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.

Alysha Kaye

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