman.
Maybe an offense led by Murray, whose story is every bit as amazing as Baker Mayfield’s, yet for entirely different reasons, is simply destined to put up more points than the other team in two more games.
Just two more.
Quotes coming from Riley are so sweeping.
“Seems like the entire country is focused on two games for about 30 days … I think our team is ready. None of this is new for us,” he said Thursday. “The schedule, the early signing day, all that we talked about back in Norman is still a big factor and handling all that, and I think we’re more equipped to do it than we’ve ever been.”
If you don’t believe in your team, understand one thing: Riley believes in it. The way he’s talking about the Sooners can’t be faked.
Whenever I’m asked what’s going to happen tonight, I never answer the question as asked.
Instead, I explain how OU will win if it wins and how it won’t if it doesn’t.
The second part of it may be the more likely scenario, yet it’s not the only one.
Sometimes, teams of destiny, though incomplete, fulfill that destiny.
This team, Riley’s team, Murray’s team, may be that team.
The landscape is filled with offensive juggernauts that didn’t quite make it, but also a few that did.
Maybe OU does. Maybe the Sooners just can’t be stopped.
If they do it, that’s how they’ll do it. We’ve been watching it all season long.
Alabama’s just a football team. OU has proven adept at beating football teams.
It can happen again today.