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Must-see TV: Sooners softball among best dynasties in sports

Jun. 7—The University of Oklahoma's 8-4 win over the University of Texas on Thursday made four straight national championships for the softball program and eight total for head coach Patty Gasso.

OU is the only program to accomplish four straight in Division I NCAA history.

Four in a row is hard to do, and it's not like it has been only four years of success for the Sooners and Gasso.

Gasso has now won eight national championships with Oklahoma, dating back to the first in 2000. She is tied with Mike Candrea of the University of Arizona and Sharon Backus of UCLA with that number. Backus did have her 1995 title vacated, so technically she has only seven.

Really, since 2013, the OU program has been competing for a title year in and year out with seven of the titles coming in the last 12 years. And who's to say there wouldn't already be a ninth one with the Sooners' name on it had COVID-19 not ruined the 2020 season?

That also would be five straight for this dynasty.

This is a dynasty. If you say otherwise, you're flat wrong. Seven championships in 12 years is elite-level stuff, and winning four in a row is phenomenal.

The seniors on Oklahoma's roster who have spent all four years there won a national championship every year. They weren't shut out in a single game and never lost by the run rule. Think about that.

In 250 total softball games, they scored at least one run in every one. They lost 15 games.

If you aren't a fan of this program or haven't been cheering for them each summer once the Women's College World Series rolls around, you have been annoyed by them for more than a decade now and even more so in the last four years.

If you haven't already, it's time to start comparing this program to the likes of the Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots, Miami (Florida) University football and any other dynasty of the ages in the sports world.

I don't even think it's a stretch to compare them to the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s. Think about it: The Bulls won six championships in eight seasons. The Sooners are at four in five seasons, and no one won during the COVID-19 season, so you can't act like they weren't a front-runner that year coming off the runner-up finish in 2019.

I know there were old New York Yankees teams that won a ton of titles close together along with teams like the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers. OU softball isn't the best, but it has to be among the top 5 of dynamic title runs among all sports teams.

I would put them just behind the Bulls but ahead of the Warriors and Patriots. What they've accomplished the last four years and even further back is elite.

When UCLA won in 2019, OU was runner-up. Oklahoma had won in 2016 and 2017. It won in 2013 and finished runner-up to Alabama the season before in 2012.

Which is a perfect example of the poor argument that OU benefits from the WCWS being played in Oklahoma City every year. Sure, it's close to home. It makes it easy for OU fans to fill the stands each season. But making it to the final eight teams is hard enough as it is. There's no such thing as an advantage to make it there.

OU earns its spot in the finals and has done the job necessary to walk away as champions the last four times.

The WCWS was played in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first six years and then Sunnyvale, California, for two before moving to Oklahoma City in 1990.

I don't believe there is a competitive advantage. If you want an advantage, let's just talk about how good Gasso's program is. The advantage is that most of the softball talent around the world wants to play at OU and that Gasso is able to get the right players to commit to her philosophy that keeps her winning games.

The 62-year-old coach is the advantage. Who wouldn't want to play in Norman? Winning 50-plus games in a season is expected, and so is making it to Devon Park, formerly known as USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex.

My last thought: Should Gasso move into retirement and enjoy those grandkids you saw her embracing Thursday night on ESPN? She's at the top of the softball world right now. But she could also try for one more title to become the only Division I coach with nine championships.

Keep in mind that her son, JT Gasso, is the associate head coach for the Sooners and would be a great option to run this thing.