Sunday, September 04, 2005

Where’s the Swagger?

Last season Auburn and OU walked with a swagger. On any given night they knew that they were better than the team who lined up across from them. They walked into stadiums as the visitors and they never lacked confidence. It was this mindset that allowed them to go undefeated during the regular season and win the S.E.C. and Big 12 Conference Championships respectively. In the spring the NFL draft and graduation robbed these two teams of the players who once walked with such confidence.

Then came Saturday when new players made their debuts and one thing was noticeably missing, swagger. Neither team seemed to play with confidence and at times both teams seemed to lack heart on their way to their first regular season losses (first one since 2002 for OU).

After Oklahoma’s 17-10 home loss to TCU, Horned Frogs defensive lineman David Hawthorne, who recovered OU freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar’s fumble to set up the go ahead touchdown, said, "When we got the turnovers, their heads dropped, it wasn't the same OU team that you saw last year." Dusty Dvoracek one of OU’s four captians added ``We never got tough, and we never had the attitude we needed to win.”

Turnovers seemed to be the theme for both Auburn and OU Saturday as the Tigers quarterback Brandon Cox threw four interceptions in their loss to Georgia Tech and Sooners’ quarterbacks Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar had four turnovers as well.

Don’t give up on these teams yet! Both are young, both are still very talented and both will return to national prominence in upcoming seasons. Just not this one! Obviously with playing as much new talent as the Tigers and Sooners are, there are going to be growing pains. Both teams will need to learn to walk before they swagger!