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Life itself can't give me joy
Switzer doesn't spend much time around the refrigerator in his Norman house, other than to grab a Coors as he passes through. But the sentiment of the verse—affixed there with magnets by his wife Kay—is appropriate. Barry Switzer is filling up his life by winning football games at an astonishing rate. Nobody coaching today is better at it. In 5� seasons at Oklahoma Switzer's record is 56-5-2. He has never finished lower than first in the Big Eight, where victories, no less titles, tend to be hard-scrabble. Twice his Sooners have been national champs.
And this year could bring Switzer the most joy of all. The earmarks were there in the Cotton Bowl last Saturday as undefeated Oklahoma crushed Texas 31-10. "I know you have to take the bad with the good," says Switzer, "but we ain't had much of the bad around here."
Indeed, even injuries to Sooner stars simply gave less-heralded players a chance to prove that they, too, were good. Make no mistake, Oklahoma (5-0) is definitely in the hunt to be national champion.
On Thursday night before the game, Switzer's legs sprawled across a coffee table at home while he watched his favorite television program—The Barry Switzer Show. As his own taped image pondered Saturday's possibilities, the in-flesh version was saying, "The most important thing to remember is that coaching is like a terminal disease. It's gonna get you sooner or later." If that's the case, "later" seems to be fading farther into Switzer's future each year instead of drawing closer.
Switzer had a suspicion this season's Oklahoma team was loaded, especially on offense, but two of the Sooners' early opponents were West Virginia and Rice, which didn't prove much of anything. Two weeks ago a 45-23 win over Missouri gave him a clue; Saturday's blitz of Texas convinced him.
What happened was that the proud Sooners, with a reputation for playing as well in crucial games as any team in the country, went out against Texas and did what they had been promising their supporters all week: they played lights-out football. Click, click and it was 14-0 less than three minutes into the second quarter. When the dazed Longhorns finally plodded off the floor of the Cotton Bowl, they knew they had been rounded up and branded with a big OU.
While Switzer is the architect of this house of success, it was Halfback Billy Sims who did most of the hammering. He rushed 25 times for 131 yards, scored two touchdowns and threw a block that enabled David Overstreet to light up the scoreboard. Before the game, Switzer had said, " Sims is a great, great back. People just don't know that yet." Now they do.
In two previous seasons, Sims had been hurt and could not play against the Longhorns. This year the junior from Hooks, Texas anticipated something marvelous. At a pep rally in Norman he had coyly asked how many students were going to Dallas. All, of course, were. "Good," said Sims, "because I want you to see me fly." Sims didn't let anyone down. He literally flew with the hurtling, twisting style that has earned him a season average of 7.4 yards per carry. Nevertheless, afterward he complained, "I really meant to fly higher." Says Switzer, "I wish he'd stay on the ground a little more. But that's Billy."