Video Finale: 2013-14 OU Sooners Football

It has been nearly three weeks since the exciting OU victory in the 80th Sugar Bowl. The words classic or epic have been tossed around.

There are numerous excellent OU video makers and many have been featured on various blog posts over recent years.  While there are always videos of the previous season’s highlights and/or top ten or twenty plays of the year, the following video by onikuno is without a doubt one of the most perfectly mastered videos I’ve ever seen.  Not only from the HD video clips, but the music and the pre-game comments from the alleged experts, along with a tasty addition of clips near the end.

For a fifteen minute video it encapsulates the drama and the excitement of one of the most exciting college Bowl games I have seen OU play.

Sooner fans young and old, male and female will remember this game for years to come.

Sugar Bowl And 2013-14 Sooners Reflections

It has been almost three days since OU defeated Bama in the 2014 BCS Sugar Bowl, 45-31.  I have read and listened to much both before and after the game, with numerous incongruous statements coming from the same alleged experts in both aspects.  The only honest alleged expert, the bald headed Bama homer Paul Finebaum, admitted the day after the game that he was an “idiot” for saying Bama would win.

Neither the Sooners, nor I, cared much for the prevailing mentality, that Bama would not only win, but that they could name the score.  When it comes to the experts, we just don’t care anymore what they have to say.  Like the song says:

I don’t care no more!

You listening? I don’t care no more!

Now for some personal admissions.  Since this past summer I have made numerous posts about the Sooners and their season.  I never made any predictions on game scores or the outcome of the season as a whole.  I did make some fairly accurate statements about the players, their abilities and potential.  I’m wise enough now not to invest too much into the games played by very young men and all the things that can happen during the season, such as injuries and discipline issues.  Those things were evident this year with two players removed from the team that were expected to make significant contributions, as well as too many season ending injuries to some of the biggest contributors to the team’s success.  Those occurrences are sadly part of the adversity a team has to contend with.

I admit I was wrong when I said in a recent post that this season was a disappointment because there would be no conference championship, no shot at the MNC in Pasadena or even a BCS bowl.  I was 50/50 in that statement.  I made that statement prior to OU defeating OSU and being selected for the Sugar Bow and well before their victory.  The disappointment I felt at that time was genuine, but not grounded in reality.

I must also admit that from the moment it was announced that OU and Bama would play in the Sugar Bowl, I truly believed that OU could/would win.  Sure I had my doubts, at times, but my gut feeling was that OU would win.  I told family and friends not to count the Sooners out of this game.  When (finally) it was time for the game and all the talking heads had made their predictions about how badly Bama would trounce OU, I felt very comfortable with the excitement, but not nervous or a feeling of dread.  In fact,  the only times I ever felt apprehensive or nervous before a game was before the two games OU lost this season.  A message from a higher power?  I don’t know, but it is a gut thing and I have learned to trust my gut feelings.

As for the game itself, (OU highlights are here) if the OU QB Trevor Knight had played that way all year, OU would be playing in the MNC Monday night. His performance can only be described as phenomenal.  Bama feared his running ability, but not his passing ability and rightly so, based on his performance through the regular season and Bama’s trouble with running QBs.  The running game for OU was stifled for most of the game, but was serviceable.

The OU defense, however, was sensational.  I am still a little puzzled as to why Bama didn’t run the ball as much as they did during the regular season, but by trying to throw the ball, they played into the strength of the OU defense, the pass rush.

Striker’s Hair Is On Fire

Striker had to take his helmet off after sacking the Bama QB, his hair was on fire.  In fact the entire OU defense had the same issue and for one simple reason, their DC Mike Stoops coaches with his hair on fire.  With seven QB sacks, four forced turnovers and McCarron running for his life and throwing passes away due to pressure, the OU defense stifled a talented Bama offense that was unaccustomed to being harassed in this fashion.

Bama racked up lots of yards, mostly on explosive plays and I wasn’t surprised by that outcome, nor do I think the Sooners were.  They knew they were facing a talented and experienced team that many thought would be playing for the MNC for the third year in a row.  The Sooners never fretted or sulked, they just fought and scrapped their way to victory, just as they had done all year.

Coach Bob Stoops said he loved his team in the trophy presentation and his comment was sincere.  I also believe this young OU team loves and believes in their coach.  With only 14 of the 56 Sooners that saw action in the Sugar Bowl being Seniors, the potential for this team next year is exciting.

One final note about winning and recruiting.  Late Saturday afternoon, at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the games MVP and nations #1 all-purpose running back,  Joe Mixon, announced he was committing to play for the Sooners.  In a tweet he stated that the OU Sugar Bowl victory “shut the deal” as to which school he would attend.

Winning, just like losing, is contagious.

Everything always looks better when you win.

Texas Loves Its High School Football

This past weekend(Dec 19-21) was a festival of high school football state championship games, ten games in all.  The previous weekend featured the Six Man championships.

Football Party In Texas

Texas high school football is organized by classification according to the student population of each school with 5A being the largest, followed by 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A and then Six Man.  Each classification has two divisions, once again student population determines which teams in each district are designated Div I or II.

With that out of the way, twelve state champions were crowned in all.  What is amazing about the two Six Man championship games played on 14 Dec., the attendance for the Div.I game between Crowell(population 928) and May(population 1,942) was 6,842.   In contrast, the attendance at the Florida 8A state championship game was 9,979.

The total attendance for all twelve state championship games was in excess of 230,000.  The 5A Div.I state championship game, featuring the #2 team in the country set a new attendance record for a Texas state championship game breaking a record that had stood since 1977, with 54,347.

Even Gov. Perry was there to celebrate the festivities, presenting the game offensive and defensive MVP awards, as well as the Championship Trophies.

Besides numerous teams repeating as state champs, one team, Aledo High School, won the 4A Div.II championship and also set a new National Record for most points scored in a season,breaking the 1,000 point barrier with 1,023.

It was a festival for those of us who truly love our high school football.  The finality of it means another long nine month wait until we get to do it again.

BTW, the attendance records at this year’s state championship festivities is also a little embarrassing to the numerous NCAA bowl games.

Exclusive Video~University of Texas Administration

**UPDATE** Mack Brown resigns.

**NEW VIDEO**

Months ago, after the humiliating beat down BYU applied to the UT Longhorns and the fire Mack Brown screams were their loudest, one of the contributors at a UT blog claimed that his biggest fear in removing Brown and finding his replacement was that UT would look like a “clown car,” when a large number of clowns exit the car.

Well, with the way events have unfolded in the past six days at UT, with the Board of Regents voting to keep the President, the new AD not yet in full control of his office trying to be relevant, Mack Brown staying out of town dodging meetings with the administration and Nick Saban not signing his contract extension with ‘Bama giving hope to UT fans that he might be their new coach, we come to the exclusive video.

Mack is the ring leader, the administration is in the car and Nick Saban is the one hiding just out of sight.

I expect this scene to be repeated a number of times in the coming days, as we now know Saban has signed his contract extension with ‘Bama.  The UT President and new AD have stated often in the past 24 hours that Mack is their “friend,”  which would indicate that Mack will retain his job for at least one more season.  The boys and girls at Burnt Orange Nation are not well pleased with this prospect.

Probably next year’s 5-7, I’d guess.

Once the fanbase has turned on a coach the way that this one has turned on Brown there’s no saving the program. Never. This kind of thing never gets turned around. Kind of surprised that smart people like Powers and Patterson would allow this kind of needless damage to occur to the football program but apparently Patterson is too new (or too timid) to rock the boat and Powers put his friendship with Mack Brown above his duty to the University of Texas.

Nothing to do now but to watch in horror the continued deterioration of Texas football and all that comes with that.

Send in the clowns.

Bedlam~Frozen Tundra

When the ball is kicked off Saturday morning at 11a.m., the current forecast is for the temperature to be sixteen degrees, 95% cloud cover, 54% humidity, a six mph wind from the NE and a 7% chance of snow.

I am assuming the field has been and will continue to be covered until time for the teams warmup(?) on Saturday morning.

I have many other assumptions:

1)The seldom sold out and tiny Boone Pickens stadium will not be at capacity(they WILL NOT sell available seats to OU fans) .

2)The ball will be difficult to hold, throw or catch, as it will feel like a heavy, slick rock.

3)Turnovers and special teams will be of even more importance than normal.

4)The team that can run the ball most consistently and effectively will have the advantage.

I don’t recall this game having been played in these types of conditions in a very long time.  In fact, I watched the 1983 Bedlam Ice Bowl game.  I remember the conditions were bad and that from a spectators perspective it was less than entertaining, but looking back now and with information that wasn’t available then, it was quite the event.

This year’s Bedlam game has some interesting aspects.  This is only the sixth time in this 109 year Bedlam series(can’t really call it a rivalry, OU leads all-time 83-17-7) that OSU is ranked higher than OU.

Here are the major ramifications:

1)If OSU wins, they are the Big 12 Conference champions, even if UT beats Baylor, as OSU beat UT.

2)If OU wins, the Big 12 Conference champion will be Baylor if they beat UT.

3)If OU wins and UT beats Baylor…decorum prevents me from saying exactly how I would feel about that.

I don’t expect the passing game to be a consistent factor in this game, with the exception of some big plays, and believe that the running game will be the deciding factor in who wins.

So which team has the most effective running game? Well, the answer is found not only in each teams rushing game, but in their respective rushing defense, as well.  According to NCAA stats we know the following:

OU is 15th in rush offense with 242.3 yards per game vs. OSU’s rush defense at 21st yielding 130.0 yards per game.

OSU is 59th in rush offense with 169.5 yards per game vs. OU’s rush defense at 24th yielding 132.7 yards per game.

OSU is also the 5th ranked red zone defense and are ranked 2nd in turnover margin.

I believe both teams will use heavy sets in their rushing game(it worked for Baylor and UT against OU) and both teams will load their defenses to stop the run, leaving one on one coverage on the receivers.

OU’s offensive line has performed well this season, but coming into this game a few injuries on the O-line are a concern, one an ankle injury from two weeks ago and a back injury from three weeks ago.  They have capable back ups if they can’t start, but depth becomes a concern.

OU’s running backs are capable, but there are concerns.  First, FB Trey Millard(the best FB in college football) was lost for the season with a knee injury; starting RB Damien Williams has been removed from the team for violating team/university policies(3 suspensions in one season).  That leaves the rushing attack to two Senior RBs, with true freshman Keith Ford expecting to get quite a few carries.  Ford is an incredibly powerful RB and punishes tacklers, while also having excellent speed and vision.  Ford had a fumble in a game several weeks ago and was in the dog house for a while.  I’m certain ball security is a much higher priority for him now.

We know a little more about OSU’s offense than OU’s, as they have been utilizing the same QB for most of the season.  OU has only recently been using R-Fr QB Trevor Knight, with good results and Knight performed admirably in a cold and hostile K-St stadium.

As with every Bedlam game, expect the unexpected and expect many points to be scored.

I hope to not see this:

I would truly love to see this:

…and this:

**Post Script** Congratulations to OU Senior Center Gabe Ikard for being named Academic All-American of the Year. A fantastic accomplishment from a great kid and football player.

Rivalry Week lives up to hype

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Beginning with Mississippi State’s dramatic overtime win over arch-rival Mississippi in the 2013 Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night, college football’s annual Rivalry Week was full of big plays, timely defense, some trickeration, and BCS-changing upsets.  The table is being set, with one of the few BCS questions remaining to be settled next Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 11:00 am kickoff.

Friday’s SEC matchup featured hapless Arkansas reverting to form in the final seconds to give up the game winning TD pass to LSU’s freshman qb, after Mettenberger went down with a season ending knee injury.

Saturday’s games included Michigan’s tough loss  to Ohio State in The Game, SC thumping of Clemson, and Missouri claiming the SEC East over aTm in the night cap.  But, far and away, the game of the year was played at Jordan-Hare Stadium as Auburn claimed the West in the annual Iron Bowl with an ending that I can best describe in three letters.  …  WOW!!!   If you didn’t see it, just check SportsCenter, it will be shown for weeks to come.  Auburn has the look of a team of destiny, if you believe in that kind of stuff, or unbelievably lucky if you don’t.

Rivalry Week was a Football Feast.  Bowl season is coming up fast, and I can’t believe how quickly the season has passed.

 

Congratulations To Coach Bob Stoops~Most Career Wins At OU

coach stoops

This is no small accomplishment, winning 158 games in his fifteenth season, with one regular season game left.

There is an excellent post on the life history and career of Bob Stoops, from the kid in Youngstown, Ohio until now, with all of his accomplishments, awards and testimonials from some of the best known coaches in college history. It is called Broad Shoulders.

On this evenings Sooner Football show with the coach, he was embarrassed and humbled to discuss it and hear his praises being sung, but he was also quick to point out not only the wonderful coaches and players involved with that record, but also the fact that he has had the same University President and Athletic Director during his fifteen seasons. That tenure combination of administrators and coach itself is a current NCAA record.

With so much competition in NCAA football, the desire to win at any cost is evident with many schools, often to the detriment of the players, like FSU. For coach Stoops to have been so successful, while winning the right way, is a source of pride for many Sooner fans even if we can’t hardly wait for another National Title.

One thing I know coach Stoops takes great pride in is the academic accomplishments of his players and never hesitates to praise his players on his television show. Earlier in the week it was announced that nineteen OU players had earned Academic All-Big 12 honors.

Congratulations, Coach.
May you have continued success and a blessed life.

OU’s Final Home Game~It Was Quite A Day

Saturday 16 Oct 13 was a memorable day at Owen Field and not all of it was about football.

Here is a list of what happened:
*It was Senior Day for the players
*A returning soldier was honored
*A Fox camera man was injured and carted off the field
*A State Trooper trucked an unruly fan that ran onto the field
*The starting QB was injured and replaced with the QB he had replaced due to injury early in the season.
*Coach Stoops tied the legend Barry Switzer for most wins in his OU career.
*OU racked up the most rushing yards in a game in the Stoops’ era.

The soldier, First Sergeant Brian Curtis of the Oklahoma National Guard(a 23 year veteran), that was honored at the end of the first quarter was without a doubt the highlight of the day. His family didn’t know he would be there and he arrived on the field with the fantastic honor of riding the Sooner Schooner.
The full video could not be embedded, so click this link for the video.

After the game the First Sergeant and his family were invited to the Sooner’s locker room, where the soldier was given the first game ball after the victory.
1st sgt

The camera man that was injured? What a character, even with broken ribs he showed an incredible spirit by making the OU sign and waving to the crowd.

The State Trooper that clocked the unruly fan is Coach Stoops personal body guard and is a 6’2″ 240lb. former linebacker at the University of Central Oklahoma and admitted “gym rat.”

As for the game itself, it was really dull until about 90 seconds before half time, with ISU leading 10-3. From that point on OU scored 45 unanswered points giving the hapless Cyclones their ninth loss of the season.

The victory did, however, tie Coach Stoops with Barry Switzer at 157 wins. One more victory will make him the all-time leader in OU coaching history, a coaching history unlike any other in NCAA football. OU football is the only program with four coaches that have over 100 victories. Coach Stoops has accomplished this record in his fifteenth season, while Switzer did so in sixteen, but they play more games each season now than they did during Switzer’s years, thus a much higher winning percentage than Stoops.

As for the QB situation, OU is right where it was at the start of the season, unsettled at QB. The offense has shown, at times, what it is capable of, but has been entirely too inconsistent, thus the two losses to teams they could have beaten.

How the season will end is anyone’s guess, with two tough games left on the schedule, both on the road at K-St. and OS-Ewe, then the obligatory bowl game. While the season has been a disappointment, there have been many memorable days and plays, as evidenced by events this past Saturday.

Allah Ack-Bama. It’s that time of year again

Wins against the Crimson Tide are rare for my Bulldogs. Heck, they’re rare for any ball club.

On November 1, 1980, the largest crowd in Mississippi history witnessed the Bullies defeating the top-ranked Tide 6-3 at Memorial Stadium in Jackson. Over the years, the size of that crowd has grown by thousands of fans who will tell you, “I was there when we beat the Bear.”

Two teams that ran the triple-option offense and played stout defense played their hearts out that day. It featured the inventor of the Wishbone, Emory Bellard, and the legendary Bear Byant. The keys to the Bulldog win were winning the turnover battle, and playing a more physical game than Alabama.

If my Bullies have a chance in the upcoming game, these will again be the keys to victory.

In the words of Emory Bellard, “Ohhhhh, was it good!”

The video from November 2, 1980 is a classic. It even has famous Coke commercial featuring Mean Joe Green.

Enjoy!

“Mississippi State broadcast legend Jack Cristil hosts his weekly show with Mississippi State head coach Emory Bellard. This show would be a little different as Mississippi State had just knocked off two time defending national champion and #1 ranked Alabama 6-3 in Jackson.”

Baylor Bears To Wear All Black Uniforms Thursday Night

There is much I don’t know and don’t understand about teams wearing hideous uniforms. Baylor’s choice for what should be a great football game is just baffling. Their school colors are green and gold.

They aren’t alone in this fad, Oregon has been disgusting and hideous since they began, with their school colors(psychedelic green and psychedelic yellow) obviously the creation of some stoner in the OU horticulture department. Then recently I saw Arizona State(school colors maroon and gold) wearing all red uniforms with black letters.

As I recall, ASU wore shiny black helmets, Oregon is liable to wear any color helmet, and now BU is going to wear matte black helmets with black uniforms. Not only the football team, but they are calling for their fans to have a “blackout.”

One thing I do know is this is a big game for BU and OU, both ranked in the Top Ten. Considering that OU leads the all-time series with BU 21-1, that BU has never won the Big 12 conference championship and that BU is ranked in the top Ten for the first time in my life time and is averaging 64 points a game against seven opponents with a combined record of 27-30, it is understandable that BU is willing to try anything that will give them an edge.

I just don’t understand what is up with the all black uniform. It isn’t like they are going to play with the lights out or with lots of shadows to hide in.

If BU is Shinobi, then OU is Samurai Jack, dressed in all white with Crimson trim.

Baylor…walk towards the light.

NCAA Football’s Best Full Back Lost For The Season

The heart of the OU Sooner’s was ripped out, thrown on the ground and stomped on with heavy boots, this past Saturday(26 Oct 13).

A starter since his Freshman year, Trey Millard was not only the most popular player with fans, he was invaluable. Trey did everything, he was a superior blocker, efficient runner, outstanding receiver and a superlative special teams player.

Now, Trey has knee surgery and rehab to contend with and the Sooners have to find several players to fill all the roles this one magnificent player filled.

I wish nothing but the best for Trey in his future endeavors and I am grateful for nearly four years of wonderful memories of him being a great Sooner.

Click this link for a great video compilation of Trey Millard’s career.

Hitler’s Assessment On The RRR(DERP)

If Mack Brown has lost Hitler, he is finished.

NCAA Football~Week Seven RRR Day

While the current status of this 113 year old match up has lost some of its luster(thanks UT), it is still a game the fans and players get fired up to play.

Many times during the modern era of college football(1936-present) this game has featured both teams highly ranked in the national polls and a factor in determining the national champion. OU has won the last three in a row and few doubt that streak will be extended to four on Saturday. Their opponent, UT, isn’t ranked in the AP or coaches poll and have struggled to achieve a 3-2 record to this point. OU is 5-0 and is picked #8 in the mock BCS rankings which will be released Sunday night. However, OU is in an untenable position with regards to this game. Should they lose this game, it will ruin any possibility of competing for the BCS MNC. Even winning, by a few or another rout, it won’t improve their standing in the eyes of the pollsters, as they are supposed to win. At this point, even playing UT weakens a teams strength of schedule rating(thanks UT).

Much has been written and said about why UT athletics is in such a sorry state, and not just their football program. For the football team, only two words are needed to explain their collapse, Mack Brown. Teams adopt the attitude and persona of their coach, which is why UT football is soft and weak, despite having some of the most talented athletes in all of college football. Along with the ancient and unabated institutional arrogance of UT. Believe me, that arrogance is pernicious and pervasive, I witnessed it first hand as a student there and quite possibly the only OU fan in the entire school.

On one occasion, in the late 70′s, I was at a sports bar on Sixth St. to watch the game. Doors opened at 10a.m. with kick-off at 11a.m., and free pitchers until the kick. Those poor fools couldn’t pour those pitchers fast enough for that first hour. Most of the several hundred in the room with me watching the game on a giant projector were wHorn fans and with my lone voice cheering for the Sooners, lots of friendly banter went back and forth…except for one wHorn fan with no ass. On numerous occasions he would turn around from two rows down, flip me the bird and say “OU Sucks.” Of course, whenever a wHorn fan says those words the entire room would echo it. Fine, okay, I’ll deal with this popcorn fart later. As the game wound down to the final minutes and it was clear OU wasn’t going to be able to come back, the same fart boy turned back to me and flipped me off with a double bird and yelled “OU Sucks,” with every one joining in. As their voices calmed down, I stood up and yelled “if OU sucks, then Darrell Royal sucks.” It became very quiet, with some whispering and one man saying that I went too far. I then asked why? Do you know where Royal attended college? More silence and head scratching, with one voice shakily saying he played at UT. I laughed, and said “no dumbass, he was an All-American football player at OU!” They were completely and totally skull-fucked, they didn’t know and the end result was their arrogance and ignorance, with my timely information, killed a perfectly good four hour beer buzz.

Back to Saturday, in the various count down posts I made before the season began, I stated that the O-Line would be very good and deep, the running backs would be very good and deep, as with the receivers. I was right.
One question I had has been answered, Blake Bell is now the starting QB and is doing quite well running the offense and no turnovers since he took the job. The biggest question mark was the defense, which ended 2012 as the worst in Bob Stoops 14 years. That question mark has turned into a positive and has made all the difference in the Sooners success so far, as they are nationally ranked as the #9 team in total defense.

Unlike some, who have to feel hate for their biggest rival, I don’t feel that, it is a great game that I have always loved. But I have to say, there are some teams that you just want to pound with such aggression and savagery, that their ancestors and their unborn feel the pain. That is how I feel on RRR week, I want to take UT’s soul.

We interrupt this gov’t shutdown to bring you

……this very important message.
.

We are one week away from the 2013 renewal of the Red River Rivalry.

It used to be known as the Red River Shootout, but the sponsor, SBC-AT&T, didn’t want anyone to think they were condoning gun violence.

Horrors!

I mean, this is Oklahoma and Texas. The chances of finding an unarmed household (outside of Austin) are right up there with the needle and haystack thing. But I digress.

The violence that will occur 8 days from now won’t have anything to do with guns. The sounds of pain and anguish you will hear will emanate from the historic Cotton Bowl and will be felt all across Longhorn Nation.

It won’t be pretty.

The over and under will be a tough one to pick, because it will be entirely dependent on OU, and whether or not Stoops is in a merciful mood.

ShaggyBevo has already made their prediction:

shaggybevo-redriverrivalry
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Heh™

We now return you to your regularly scheduled government shutdown.

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NCAA Football Week Three~Bumbling-Fumbling-Stumbling

Most expected to win the first two weeks have won, while others expected to win have not. Some of the latter have lost in spectacular fashion.

But, first things first, the game every one keeps talking about…endlessly…without pause…Bama at TAMU. I expect Bama to win, but knowing first hand what a huge advantage TAMU has at Kyle Field(the fans never sit down, they never shut up and the Corps of Cadets sits directly behind the visiting team), I wouldn’t be surprised if Bama lost.

My dilemma with this game? I despise Johnny Manziel, the Miley Cyrus of college football(just like her, you know he is going to show his ass again if you just keep watching). On the other hand, I don’t want Bama to be the first school to win three MNC in a row, their fans are already to difficult to live with in the same solar system. So in my ideal scenario, Miley gets knocked out of the game on the first play(hopefully a career ending injury so we never have to hear or see his bullshit ever again) and TAMU goes on to win the game.

In other bumbling and stumblings of football, Okie State is being exposed by Sports Illustrated which has caused an NCAA investigator to be assigned to them. It appears that the improprieties being revealed all started under Les “let’er rip” Miles and that at least one of his practices, having “hostesses” shower recruits with attention, has continued at his current job at LSU.

Then there is the situation in Austin. UT has the largest athletic budget of all NCAA member schools, last year they took in $162 million and spent $142 million. All of their major athletic programs(baseball, basketball and football) have been mired in mediocrity for years, while their coaches have been drawing huge salaries. As you might imagine, the money means nothing to them, but not having the prestige of being a championship contending program means everything.

As a UT grad and lifelong OU Sooner fan, I have known what the problem at UT is for years and it begins with their institutional arrogance that most of their alumns wear on their foreheads. The current situation they are in with their sports programs is the best medicine for what ails them, but they are in denial, they think their self-adulation is a universal belief. But sadly, they are coming to the conclusion that I reached, in respect to their football team, years ago. The real problem with their football team is Mack Brown.

Teams typically take on the attitude and persona of their coach and UT’s football team is a perfect example, they are soft and weak. Having had top five recruiting classes for years and years, UT has become known for what Notre Dame was a few years ago…a place for five star recruits to go and never be heard from again. This recent 2013 recruiting class for UT was the lowest it has been since I began paying attention to it years ago and fully expect it to be even lower this year.

Mack Brown doesn’t evaluate talent or develop it, he looks at the recruiting services and then offers the highest rated, with the UT attitude being “we don’t recruit…we select.” Finally, the rank and file fans have had enough and aren’t buying UT merchandise, not attending games and filling forums and message boards with their calls to fire Mack. Now it seems the cigar chomping alumns who write the big checks are getting the message, but there is a problem. The UT AD Deloss Dodds and Mack are conjoined and Dodds won’t fire Mack or insist he retire, so the fans are calling for Dodds to be fired. Sadly(for this Sooner fan), that appears to be what is coming and I fully expect to see a new UT AD at the start of 2014, and at least a new football coach, if not a new baseball and basketball coach, as well.

Does this mean UT will go out and hire a coach which will return them to a contending team? Possible, but doubtful. The head coach at UT doesn’t just need a good resume and be a rough, tough, hard nosed ball coach, he has to be a competent schmoozer in ever so PC UT and Austin social settings. That is the only reason Mack has lasted this long, he can schmooze and BS anyone.

So while UT football may be getting a face lift in the near future, I doubt the next football coach will make great strides, even though many UT fans actually think they are the premier program in the country and could get Saban from Bama, if they decide that is who they want.

OU has beaten UT nine of the last fourteen games. I’m gonna’ miss Ol’Mack when he is gone and not able to narrate the RRR game on the despised LHN.

NCAA Football~Game Day Has Arrived

I mentioned to Nuke the other day that my first countdown post at 85 days didn’t seem so long ago. One thing about getting older, the danged clock moves so fast, unlike when you are young and you actually see the second hand click backwards every so often.

At the start of each OU season at home they have a new intro video that is displayed on the big screen. For almost all those years the official intro video has been leaked a few days before the game, but not this year, only the video of the making of the intro video is available at this link.

Hopefully the official video will be available later in the day, before the game kicks off this evening. For now, here is a fan made motivational video for the 2013 Sooners football season.

It’s Here!!! Picks of the Week

fancred2First of all, let me say congratulations to the Mississippi State Bulldogs for becoming the first university in the nation to join Fancred.

N2l and I were talking recently about the paucity of quality Bulldog videos on youtube, and I’m quite certain that this move to Fancred will increase the exposure of the athletic program to followers of the Maroon and White, as well as to potential recruits.  (Download Fancred)

Good job, Grasshopper.  Kudos to you, sir.

=+=

Now, to the Picks of the Week (winners in bold):

Thursday 8/29:  NC @ SC; Ole Miss @ Vandy

Friday 8/30:  Texas Tech @ SMU

Saturday 8/31:  Mississippi State v Oklahoma State (Nuke’s Upset Special); Ala v Va Tech; ULM @ Oklahoma; Georgia @ Clemson, LSU v TCU; NM St @ Texas; Washington State @ Auburn; Penn State v Syracuse (Nuke’s surprise of the week, as Syracuse makes a good first impression on their new conference ACC affilliates).

Are You ready for some football?

NCAA Football~Five Days

So many people are “Fully Engaged,” coaches and their families, players and their families, support staff and their families, as well as fans and their families.

It’s almost time.

(*the pool party was at Coach Stoops house*)

#GAMEWEEK

The final countdown to the 2013-14 NCAA College Football season is upon us, and Game Week is here.

Yeah, Baby!!

Game One Predictions will follow on Wednesday.

 

7 days from kickoff     Mississippi State Football.      #Fight4MSU      #HailState

game-week

No. 7 Matt Wyatt played QB for the Bulldogs during the 1996-1999 seasons. During his career for the Bulldogs, he threw for 2940 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 1996 and was a four year letterman for the Bulldogs, earning those honors for the 1996-1999 seasons. In April of 2011, Wyatt was named Color Analyst for the Mississippi State football broadcast crew, where he works alongside Jim Ellis and John Correro.

NCAA Football~Nine’s Are Wild

Not only does the season begin for us here at Nuke’s in nine days, OU has a QB and he is number nine, R-Fr Trevor Knight.

Trevor Knight-#9

While this news isn’t a total surprise, it is some what surprising considering R-Jr Blake Bell has had actual game experience, in several key moments against ranked opponents.

I respect what the OU coaches are basing their decision on, after all OU has won eight conference championships with six different QBs in the last fourteen years. Since this was the first open competition for a starting QB job at OU since 2007, who would be named the starter has been a hot topic since 2013 began.

With a QB starting in what will be his first live game experience, many think the coaches are making a mistake, while many others believe that the competition revealed who was the best QB for the job.

My biggest concern with this isn’t if Knight can perform, but how this might effect the other QB’s on the roster and the four star 2014 commit. Should Knight prove to be the genuine article, that means he could be the starter for the next four years. Some might chose to transfer or not sign a LOI.

In any event, OU now has a declared starting QB and game prep for their first game on 31 Aug begins in earnest. With a veteran and deep O-line, wide receivers and running backs, he will have a strong supporting cast to work with.

Congratulations, young man. This Sooner fan wishes you every success on the field and in life.

NCAA Football~14 Days

It is common knowledge that championship football teams have good line play, on both sides of the ball.

Having addressed what is the greatest strength of the OU Sooners, their experienced and deep O-line, it’s time to discuss what is clearly their greatest weakness, the D-line.

Graduation was unkind to this position, losing all the starters on the D-line, two DE’s and three DT’s. This may be a blessing or a curse, as last year’s D-line was unable to get a push on the opposing QB with most opponents, particularly spread offenses. As a result, when the DB’s were covering man-to-man, their backs were turned to the line, which made for huge gains by RB’s and running QB’s.

There are some returning players on the D-line that got some playing time last year, but recruiting for this group was weak with one four star recruit dropping his commitment and signing with another school. The Sooners were able to sign a former four star DT out of JUCO, where he was an All-American. I could only find video of him as a high school senior, at 6’3″ 285lbs. and he was a beast. He still has a reputation as a beast, only now he is 6’4″ 311lbs. One reserve OT has been moved to DT, at 6’4″ 330lbs. and one of the most experienced DE’s has been moved to DT and asked to gain 20+ lbs. There are several returning players who got some playing time at DT last year, but the DT position remains a major concern until we see how they perform

At DE, as mentioned, one steady performer from last year has been moved inside. There are a number of younger players who got some playing time last year that will need to step up. Two recruits seemed to offer a great deal of promise, with both likely to play immediately, if not start. Then as training camp was about to open, one of the DE recruits became ill, resulting in his spleen being removed. The young man should be fine, but will most likely be unavailable this season. The other DE recruit, one of my favorites and a young man I expect to be a memorable Sooner when he moves on, is Matt Dimon. Considered a four star recruit, he was the Defensive MVP in the State Championship game this past December on the #1 team in Texas and the #2 team in the nation. He came to OU in June and began summer school, as well as working out. When he arrived he was 6’3″ 254lbs. At the most recent weigh in, he was up to 268lbs. He has one of those high revving football motors and was impossible to block by one man and often defeated double team blocks.

As with the O-line, the Sooners have a new D-line coach, Jerry Montgomery. While we will have to wait and see the results, the LB’s and DB’s are already praising Coach Montgomery’s D-line for their efforts in practices and scrimmages, making their jobs a lot easier by stuffing the run. That is practice, however, until we see how they perform on the field, the D-line will remain the biggest question mark on the team. Should they perform well, or even better than last year’s unit, then this year could be very special.

It’s almost time.

*PS:All the play makers in the last video are returning for 2013*

NCAA Football~20 Days

The excitement is building, not just for fans, but for players and coaches too.

Coach Norvell is an invaluable asset to the Sooner coaching staff. Not only is he the receiver’s coach, he is co-offensive coordinator and quite possibly the strongest recruiter they have.

He has coached some of the best receivers in the country, including all-time NCAA reception leader Ryan Broyles. Last year’s group was initially thought to be weak going into the season, yet performed exceptionally well.

This year’s group is expected to be exceptional, with two deep experience at both wide out and both slots, which is creating a great deal of competition for the starting roles in training camp.

Judging from his recent recruits, Norvell may be taking the Sooners in a different direction. His last signee, freshman Cannon Davil is 6’5″, he has three commitments for the 2014 class that are 6’5″, 6’5″ and 6’6″ respectively.

The Sooners believe that not only do tall receivers have an advantage over shorter defensive backs in receiving, but that their size and long arms give them an advantage in down field blocking. Add to that a 6’7″ tight end freshman and a 6’7″ 2014 commitment.

The Sooners appear to be headed for a more run oriented offense this year and in years ahead, getting away from the up tempo pace. If that is true, expect to see fewer passes than in years past, but with the wealth of excellent receivers, expect to see the yards per catch average increase.

It’s almost time.

NCAA Football~40 Days To Go

With opera, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

With football, it ain’t over until the little guy with the funny name kicks the ball.

NCAA Football=57 Days — The Evolving Fullback

An excellent piece at SB Nation Football Study Hall, The run game renaissance and the return of the fullback.

In the midst of the spread-option revolution that’s currently taking place, the fullback is again finding a role as the tactics of spacing out defenders and then out-flanking them has begun to find uses for players that can function as powerful bludgeons.

Having watched football formations evolve for over fifty years now and memories of some true tough guys that played fullback, it always amazed me that too often that position was schematically abandoned or minimized. In fact, for the past several years the All-American voting hasn’t even included the fullback position. I’m glad the author of the piece has recognized the position and acknowledged how vital it is to an offense.

OU Coach Stoops has always had a fullback in his backfield from J.D. Runnels in the early 2000′s, to the three they have employed for the past few years…Bird, Ripkowski and of course current fan favorite Trey Millard.

Who knows, with all the “evolving” that takes place in football, we may yet return to leather helmets and Split T formations in our lifetimes.

NCAA Football Countdown=63 Days ~ Giving The Coaches Some Love

I’ve known many coaches over the years, as an athlete and as a friend, with several still coaching high school ball and/or Athletic Directors, and one still coaching Division I football as a Defensive Coordinator, having done so at many well known universities(LSU-TAMU-KState-TCU-Purdue-Baylor).

These are the men who take far too much of the heat when their teams don’t perform well. They don’t get near enough love from most fans.

It’s the coaches who have to know volumes of rules concerning how the game is played and instruct the players, the same players they recruited after learning volumes of rules on just how recruiting can be conducted. They watch hours of game tape, spend hours on the phone, spend hours on the road visiting the players, their families and high school coaches. All the while spending hours upon hours away from their own families.

Coaches don’t have an easy task, not by a danged sight. The rewards? If you are a successful coach it can mean a very good salary at a well funded university, along with much praise. Often overlooked is the reward most coaches find, that of taking a group of young men that they brought to campus, working hard together in the heat and cold, to do battle together to be the absolute best, to be a champion.

Whether they ever win a championship or not, they see the best and worst of each other, the emotional and physical pain, as well as the many moments of elation and despair. These men, young and old, learn about life together and are shaped by their efforts.

The D-I coach I have the utmost respect for is Coach Bob Stoops. After helping lead Florida to a national championship as their DC, he was hired as OU’s twenty first HC, in 1999.

With his fifteenth season set to begin in two months, he only needs to win nine games to surpass OU’s all-time leader in wins, Barry Switzer. Details about OU’s coaching history can be found here. Coach Stoops will have done that in the same time period as Coach Switzer, but of course there are many differences. Coach Switzer inherited an ascending program from Coach Fairbanks, Coach Stoops inherited a program that hadn’t had a winning season in five years. Coach Switzer didn’t have the scholarship limitations that exist today, and the recruiting rules are vastly different. Coach Stoops will never reach the winning percentage Switzer had(.837), but he is the Coach with the highest active winning percentage for coaches with more than eleven years in the game.

Having taken over a losing program, no Sooner team has had a losing season under his tenure, with his first season in 1999 coming closest with a 7-5 record. Having won one national championship and playing in three others in a ten year span, the pressure to win the school’s eighth national championship is palpable.

It ain’t easy being Head Coach.

We now come to an excellent video produced by an OU fan, hambone694, that captures many of the greatest moments in Coach Stoops head coaching career, of which there are many. Just remember that each and every one of these young men over the last fourteen years have been touched by Coach Stoops and he by them.

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