January 1, 2003 |
Now that game day has finally arrived, everyone involved with the 89th Rose Bowl can take a deep breath and relax. No more grumbling. No more angry faxes and e-mails. No more schizophrenic news conferences where three coaches show up for two teams. Tournament of Roses officials can only hope the action between Washington State and Oklahoma on the field this afternoon is half as entertaining as the preceding machinations.
December 30, 2002 |
Squinting in the glare of a Southern California afternoon, his team just finished with practice, Oklahoma quarterback Nate Hybl said he doesn't mind playing in the shadows. The senior from Hazlehurst, Ga., ranks as one of the top passers in school history and owns a 19-3 record as a starter over the last two seasons.
December 29, 2002 |
The scoreboard glowed dumbly that gray afternoon, the clock melted down to zeros, no question about the outcome. Oklahoma had lost, 7-0, to Notre Dame, yet the Sooners could not believe it. "The players didn't leave the field," recalls Joe Rector, a tight end on the team. "I just got down on my knees and stayed there for what felt like an hour." Fans in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium were dumbstruck, planted in their seats.
December 28, 2002 |
When defensive linemen and linebackers have an off day, it rarely makes the highlight films. Cornerbacks aren't as fortunate. "With cornerbacks," Andre Woolfolk said, "we're the last ones that people see chasing the guy into the end zone." Woolfolk and his teammates in the Oklahoma secondary suffered that indignity twice this season, when Texas A&M and Oklahoma State connected on long touchdown passes and handed the Sooners their only two defeats.
December 28, 2002 |
Returning to Pasadena elicits vivid memories from Oklahoma offensive coordinator Chuck Long, who played in the Rose Bowl twice as a quarterback for Iowa. Long was the starter when the Hawkeyes faced UCLA in the 1986 Rose Bowl, but his favorite story dates to the 1982 game against Washington when he was a young reserve. With Iowa behind, 28-0, late in the fourth quarter, then-coach Hayden Fry turned to the bench and asked the freshman if he wanted to enter the game and get on national television.
October 27, 2002 |
The West is an exquisite corpse. "There was nothing to see in the land in the way of a flower," remarked Georgia O'Keeffe when she first saw the high desert of northern New Mexico. "There were just dry white bones." A cow's skull floating in the sky became the painter's most enduring image. But there was nothing ethereal about the boneyard. It was the ruinous outcome of Depression-era drought, made all the more lethal by overstocking and overgrazing an arid land.
April 1, 2002 |
There are no more superlatives needed, no more oohs or ahs to render. The talent and the record of the Connecticut Huskies can speak for itself. On Sunday, what many have called the best women's college basketball team ever concluded its season with an 82-70 victory over Oklahoma to take the NCAA tournament championship before 29,619 at the Alamodome. In winning its second title in the last three years, the Huskies equaled the 39-0 single-season record set by Tennessee in 1997-98.
March 31, 2002 |
Something historic will happen here tonight. The undefeated Connecticut Huskies will pounce on Oklahoma as if it were a favorite rawhide chew toy, drag it around for 40 minutes and toss it in the pile with their other 38 victims this season. Then, having won the NCAA tournament, the Huskies will be proclaimed one of the best women's basketball teams ever, maybe the best.
March 30, 2002 |
Indiana vs. Oklahoma At Georgia Dome in Atlanta 3 p.m., channel 2 * STYLE OF PLAY: Oklahoma thrives on rattling opponents with its physical, suffocating defense while talking the most trash of any team in the Final Four. The stingy Sooners are giving up only 64.4 points while getting 9.1 steals a game. Indiana, which began the tournament averaging 70.2 points, prefers to slow things down in the half-court and dump the ball low to silky forward Jared Jeffries.