But since that last title-game appearance - a loss to Florida after the 2008 season - Oklahoma has been to just one BCS bowl. In none of those seasons have the Sooners been in the national title hunt beyond late October, which means that even an average of 10.7 wins over the last three seasons has been a disappointment to some.
Which begs the question, are expectations simply too high?
"No,'' said Ikard, whose Sooners host West Virginia Saturday night. "That's how they're going to be.
"It's not like we don't have the talent. We were a couple of plays away last year from going undefeated.''
Well, it was more than a couple of plays, given that one of the two regular-season losses last fall was by 17 points to Notre Dame. Ikard's point, though, is well taken. Seven times in the 13 years since the last national championship, Oklahoma has finished the season in the Top 10, four times in the Top 5. Yes, a play or two in many of those seasons would have made a big difference.
"Sure, but that's what college football has become,'' Ikard said. "You lose a game and then your season might be over, at least as far as what you expected might happen.
"But that's why we came to Oklahoma. If we wanted to win seven games every year, we should have gone somewhere else.''
It's been 14 years since Oklahoma last won only seven games, in Stoops' first season. In 11 of the 13 since then, OU has won at least 10 and five times won 12 - without winning another title.
Still, the expectations remain the same. Always.
"We expect to go undefeated and go play for a national championship,'' Ikard said. "That's the talent level we have with our players. We put the time in. We work extremely hard to get ready for the season and then throughout the season. So we have the same expectations they have.
"We're expecting, every single year, to play for the Big 12 championship and be in the national title hunt. We haven't done that in the last couple of years and that's probably why people are so disappointed.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.