When the subject of the best college football programs of all-time comes up, there should be little question that Oklahoma would make a top-25 list — probably ranked among the top five, in most cases — but what about Oklahoma basketball?
Before you question if I am of sound mind or laugh me out of your house, which many of us are confined to for the next two weeks to a month in an effort to curb the spread of the conronavirus, please indulge me, if just for a couple of minutes.
To begin with, I’m not referring to individual teams, but rather the sum of the parts or the collection of all teams that constitute the larger entity, or the program.
With the entire sports world on hiatus and no games to report or reflect on, all-time lists, and what-if simulations, and even a virtual car race, are cropping up all over social media to fill the unprecedented void.
Not that we didn’t before, but with most normal activity ground to a halt, the social media universe is seeing historic volume levels. For example, the other day I stumbled on a sports website I candidly didn’t know existed, and I discovered something I would have never expected.
Sportsdrop.com has created a list of what it considers the greatest college basketball programs of all-time. The list includes 25 all-time programs ranked in descending order, in a slideshow format, starting with No. 25. O.K., I was intrigued, so I scrolled down through the article and discovered that the team ranked No, 25 was the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
I have to admit, that caught my attention, because I have always thought of Notre Dame as a school whose sports history and tradition is more heavily associated with football than basketball, much like Oklahoma.
And then I clicked on “Next” to see, out of increasing curiosity, what programs would follow, and there before my wondering eyes was another shocker: No. 24. Oklahoma Sooners — a second consecutive football, not basketball, power. Aside from the image that accompanies the supporting text for Oklahoma — a photo of the 2017-18 Sooner team led by Trae Young, which is far from representative of Oklahoma’s best teams — the facts in the article help support the Sooners’ inclusion.
Last month, as the Sooners were making a late run to secure a 33rd NCAA Tournament appearance, I wrote an article noting some compelling facts about OU’s history playing at the highest level of the college basketball landscape.
While the Sooners’ historic basketball presence may not be at the same level of a Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke or Kansas (which, incidentally are the top four college programs in the SportsDrop ranking), but when you stop and really think about it, Oklahoma basketball can make a very solid claim that the all-time program is deserving of top-25 national recognition.
As Sooner fans, we are naturally blinded of the historic achievement of Sooner basketball because of the longtime success and national attention afforded to the football program, which has clearly earned its place as one of the blue bloods of college football.
It’s uplifting, especially in these difficult times when we all can use something to put a smile on our face, to see that a third-party has recognized something in OU basketball that is easy for us, as Sooner fans, to overlook.