Stunner in Stillwater…

About the time I think we are through with basketball for this year, OSU lays an egg and gives me another plot line.

The best basketball coach to hit Stillwater since Eddie Sutton has decided to move on…. More importantly, for OU fans the guy who single-handedly turned the tables on OU in one season is leaving. What the heck happened?

Could it be that recruiting players to the middle of nowhere was harder than expected? Or, possibly, Underwood decided at age 55 that he did not want to spend his twilight years playing 2nd banana to Mike Gundy?  Or could it be that T. Boone was not getting enough T.V. time and became disenchanted with basketball?

Regardless of the reason/s, Underwood is off to coach the Fighting Illini and in my opinion, good riddance. This guy can flat out coach…He coached a rag-tag Sam Houston State team to the sweet sixteen last year and got OSU into the tournament for the first time in a decade.

As soon as Travis Ford was fired last year, I knew Brad Underwood would be the next OSU coach and unfortunately I was right.   The good news is that his stay on the Swine Farm was short lived.

While I know T. Boone has a bottomless pit of money, I also know he has an ego that has to be constantly stroked by his coaches.  He expects everyone in Stillwater to kiss his ring and if a head coach hesitates the least bit they are done.

Underwood’s asking price of $3 million dollars combined with Travis Ford’s $2 million dollar yearly buyout may have been more than T. Boone was willing to pay without Brad Underwood’s undying affection.

When you sell your soul to the devil, you serve at the devil’s pleasure.  OSU sold their soul to T. Boone and as a result the move just caught them a really good coach.

In any case, OU fans will take it…we have Lon Kruger who is his own man and we are okay with that.   More importantly, OU basketball will be alive and well next season while OSU breaks in another new coach.

That is why the call them Aggies…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

 

 

From 4th to 163rd

OU has gone from 4th to 163rd http://www.teamrankings.com in the span of one year. The Sooner basketball train wreck actually started last year as the Sooners suffered a record 44 point loss to Villanova in the final four. Not to be outdone this Sooner bunch lost a record twenty (20) times this year.

Mercifully the season came to an end with a twenty-point loss to lowly TCU. The Lon Kruger that we have come to adore is currently mired in one of the worst streaks in college basketball history.

The excuse used by many OU fans is that this team is incredibly young.   That may be true, but the guy making $2 million dollars a year must own this one.   He knew the team would be young last year and did little to rectify the matter. Transfers and juco players have to be recruited to fix issues created by youth.

Making matters worse is the fact that T. Boone saw the Sooner meltdown coming and pulled the plug on Travis Ford. He replaced OU’s best friend with a real basketball coach.   Going into this season OU owned OSU. That mindset has evaporated in just one season.

The saving grace for Sooner fans comes in the form of the most unlikely of candidates. Five-star recruit Trae Young spurned both OSU and Kansas to play for the Sooners. Chalk this one up to Sooner Magic.

Ironically, Trae Young’s signing with a downtrodden OU team reminds me of some to blue chip players that signed with John Blake’s sinking ship. It was crazy then and to be perfectly honest it was crazy for us to get Trae Young. The difference of course is that Lon Kruger has a clue and John Blake did not.

With the entire team back next year along with a much needed triggerman in Young, possibly the Sooners will make a 180-degree turn and make history in the other direction.

That would certainly make March a lot more fun…

Boomer Sooner

From 4th to 163rd

OU has gone from 4th to 163rd  http://www.teamrankings.com in the span of one year. The Sooner basketball train wreck actually started last year as the Sooners suffered a record 44 point loss to Villanova in the final four. Not to be outdone this Sooner bunch lost a record twenty (20) times this year.

Mercifully the season came to an end with a twenty-point loss to lowly TCU. The Lon Kruger that we have come to adore is currently mired in one of the worst streaks in college basketball history.

The excuse used by many OU fans is that this team is incredibly young.   That may be true, but the guy making $2 million dollars a year must own this one.   He knew the team would be young last year and did little to rectify the matter. Transfers and juco players have to be recruited to fix issues created by youth.

Making matters worse is the fact that T. Boone saw the Sooner meltdown coming and pulled the plug on Travis Ford. He replaced OU’s best friend with a real basketball coach.   Going into this season OU owned OSU. That mindset has evaporated in just one season.

The saving grace for Sooner fans comes in the form of the most unlikely of candidates. Five-star recruit Trae Young spurned both OSU and Kansas to play for the Sooners. Chalk this one up to Sooner Magic.

Ironically, Trae Young’s signing with a downtrodden OU team reminds me of some to blue chip players that signed with John Blake’s sinking ship. It was crazy then and to be perfectly honest it was crazy for Trae Young. The difference of course is that Lon Kruger has a clue and John Blake did not.

With the entire team back next year along with a much needed triggerman in Young, possibly the Sooners will make a 180-degree turn and make history in the other direction.

That would certainly make March a lot more fun…

Boomer Sooner

 

 

There is only one, Oklahoma… 

While the average football fan fails to comprehend this statement, those of us who have followed OU football forever get it…As a result, we realize that Bob must do what Bob must do as he disciplines Baker Mayfield.

We are not Ole Miss. or Baylor or the guys up north…we are better than that…Yes, it is frustrating when those same events that occur in Stillwater receive little or no attention and players receive no discipline, (three times in the last two years, one the week of Bedlam, OSU players were arrested for public intoxication with all situations handled internally), but then again, there is only one Oklahoma.

I hate hypocrisy as much or more than the next guy, but I also I firmly believe that what goes around comes around.

All, the more reason for Bob to keep things in check. All, the more reason for OU fans to question Barry Switzer’s take on the Baker Mayfield episode. Yes, I know that Barry tends to shoot from the hip, but his tweet that “they couldn’t have caught my quarterbacks” was simply out of line.

Not only was his tweet disingenuous, it was also untruthful.   I remember like it was yesterday the Sports Illustrated cover with quarterback Charles Thompson being led off to prison in shackles after being convicted of distributing cocaine.   The Thompson episode was just the latest in a litany of OU crimes that included four OU players being convicted of rape.

Trust me Charles Thompson was not outrunning anyone on that day….

More importantly for OU fans with short memories, the sordid end of the Barry era culminated years later with the John Blake era…John Blake takes the rap for the worst period in OU football history, but none of that would have happened if Barry had not lost control of his program and his players.

My point is this…we should all credit Barry Switzer for resurrecting the program in the early 70’s that had gone dormant after Bud left. We should give Barry his due, but we should also realize that the world has changed…

OU cannot win in today’s highly competitive college football world with a shoddy, undisciplined image. To recruit National Championship-type players, we must offer their parents something different.

David Boren, Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops understand this. That is why Joe Mixon was encouraged to go pro, Parrish Cox will not be back in Norman and Baker Mayfield must be disciplined…

These facts will encourage OU players to think twice before they embarrass the program again…Bob must do what Bob must do and Baker because he loves being a Sooner will handle it like a man.   OU football will be better for it…after all…

There is only one Oklahoma…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

Class of 2018 Recruiting…

The latest 247sports recruiting rankings sprinkled in with information to spice up the rankings.

  1. Penn State – Former Vanderbilt coach will produce a winner in Happy Valley.
  2. Miami – Former Georgia coach Mark Richt was a great hire to harness south Florida athletes…
  3. Florida State – Seminoles are loaded for a Final-four run…
  4. Notre Dame – same old Notre Dame – Irish recruit lights out and then do nothing with it.
  5. USC –The USC players were right with their coach pick. USC will be final-four team for years…
  6. Clemson – With DeShaun Watson gone, Clemson will fall back into ACC pack.
  7. Kansas – New Orleans high school coaches boycotting LSU. KU asst. coach picking up pieces.
  8. LSU – With Louisiana talent, LSU will always be good, but will always play 2nd fiddle to Alabama.
  9. Texas A&M – SEC move continues to pay off for Aggies…
  10. Ala. –The Tide will ebb and flow leading up to signing day, but will end up #1 in the rankings at the end of the day.
  11. Ohio State – Urban Meyer may be losing his swagger after the Clemson smack down last year…
  12. BYU – The team is older than some NFL teams with most players married with children…
  13. OU – OU already has a five star player in this class in Southmoore’s Brey Walker.
  14. Louisville – Bobby Petino was a solid hire at Louisville. The Big 12 missed out on Louisville.
  15. Washington – Pac 12 team that is outside the soft norm. Will help USC reach the final four.
  16. Georgia – Recruits lights out every year and every year is overshadowed by other SEC teams.
  17. Michigan State – Same for Spartans in the Big Ten…
  18. Auburn – #18 in recruiting will not cut it at Auburn…I don’t expect Guy Malzahn to be long for Auburn.
  19. Nebraska –Mike Reilly was not a splashy hire, but this guy is a good fit at Nebraska..
  20. Miss. State – Bulldogs will benefit from the NCAA investigation and penalties at Ole Miss…
  21. NC State – Always the bridegroom and never the Bride in ACC…
  22. Virginia Tech – Justin Fuente, the former OU QB is the feel good story of the decade….
  23. Tennessee–Butch Davis is not long for Knoxville. Great recruiter, but lousy coach…
  24. Texas Tech – Decent ranking, but I will have to see it to believe it…
  25. Michigan – This will not get it done for the Wolverines.

Other Big 12 teams…

  1. OSU – Cowboys go back to Denton Guyer for next quarterback.
  2. Baylor – Bears continue to rebound under Matt Rhule…
  3. Texas Texas junior day pays off with big bump…
  4. TCU – Horned Frogs will always recruit well in Dallas.
  5. West Virginia – needs to join league closer to home…
  6. Iowa State – Young coach Jeff Campbell continues to impress…

Big 12 no-shows in early going…

Kansas State – With Bill Snyder on the mend and KU getting better, the pressure will be on the Wildcats this year…

 

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I know you were probably expecting my take on the Baker Mayfield/Arkansas story, but I see that one as a non-story.   My Arkansas sources, Bubba and Joe Bob have informed me that Baker simply came across some bad moonshine while on a Snipe Hunt.  The rules to a Snipe Hunt in Arkansas are simple…The first guy to find someone with a full set of teeth wins…

Unfortunately, winning the prize took longer than expected so the bad moonshine had plenty of time to turn toxic.   Baker learned a lesson.  Stay out of Arkansas and stay away from bad hooch.

Baker will apologize to the Sooner Nation, beat Ohio State on the road and everything will be forgotten…

Now, on with the show…

Today’s story for the 2nd time in six months is Kansas…

Kansas…

Back in the late 70’s Kansas actually went toe to toe with the Sooners and Cornhuskers in recruiting. The player craved by all three was Kerwin Bell, a five star running back out of California.

People were shocked when KU pulled a rabbit out of the hat and landed Bell. Of course just like the Ole Miss. of today, KU ended up on probation two years later.  That did not matter as Kansas like today was desperate.  Bell was the Big 8 freshman of the year in 1980 and the Jayhawks actually became competitive in football and won a few games.

Just like 1978, KU is back in the recruiting business as the Jawhawks are currently ranked ahead of OU and Nebraska in the latest 247sports recruiting rankings for the Class of 2018.

Two things have happened to make this football resurgence possible.   Kansas’ head coach David Beatty has found fool’s gold in the form of Louisiana recruits.  He has sent a young, energetic assistant coach to New Orleans to recruit the town and he has convinced six players, three four-star and three three-star recruits to leave Louisiana for Kansas.

Again, this move may be fool’s goal, because the word on the street is that the run on New Orleans is due to a boycott by New Orleans high school coaches of LSU, but it is a start.   If KU can pick up LSU’s loose change, KU could become competitive in this woefully weak league.

Yes, I know it is early, but this has never happened before and will likely never happen again, so a Kodak moment is in order.  There may possibly be another cause for KU to get back into the football business.

Is it possible that the KU administrators are finally figuring things out…Yes, basketball will always be king at KU, but after paying for Bill Self’s exorbitant salary, having money left over to pay for the other 18 non- revenue sports will always be in short supply.

Renovating or tearing down one of the worst football venues in America and filling it up with live bodies would be much more profitable.   Basketball wins championships, but football pays the bills.   Who knows, this football business may actually catch on in Lawrence.

Tomorrow we will examine the latest 247sports recruiting rankings sprinkled in with information to spice up the rankings.

 

Baylor…

Several years ago, Baylor hired Art Briles as head coach.   Briles was one of the winningest coaches in Texas high school football history.  As everyone knows Texas high school football is a win at all cost industry so Briles came by his Baylor behavior honestly.

Eventually, Baylor under Art Briles became the poster child for “lack of institutional control.” Rapists disguised as football players wreaked havoc on the Waco campus.  His players also played with a sense of thuggery not seen since the Jimmy Johnson/Miami days.

Briles used his Thug Brigade to beat the Sooners in back to back seasons, which still sticks in the craw of Sooner fans.   As always happens however, the Grim Reaper had the last laugh and the Baylor machine came crashing down.

When push came to shove, embarrassed Baylor officials finally got it right.   Baylor Regents fired Briles along with the Athletic Director and university president and set out to right the ship.  Next, they coaxed long time good guy Jim Grobe out of retirement to coach the Bears.

They also released the recruits from the Class of 2016 to go elsewhere. The new guys jumped at the chance, which left Baylor with the shell of its former recruiting class for that year.

Adding insult to injury members of the Briles coaching staff spent the year looking for new employment. This meant there was no one left in town to entertain in-season recruits.

Losing one recruiting class is one thing, but losing two in a row is the kiss of death.   It appeared to everyone that the Baylor was toast.  And then, it happened for a second time in less than six months, Baylor did something right.

Baylor hired Temple’s Matt Rhule. Rhule had just coached a moribund Temple program to back to back ten win seasons and more importantly, he did it the right way.  The Baylor players on campus bought in to the Rhule rule and recruiting took off like a shot.

It is important to keep in mind that Waco is located in what can be described as the golden triangle of high school football. Positioned between Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, there are more prime time football players within 100 miles of Waco than in most states.

Baylor went from having one recruit at the end of November to a full complement of players on signing day. Baylor went from a Rivals class ranked #190 to a group just outside the top thirty.

For many OU fans the resurrection of a lifeless Baylor program may not be good news. As for me Baylor will never be a real threat…I blame Mike Stoops for those Baylor losses a few years back.

I instead see Baylor as a buffer to the color orange in Austin and Stillwater. Having a strong Baylor is a good thing.

2017 Big 12 recruiting rankings…

1….. OU (#7 nationally)

2….. Texas (#31)

3….. Baylor (#33)

4….. OSU (#37)

5….. TCU (#41)

6….. Iowa State (#44)

7….. Texas Tech (#47)

8….. West Virginia (#51)

9….. Kansas (#56)

10… Kansas State (#61)