Sooner Magic…

It’s like Ground Hog Day all over again…Texas knew what was coming but couldn’t stop it.  The ESPN game predictor had Sooner chances of winning the game at less than 8% at the beginning of the fourth quarter…then it happened. Sooner Magic hit the Cotton Bowl…

We scored 35 points in the second half and in doing so won an OU-Texas game for the ages.  It was an unbelievable football game that turned on a dime by a coaching move made by Lincoln Riley as he did what had to be done.   He replaced Spencer Rattler with Caleb Williams.  And as they say the rest was history, not only for that game, but for the rest of the season.   

I would like to say that I was surprised by the comeback, but not really.  The Sooners tested my mettle at 38-20, but I still felt that we would find a way to win.  This OU team is a team of destiny.   We were the better team going into the game and it simply took a little longer than we had envisioned for this to be born out.   Give Casey Thompson and Texas credit, they are much better than I thought they were.   They gave us all we wanted, but in the end, Sooner Magic won out… 

I would like to say that this “winning against Texas” stuff is getting boring, but after all those lean years growing up, I believe that I can handle a few more years of this feeling.  I vividly remember the 60’s when Texas would taunt us every year with a possible win only to turn the tables late and send us home with thoughts of what might have been.  That era of twelve losses in thirteen years will always be burned into my psyche.  

As for the present, this OU team grew up on Saturday on both sides of the ball.  Of course, watching a true freshman quarterback become a man before our very eyes was pretty nice as well.   What happens next will be Lincoln’s problem, but for Sooner fans, we’ve got our answer at quarterback.  For Caleb Williams to do what he did in front of the most frenetic environment on the planet was mind boggling.    

Of course, keeping the heads of Sooner players on straight this week, particularly with a full-blown quarterback controversy and a Texas hangover to deal with will be a challenge…but that is why Lincoln gets paid the big bucks. 

In the meantime, we need to savor “a win for the ages”.    Wrap your head around these stats…we just beat Texas for the 6th time out of seven and tenth time out of thirteen games.  It doesn’t get any better than this…

Boomer Sooner…

OU-Texas…

First off, let’s get the issue of idiot OU fans out of the way.  I learned years ago that you can’t fix stupid, so rehashing this stuff may be a waste of time, but it is still embarrassing.   Lincoln Riley recruits the top quarterback in the country, and this is not good enough for some OU fans. 

For the record however, this is nothing new at Oklahoma.  OU is like most elite programs; we will always have our share of boo birds no matter what we do.  I’m sure, Clemson is getting their share of flyovers this year as well.  It goes with the territory…it’s just unfortunate that this stuff is spewed out of the mouths of over-the-hill losers who can barely spell football and that the boos are directed at 20-year-old kids.  I don’t care about this NIL crap, they’re still kids. 

For the record, section 108 in the upper deck is not immune from this behavior.  A few years ago, a liquored-up fan and I almost came to fist city when he cheered for a Landry Jones injury.   Just like today, he wanted to force the coach’s hand to play the back-up quarterback.  Fortunately for me, he was too inebriated to negotiate the steps to get at me as I called him out on the matter.   Of course, to hear my daughter tell the story, we took care of that guy that day…of course she may be just a bit prejudiced. 

The bottom line is like I said going in…you can’t fix stupid so why try.  It’s always better to spend positive energy on other things.  Spencer Rattler is taking care of the boo birds as he dismantled the West Virginia defense on the final drive of the Mountaineers game and then did the same against Kansas State on the first drive of the second half. 

Here’s a stat for you.   In the last six quarters Spencer Rattler has competed 36 of his 40 passes and in doing so has gotten us ready for Texas.  I think this guy is pretty good.   He is also our best chance at a great 2021 season.  Will we win a National Championship this year, probably not, but we can still have a great season. 

While I do expect the Cotton Bowl Brawl to be a nail biter this year, I also think that we are the better team.   The offensive line is beginning to gel and the running game is coming around.  Spencer is simply doing what Spencer does best, orchestrate touchdown drives. 

Nothing has changed as the Sooners need to take care of business one game at a time.  Win by four or by forty, who cares.  We’re better than Texas and I look for a breakout game in the Cotton Bowl.  Texas fans who have learned to hate us, will get another dose of hate serum on Saturday.  

Boomer Sooner…

The grind…part IV…

It was another grind for the Sooners on Saturday night as we waited until the last four minutes of the game to get it together…the good news is that Spencer Rattler orchestrated that final drive and did so flawlessly.   It is that drive that gives us hope moving forward.

Of course, OU fans were fuming mad that it took so long, but then again, I have to ask those fans…would you rather have lost and be 3-1.  Here’s the scary thought.  A lot of OU fans would answer that question in the affirmative.  They want to force Lincoln’s hand at quarterback.  For those fans, they can forget it…that ain’t going to happen. 

In this case Lincoln is right…can you imagine inserting a true freshman quarterback into the lineup with this offensive line and this anemic running game?  Those same fans would be jubilant at the sight of Caleb Williams trotting onto the field, but just as quick to condemn the move when it failed.  

Okay, while I am not a football coach, I do play one on t.v. so these are my suggestions moving forward.   The offensive line is still a big-time work in progress.  We need to find one thing that these guys can do well and focus on that area.  We simply must establish a run game which will in turn make the passing game more efficient.   I believe that we still have the necessary parts to make this happen, so we just must stick with it. 

The second thing is that Lincoln Riley must spend a lot more time in the film room this week.  His play calling on Saturday was abysmal.  A reoccurrence of this fact in Manhattan next Saturday will be a killer.  

Each week, we think this is the week where we break out, but next Saturday may be our last chance to make it happen.  We are running out of time before the OU-Texas game so creating confidence before we roll into Dallas will be huge. 

Boomer Sooner…

Crunch time…

As Taylor said, there may be only one team in America that can hold the Sooners to one touchdown and that team is OU. On another hot, sweltering day we were witness to two things…an offense that is not clicking on all cylinders and a bunch of fans, not conditioned for that kind of heat that should not have been anywhere near that stadium on Saturday.  Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about either one. 

As for the football side of this dilemma, it may be time to stop saying that our opponent is better than people think and face the reality of the situation.  We may not be as good as we thought.   We’re three games into the season and our offensive line is not any better than it was going in.  Granted, Spencer Rattler has his own set of problems, but he nor Caleb Williams can block and throw at the same time. 

On Saturday, he spent most of the day running for his life.  At the same time, when he did have time, he threw into double and triple coverage.   He is also not a running quarterback and even if he were, he needs to get down before taking a hit…seriously…

The good news is that the defense continues to improve at warp speed.  In reality, we held Nebraska to nine (9) points on Saturday.  That late score would never have happened if DJ Graham had batted his interception away instead of hauling it in at the three.  Then again, if he had batted the ball away, we would not have witnessed one of the greatest interceptions of all time. 

Long story short is that we still have a lot of work to do and secondly each game is going to be a grind this year…those traditional blowouts may be few and far between.   Here’s your good news…if our defense can continue to play at this clip throughout the season, we’ll be okay, maybe not great, but possibly good enough. 

Here’s more good news…parity to college football may have finally arrived, and the top dogs may be beatable this year.  We also have two thirds of the season left to work out the kinks so don’t give up the ship just yet…

Boomer Sooner…

Bragging rights…

Back in the day my Edmond North Huskies could not score a touchdown much less beat Edmond Memorial in football.   For someone as competitive as me, this was like being sentenced to the world down under.  With the help of an equally competitive staff of teachers, we took it upon ourselves to create a paradigm shift.   If not football, possibly academics held the key. 

With information from College Board (AP) and US News and World Report we did just that.   Almost immediately, we used players recruited via the academic route to beat Memorial again, and again and again.  Under my watch, we never lost to the Bulldogs after that.   

To this day, I love examining the high school rankings to see how my former high schools are doing.  I also love comparing local high schools to their district counterparts.  Comparing football powerhouses on the east to those on the west side of the state can be equally satisfying.  It is my belief that high schools can and should aspire to be the best in both areas. 

I have highlighted some of this information below.   For a more in-depth view you can go to usnewsandworldreport/rankings/highschools/Oklahoma

US News and World Report High School rankings…

Edmond North (4)

Edmond Memorial (5)

Edmond Santa fe (7)


Westmoore (11)

Moore High School (27)

Southmoore (54)


Mustang (24)

Yukon (36)


Norman North (8)

Norman High (13)


Jenks (14)

Owasso (22)

Union (39)

Broken Arrow (41)

Note: As you will see from the master list, the top three Oklahoma high schools on the academic list are magnet or charter schools.  Those guys play by a different set of enrollment rules…sort like Tulsa schools in football. 

A win is a win is a win

In 2018 OU played Army and ended up beating the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime.   That was an ugly win, but a win none the less.  I remember thinking when that game was tied at 21-21 that we simply needed to win the game and move on.  We won the game and we moved on…

Things can always be worse…remember how we felt after losses to Kansas State over the past few years.  Those were ugly losses that we never fully recovered from.   A win is always better.  

It is also important to put the Tulane game in perspective.   Tulane was a well-coached team that hung around just long enough to make things interesting. The game setting resembled a spring game with no band, no student section and only a smattering of fans played in 100-degree heat.  This was an upset in the making.     

We won the game and as a result, we still have all our goals ahead of us.  The good news is that the defense will be better this year.   We still have Spencer Rattler who threw for over 300 yards on Saturday.   We also have the greatest backup quarterback (Caleb Williams) in America to back up Rattler. 

Granted the loss of wide receiver Theo Weese will hurt, but maybe he will be back sooner than expected.  Regardless, we still have a bunch of topflight receivers to turn to.  We also have a reborn Kennedy Brooks and stud transfer Eric Gray as running backs.     

The truth of the matter is that by the end of the season, this ugly loss will be forgotten.  The players and the coaches will get wake up calls that will help prepare the team for tough outings down the road.  This learning curve will help us immensely as we prepare for games in Manhattan and Dallas in weeks five and six.   

Like I said.  A win is a win is a win…we’ll take it.  Time to move on.  

Boomer Sooner…

Skewed numbers…

Numbers are important, but far too often they are easily manipulated.   Berry Tramel is on a mission to right the OSU ship after OU left them for the SEC.   Tramel is also the master of misinformation.   This time, he is using t.v. ratings to make his case.  I have listed those numbers at the end of this blog.

Notre Dame, the Big Ten and the SEC top the t.v. list…no surprise there.  The Big Ten plays in a densely populated area of the country and their games are played at night.  As for the SEC, eight of these teams are ranked in the top twenty so they help each other.  They also play their games in prime time.    

OU’s numbers are worse than they should be because the Sooners play in the Big 12 and at 11:00.  OSU numbers are helped because they play a ratings bonanza game every year called Bedlam. 

As for Tramel’s use of these numbers to support OSU’s candidacy for Pac 12 membership, I suggest that he must be smoking some good stuff.   There is a reason that OSU has not been invited to the Pac 12 prom.  The Pac 12 uses a different set of metrics than what Berry Tramel is throwing out there.  

Tramel’s viewership average over a five-year period…

  1. Ohio State – 5.19 million
  2. Alabama – 5.09 m.
  3. Michigan – 4.18 m.
  4. Notre Dame – 3.61 m.
  5. LSU – 3.22 m.
  6. Auburn – 3.12 m.
  7. Georgia – 2.91 m.
  8. OU – 2.90 m.
  9. Clemson – 2.67 m.
  10. Penn State – 2.6 m.
  11. Florida – 2.46 m.
  12. Wisconsin – 2.27 m.
  13. Texas – 2.26 m.
  14. Florida Sate – 2.23 m.
  15. Michigan State – 2.20 m.
  16. USC – 1.98 m.
  17. Tennessee – 1.85 m.
  18. Texas A&M – 1.75 m.
  19. Oklahoma State – 1.64 m.
  20. Ole Miss. – 1.69 m.
  21. Iowa – 1.57 m.
  22. Nebraska – 1.55 m.
  23. Miami – 1.50 m.
  24. TCU – 1.49 m.
  25. Stanford – 1.43 m.

PW10…

What goes around, comes around…In 1958, the Oklahoma legislature pressured OU to allow Oklahoma A&M to join the Sooners in the Big Seven Conference.  The State of Oklahoma was a bigger rural state then than it is today.  Those backroom politicians

The Oklahoma A&M resume’ for applying for what would then become the Big Eight was playing in a basketball league alongside Tulsa, Drake, Wichita State and Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference. 

The next year, OSU did their best to change their image.  OSU may be the only team in America that has changed both its name and its mascot.  The Big Eight with OU and Nebraska doing the heavy lifting created the best football conference in America.  In 1971, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado finished the season #1, 2, and 3 in the final rankings.   

OSU was actually competitive in the league through a combination of cheating and T. Boone’s money (or a combination of the two).  T. Boone is gone now, and things have changed.   The local press ignored the original implosion of the Big 12 Conference back in 2016 and advertised the new league as the greatest thing since sliced bread.  It wasn’t and everyone knew it.     

Without rehashing recent realignment news, it appears that there will be four Power Conferences when the dust settles.  The Big 12 will go the way of the dinosaurs as Iowa state will use this year’s stellar season and its academic standing to get an invite from the Big Ten.  West Virginia will weasel its way into the ACC and the deed will be done.  OSU will end up in one of the Group of Five Conferences (AAC or Mountain West).    

Steeley’s uncle from KREF 1400 has this thing all figured out.   He has OSU becoming part of the PW10 Conference.   According to Uncle, the Pop Warner 10 Conference will consist of OSU, El Reno Community College, Redlands College, the Oologah Volunteer Fire Department, the Burns Flat Beauty Academy and five teams to be named later.  

I don’t know where Uncle is getting his information, but he may not be far off.  Life has a way of working its way out over time.  OSU used its political muscle to get into OU’s conference back in the day.  Now, it looks like they will be shacking up with a bunch of chumps in the PW10. 

What goes around, comes around…

Boomer Sooner…

Joe Harroz…

OU has had a number of great presidents over the years…from David Ross Boyd who began the greatness on the prairie legacy to George Lynn Cross, David Boren and now Joe Harroz.  Putting Harroz on this auspicious list so early in his career may appear conspicuous, but I suspect we will look back a few years from now and whole heartedly agree that he belongs there.

Far too often in these situations a guy who gets the job may not be a committee’s first choice, but that that person will end up becoming the best choice.  We are blessed that the other guy did not work out and that Harroz was still waiting in the wings. 

As for OU Presidents, you must love George Lynn Cross who told it like it was to the Oklahoma legislature.  He stated unabashedly that he wanted to create a university that the football team would be proud of.  He also got the Big Red Machine rolling in the 50th’s by hiring Bud Wilkinson. 

Of course, Sooner fans also must appreciate David Boren for restarting Sooner football twenty years ago by firing John Blake and hiring Bob Stoops.  Boren was a great President, but he had his Achilles Heel.  He insisted on taking care of OSU. 

In terms of leadership style, Joe Harroz is a fac simile to Boren with one exception.  He is going to take care of OU first.  His decision not to consult with the OSU brass about our move to the SEC is a prime example of this fact. 

The following statement by Joe Harroz about the SEC move tells us a lot about him…

“In the 130-year history of the University of Oklahoma athletics, this is a significant decision,” said Oklahoma president Joe Harroz. “In 2012, OU took time and thought about whether or not we should make a conference change at that time. In the end, we decided to stay…in the Big 12 Conference. So, what’s changed? And the answer is everything. The Big 12 [is] the last in line for media negotiations and being last in line has consequences. We sat back and we asked what’s important to the University of Oklahoma…The role of athletics plays a critical role in the life of a university. Windows open and opportunities can evaporate in a moment. We believe that joining the SEC will sustain our national caliber and traditions.”

It looks there may be a new sheriff in town…ya’ gotta love it.

Boomer Sooner…


 [ES1]

Bedlam…

As things currently stand, we may be stuck with Bedlam through the 2025 season, but in my heart of hearts, I believe this thing won’t drag out that long.  Which means we may be rid of Bedlam Sooner rather than later. 

Bedlam is played each year to make OSU football relevant and to create a lose-lose situation for the Sooners.   Of course, relativity is in the eyes of the beholder.  Over the past 115 years OSU has come out on top 18 times.  That is their idea of being relevant. 

What’s my point…my point is that due to realignment, we may be done with this Bedlam  nonsense as early as next year.  I know, we should never say never, but there is real hope here.   The value of the SEC move for OU will be up in the air for a while, but the possibility of ridding us of Bedlam will be worth the price of admission.       

OU President Joe Harroz is saying all the right things about the Bedlam issue and in doing so has kept the Aggie politicians at bay.  From a scheduling standpoint continuing Bedlam will not be financially feasible after a Big 12 breakup.

The expanded SEC will likely create a nine-game conference schedule that will leave room for three non-conference games.  OU already has three non-conference games contracted through 2026.   Below, I have listed next year’s non-conference schedule.  Similar OU non-conference schedules exist for the next six years.   

Legally and financially, I just don’t see a way out of these contracts.  Non-conference games are scheduled years in advance and buying out a game would cost the Sooners a ton of money.  Between the buyout clause and the home game revenue generated from the game itself, I would estimate lost revenue at $8 million dollars.  Even with SEC money, OU simply cannot afford that kind of loss. 

All of this may help kick the Bedlam can on down the road.   We hope…

Prospective 2022 Sooner Football Schedule with contracted non-conference games…

Game 1. UTEP (non-conference)

Game 2. @ Nebraska (non-conference)

Game 3. Arkansas

Game 4. Texas

Game 5. LSU

Game 6. Kent State

Game 7. Texas A&M

Game 8. Auburn (prospective opponent from eastern division)

Game 9. Ole Miss.

Game 10. Missouri

Game 11. Florida (prospective opponent from eastern division)

Game 12. Mississippi State