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No laughing matter

The Oklahoma Sooners football team holds seven national championships, 22 bowl championships and 37 conference titles. Just imagine what the media would say if USF upset the No. 2 Sooners on their own field.
Four college sports journalists on Thursday talked about the possibility of USF upsetting the Sooners this weekend. It took a while for them to stop laughing, but they eventually got around to talking about ìwhat if?î
ì(The win) would get a three or four-page spread with big pictures,î said BJ Schecter, Sports Illustratedís college football editor.
ìIt would be the biggest story in college football.î
And being the biggest story in college football would not hurt the Bulls, who are overshadowed by the big three in their own state, University of Florida, Florida State and Miami. They might even be able to entice native players to stay in Florida.
ìPeople on the fence might want to stay closer to home,î Schecter said.
A win would not only help next yearís team, but it could open up a whole new era in Bulls football.
ìThey could get a foot in the door,î said Steve Weiber, college sport writer for USA Today.
An upset could bring the Bulls, who are only in their sixth season, up to a higher plateau.
ìIt would accelerate the level of the program by several years,î said Mike Pennetti, The Tampa Tribune Sports Editor.
Recruiting is great, but that is a long-term goal. The immediate benefits of a big upset would be the attention that they would get in Conference USA and the respect they would obtain from opponents.
ìIt would be a huge boost for conference play,î Jenni Carlson, Daily Oklahoman sports columnist, said. ìIt increases USFís bowl stock.î
USF would not be the only ones to feel the results of a win. The Sooners would experience much faster consequences, and not the kind that they would necessarily want.
ìIt would knock (Oklahoma coach) Bob Stoops off the pedestal heís on,î Pennetti said.
Their standings would ìplummet significantlyî said Schecter.
Not only would their ratings plummet, but a loss could also result in an even greater aftereffect, some say.
ìIt could ruin their season,î Schecter said. ìIt would knock them out of the National Championship picture.î
USFís chances this Saturday might be a long shot, but stranger things have happened such as upsets like East Carolinaís 27-23 win over Miami in the 1999 season or when 0-6 Temple beat 5-0 Virginia Tech 28-24 in 1998.
USF squares off against OU Saturday at 7 p.m. in Norman. The game will be nationally televised on TBS.