While the recent bowl season is now in the rear view mirror for most fans, I can’t help myself. The truth of the matter is that the bowl season hammered home the reality that the Big 12 is not ready for prime time football. Three Big 12 teams were handled by teams from the SEC. In addition Iowa State was pummeled by a slow-footed Notre Dame team and K-State was beaten by one of the military academies. Texas came out a winner, but only because they played in front of home crowd.
Here’s the ugly truth…
- L 63-28 OU vs. LSU
- L 33-9 Iowa State vs. Notre Dame
- L 26-14 Baylor vs. Georgia
- L 23-20 K-State vs. Navy
- L 24-21 OSU vs. Texas A&M
- W 38-10 Texas vs. Utah
We can rest assured that the league’s abysmal performance will not be lost on the rest of the college football world, particularly the media. Big 12 homers will insist that the rest of the world is bias against the Big 12, but seriously these facts don’t lie. I think it is time to stop whining about the SEC and do something about it. You know…recruit better athletes and create better teams.
At the same time, we are stuck with the current conference alignment for the foreseeable future so I would suggest that a stop gap plan may be in order. Retooling the Big 12 image can start by beating SEC teams at the beginning of next year. Big 12 bell cows, OU and Texas will play two top 25 SEC teams next September. OU will play Tennessee at home and Texas will play a LSU team devoid of both offensive and defensive coordinators and Joe Burrow. Starting the season 2-0 against the SEC is a real possibility.
Unfortunately or fortunately (from a Big 12 perspective) OSU with their latest set of triplets will be very good next year as well. These guys should cruise through their Big 12 schedule with the exception of OU and Texas. This should land three Big 12 teams in the top 15 nationally. For the Big 12 to have three conference teams with this pedigree at the end of the season will mean a lot for the reputation of the Big 12. The rest of the league has gotten stronger so if these teams can handle their non-conference opponents, the Big 12 will be off and running.
While I must admit that I hate the thought of OSU and Texas hanging with the Sooners, this is the only way that saving this god-forsaken conference can occur. I have come to accept that Oklahoma is a backward state with redneck politicians that are never going to split OU and OSU up…so we might as well grin and bear it…
That was a tough loss for Sooner fans on Wednesday night. The Sooner women came storming back from a 17 point deficit to edge out the rival Cowgirls. This win may spell the end of the “banish Sherry” movement.
Customarily, for OU coaches, it takes three years of really bad play to send a coach to the showers and Sherry was well on her way to achieving her ticket out the door. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s win over OSU has changed things.
Joe Castiglione may have gotten a gift when the Sooner women won in Stillwater, but OU fans might think otherwise. Now we are going to be burdened with watching Sherry coach the Sooner women into her 60’s. Given her $1.1 million dollar yearly salary, Sherry will have no intention of going quietly into the night. Now, with this win Sherry can set her own terms of when and how.
With the win, OU fans will now be subjected to the drip, drip, drip of a program going nowhere. I know that waterboarding has been outlawed by the Geneva Convention, but apparently Joe Castiglione missed the memo. OU fans deserve better than this.
I hope I have to eat my words one of these days, but for now I just don’t see a way out of this malaise. From where I sit, it looks as though OU fans will be subjected to years of “just good enough” basketball on the women’s side.
I hope I’m wrong…
Protecting the Streak…
Rooting for LSU against Clemson in the CFP Championship game has become a painful, yet necessary reality for OU fans. We must now root for LSU with their obnoxious fans and their jack ass coach to protect the Streak. OU has been the most successful football team in America since WWII with seven National Championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners, but all of this pales in comparison to the Streak.
Under Bud’s tutelage back in the 50’s the Big Red won 47 games in a row. The magnitude of this feat is further enhanced when we realize that the Streak occurred during the era of 10 game seasons. Additionally, OU was also penalized by conference rules that did not allow the Sooners to play in consecutive end-of-year bowl games. Today teams play 12 game regular seasons plus a conference championship game and two CFP playoff games for a total of 15 games per year. Seems a little unfair don’t you think?
And now for the scary part…if Clemson beats LSU on Jan. 13 the Tigers will have won 30 games in a row. Combine this fact with Clemson’s incredibly weak non-conference and ACC schedule next year and the Streak could be in real trouble. If Clemson were to go undefeated in 2020 the Tigers would have 45 straight wins which would be only three short of eclipsing the Streak.
From there the news gets only worse for Sooner fans. In an ironic twist of fate the team that snapped the Streak back in ’57 would become our next best friend. Notre Dame plays Clemson next November. At that point the Clemson winning streak could reach the 40’s. Even worse, OU fans would have no choice, but to root for the Irish.
That’s right OU fans; we can root for LSU now or for Notre Dame later…seems like a no brainer to me.
We realized some time ago that playing Georgia in this year’s Bowl game would be the best course of action for the Sooners. OU could use the game as a springboard for next year. Unfortunately, Oregon screwed things up by beating Utah in the Pac 12 Championship game. OU’s consolation prize was a match-up with LSU in the CFP. Making matters worse, we had to go to war against the SEC powerhouse with a depleted lineup.
Having to go into battle with Big 12-type players against SEC monsters is cruel and inhumane. Our mental well-being was shattered even further by the embarrassing final score. Only time will heal these wounds; in the meantime OU fans may need to hear some good news to make this time go more quickly.
The good news is that Lincoln Riley knows that recruiting SEC-type players is a must for these battles. Lincoln is working day and night to make this happen. To glean something good from this year we must start with Jalen Hurts. We should be eternally grateful to Jalen as he directed this team to 12 wins this year including wins over Texas and OSU. This allowed the Lincoln Riley momentum to continue.
Jalen also provided Spencer Rattler with needed time to learn Lincoln’s system. This fact may be understated by some Sooner fans, but additional experience for Rattler will pay huge dividends down the road.
Spencer Rattler, a former 5 star recruit is the real deal. Rattler will be joined in 2020 by a stable of quality running backs, an improving offensive line and a born-again defense. This group will also be joined over the spring and summer by a bunch of SEC-type recruits.
There you have it…my silver lining for today. We need to stop dwelling on the past and focus on the future. Next year is going to be a fun ride.
The cavalry’s coming…
Wow, when it rains it pours…first, we start off as double digit dog to LSU, then we lose a boat load of players to suspension and injury. I know we’re OU, but really. Things are not looking good for the Peach Bowl. Then again, crazy things happen in bowl games and of course there is that Heisman curse thing.
My suggestion is that we all relax and appreciate the fact that we made it this far. There are 126 D-I football teams in America who would love to be in our shoes. Sooner fans should keep their sights on the future. The early signing period filled a lot of holes for next year’s team. The Sooners recruited the best group of offensive linemen in America to go along with the top two defensive tackles. On defense Alex Grinch and the OU coaches recruited its best bunch in years and as we know defense wins championships.
On offense, the Sooners were already in good shape as five-star quarterback Spencer Rattler is set to go through his second spring in Norman. Additionally, Lincoln has secured the commitment from one of the top high school quarterbacks in America for the 2021 season. Five-star recruit Brock Vandagriff out of Georgia has already committed to the Sooners. Regardless of what happens this Saturday, the Sooners will now be able to compete with the Clemson’s, Ohio State’s and LSU’s of the world in coming years.
Okay, back to the Peach Bowl…my advice to Sooner fans is to sit back and hope for the best with the realization that regardless of the game’s outcome, the cavalry is on the way.
As you know, I’ve never been keen on the idea of playing LSU in the CFP. Nothing has changed my feelings on the matter. Outside the NFL, no team in America has better athletes than LSU. This OU team has improved this year, but LSU is another matter.
I do have three pieces of good news, however. First, we made it. A month ago that possibility appeared to be slim and none. Secondly, the early signing period will occur prior to the LSU game. Thirdly, the sun will come up the next day regardless of what happens in the Peach Bowl.
Okay, point number two above is the real silver lining. As far as top notch recruits are concerned, the hay will be in the barn before the Peach Bowl game kicks off. The recruits will be more interested in next year than the score of the CFP game. The success of the 2019 season will be determined by our success during the December 18-21 signing period and not December 28. I will let you know you how that goes…
Here’s my Christmas wish list. I want the OU coaching staff to find a way to hang with LSU for a half. Next, I want to the OU Regents to find a way to keep Lincoln Riley in Norman for the foreseeable future. Finally, if my second wish happens, my third wish of a great 2020 season will be just around the corner.
Years ago, I watched as Mike Gundy honed his skills as an assistant at Maryland and Baylor as he moved closer to his dream job at OSU. I believed then that the T. Boone/Mike Gundy combination could be lethal. T. Boone eventually hired Gundy, built a new stadium along with a state of the art weight room. The Ags under Gundy were off and running.
Fortunately, for OU fans, the T. Boone/Gundy formula worked against everyone, except the Sooners. Fifteen years later Gundy has 2 wins against OU and one of those was a gift from Bob Stoops.
With T. Boone now deceased, one must wonder how long OSU can afford to pay for Gundy’s $5 million dollar yearly salary. Then, again one must also wonder how OSU can live without Gundy and his salary. To keep Gundy in Stillwater, the Ags agreed to a $6 million dollar buyout clause that must be paid on top of Gundy’s $5 million dollar yearly salary. It would take upwards of $11 million to fire the Mullet Man.
Still what came to mind after Saturday night’s game was the fact that $5 million OSU dollars leaves little room for hiring quality assistant coaches. Even the dumbest Aggie fan must realize that the OSU staff was simply out coached on Saturday night. Alex Grinch made adjustments in the 2nd half while Gundy set up his next hair appointment. Offensively, co-offensive coordinators Cale Gundy and Bill Bedenbaugh simply outfoxed Gundy’s defensive staff.
With these thoughts in mind, it’s time for the OU Regents to do some greasing of the skids themselves. This was not a great OU team this year, but this coaching staff made it work. The future looks bright with recruiting on both sides of the ball picking up.
With Jerry Jones on the verge of a head coach opening in Dallas, OU officials need to up the Lincoln ante and fast. Jerry has been playing second fiddle with Jason Garrett for far too long and I expect that he will be looking to the north for Garrett’s replacement.
We can’t let that happen…starting over is not an option.