Finally…

ESPN just rated their best student sections of the week, and the Sooner student section was rated 4th in the country. I mention this because the crowd on Saturday night was electric.  Most student sections and crowd bases would have gone south after what we have been through this year, but not ours. 

This fact was not lost on the team as they fed off this energy to bolt to a 28-0 lead and if the truth were known, we were never threatened after that start.  It can also be assured that the intense crowd noise was not lost on multitude of high-ranking prospects that were in town for the game. 

The next time your Aggie friends go on a rant about their fan support being more loyal than ours, remind them of this poll.  Not lost in the shuffle has to be Mike Gundy’s decision to go for field goals instead of touchdowns and to punt late in the game. He basically waved the white flag of surrender for his team. 

One must wonder how the guy gets paid $7.5 million dollars for this stuff. Can you imagine OU paying someone that kind of money for a guy who has beaten his in-state rival only three times in the span of 40 years as a player and coach. That’s right the OSU regents waved the white flag years ago against OU.

Finally, what a huge win for the Sooners…not only did we hammer the Ags, we also did it front of recruits and became bowl eligible. This coaching staff can now use the extra bowl practices to prepare our young team for next season.  Regardless of what happens in Lubbock and the bowl game, this team is on the road to recovery…

Boomer Sooner…

Two steps forward…one step back…

We took two steps forward with wins over Kansas and Iowa State only to take one step back with a loss to Baylor.  Oh well, we knew it was going to be a long season after the Texas game so here we are…hoping to become bowl eligible. 

No sense rehashing the Baylor game…simply put, we were outmanned.  I would like to blame the coaches, but in reality our coaches are playing with a short stick as we try to create roster numbers to play D-I football.  The good news is that we have a bunch of young players getting a lot of playing time.

As we know bowl games have become a meaningless ritual these days, but there is one innumerable benefit to bowl games.  The teams that qualify for bowl games get 30 days for twenty extra practices.  We are at the point of looking for any silver lining to this dark cloud and this is one of those times.  We desperately need those practices to prepare for next year. 

We said that the Kansas and Iowa State games were huge, and we were right.  The West Virginia game is in the same boat.  Winning this game will not only will make us bowl eligible, winning this game will also create needed momentum going into the OSU game.    

Morgantown is a tough place to play, but at least it is not a night game…the hillbillies won’t have all day to get liquored up for the game.  With any coaching at all this week we should be able to go in there and take care of business, and yes, become bowl eligible.

Boomer Sooner…

So far so good…

I’m reminded of the guy who fell out of a ten-story building…on the way down someone asked how it was going…he yelled back, so far so good.  It is the same story for our Sooners, so far so good.

As we said earlier, the Kansas game was huge…we took care of business and then we said the same about the Iowa State game.  Mission has been accomplished on both counts, but we need more.  Now, we have some momentum and need to take down Baylor at home and West Virginia on the road. Won’t be easy, but this team can do it.  

What has become obvious about the Sooners is that having a healthy Dillon Gabriel makes all the difference in the world. We have also found that the bye week helped us immensely in getting our players back from injury.  Finally, we are finding that BV and company can actually coach. 

As fans, no one wants to hear this, but it has been fun having to get up for a Kansas and Iowa State.  I was much more into these games given the enormity of the outcomes.  Granted, I don’t want to make worrying about these teams a habit, but still, it’s been fun. 

Take care of Baylor at home and we will get to 6-3 and then we can go to Morgantown with the wind at our backs.  Next, we can come back to Norman and open up a can of butt kickin’ revenge on the Aggies. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but then again after what we have been through, we owe it to ourselves to get ahead of ourselves from time to time.

Boomer Sooner…

It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings…

The Texas game was ugly…but the outcome was never in doubt.  Because of Lincoln Riley, we had only one quarterback and no backup quarterbacks for the game and when Dillon Gabriel did not appear for the first snap, that game was over.  The only issue at that point was by how much.  The good news is that Dillon is back, and we can breathe again.  The bad news is that we have no backup quarterback so we will have to make do with Dillon until next year. 

I know that Kansas is still Kansas but trust me this year’s Kansas team on Saturday was light years better than previous teams.  A win on Saturday against the Jayhawks was critical to this season and beyond.   While the outcome did not impress fans and pollsters, this was solid performance by the good guys.

With a win over “bye” next week, we will be on our way to Ames with a two-game winning streak (okay, we can’t count the bye week, but I’m desperate).  At this point in time, every win is critical to our cause and now we must, and I mean must win in Ames. Unfortunately, Iowa State showed last Saturday that they are a pretty good team as they almost beat Texas in Austin. 

Here’s the good news…OU has played the upper crust of the conference during its losing streak.   Now we can focus on the teams in the bottom portion of the league.  Get hot at the right time and we will have a shot at taking down Baylor and OSU at home. 

All the more reason to believe that the Iowa State game could define not only this season, but seasons to come.  As we said earlier, 2022 was going to be a transitional and challenging season.  The rest of the season will not be for the faint of heart. Beating Iowa State will be another step in the right direction.     

Boomer Sooner…

What the heck…

Not since the John Blake era have we experienced anything like this.  Our defense has given up 41, 55 and 49 points in three straight losses. Making matters worse is the inability to decide who to blame. The offense is just as bad as the defense. Yes, we knew it would take some time for BV to settle in, but no one expected this. 

Of course, much of the blame can be placed at the feet of Lincoln Riley, but I suggest that the problem is bigger than that.  BV was hit with the perfect storm of Mule Shoe, the new transfer portal, and the NIL.  Then again, as I tell my students, don’t waste time agonizing over things you cannot change, spend that energy focusing on positive solutions.   

This weekend, we must beat a Kansas Jayhawk team that has used the transfer portal to move from a bottom feeder in the nation team to a top twenty-five ranked team in the country.  Believe it or not, our focus must now be on beating the Jayhawks.  I would have laughed myself sick five years ago at the thought of this proposition, but then again, this is the new age of college football that we now live in. 

Here’s the deal…someone needs to bribe the OU training staff to allow Dillon Gabriel to be removed from his concussion protocol isolation.  If not, General Booty has to be the answer on Saturday.  Yes, our defense sucks, but part of the blame lies with the offense.  If the offense can move the ball just a bit and our defense can create stops, we will have a winning proposition.  Enough of these combinations and we will leave the stadium on Saturday happy campers.  I don’t want to think about that ride home on Saturday without a win. 

With that win and a bye week win the following week, we will be on our way to a decent season. Then, BV can replicate Bob Stoops’ first year in Norman where he found himself in the same predicament after losing to Texas.  He rallied the forces, and we ended the season in the Independence Bowl. Doesn’t seem like much considering how we felt after the Nebraska game but trust me we will need that bowl game at the end of the year in the worst way for recruiting purposes.   

At this point, we need to learn how to walk before we start running again…a big part of this formula will start with a win over Kansas on Saturday. 

Boomer Sooner…

OU-Texas…

As we deliberate over the 55-24 butt kicking we took at the hands of TCU this past weekend let’s turn our attention to Texas.  This game is always huge, but it will be even bigger this year.  Many OU fans have given up on the Sooners after this past weekend, but I would suggest not jumping off that ten-story building just yet. 

We are not as good as we looked against Nebraska or as bad as we looked against TCU.   Granted we got off to a bad start against TCU, but until the Horned Frog cheap shot artist took Dillon Gabriel out of the game in the early parts of the second quarter, we still had a shot, not a great shot, but still a shot.  Seriously, that guy should be locked up for assault and battery. Once, Dillon went down, it was all over. 

Next, before we throw Ted Roof under the bus, let’s remember that Roof has probably forgotten more football than any of us will ever know.  Let’s wait until after Texas to pull the plug on the guy. Let’s also remember for Brent’s sake that it was Sooner fans that installed him as the next Pope a few months back…let’s get real though, not even the Pope could have stopped what happened on Saturday. 

To say, we were shorthanded would be an understatement. A few starters went down with injuries early in the game, but we also had eleven players who could have been with us on Saturday, but they left early for the NFL.  We also lost twelve players to the transfer portal including our quarterback, backup quarterback, offensive coordinator (Riley) and defensive coordinator (Grinch). 

I know it’s hard to be humble when you’re a Sooner, but Brent Venables will need more than a preseason to implement his game plan.  It will also take him more than one recruiting class to find the right players to buy into his mindset and to compete in today’s college football world.  Beating Texas on Saturday will go a long way in making this happen, but regardless of what happens in the Cotton Bowl don’t give up on the Sooners just yet.  Many of us have seen this movie before and we lived to tell about it. 

Boomer Sooner…

We’ll be okay…

Thankfully, we got that out of the way…We knew we would lose at least one game this year and we knew that Brent Venables would lose at least one game during his career as the head coach at OU.  Even Bud, Barry and Bob lost a game as head coach.  Now that we have that out of the way, we can focus on the rest of the season.

Realistically, only a couple teams have a shot at going undefeated this year and those two teams have to play each other so losing a game is not as big a deal as it used to be.  Losing to a well-coached K-State team is not a crime in today’s college football world.  Speaking of K-State…that team on Saturday night was the best prepared and best coached team we have seen in Norman in a long time. 

Here’s the bottom line…the K-State game was a trap game as Kansas State lulled us into a false sense of security by losing to Tulane last week.  Combine this fact with our Nebraska game and you have the ultimate trap game.  We spent our preseason focused on Nebraska and K-State spent their preseason focused on us.  We’re probably lucky that the game was as close as it was.  

There are of course some silver linings in all of this…first, the loss happened early in the season which will allow BV to right the ship prior to the Texas game.  Next, we had the light show, which was worth the price of admission, third, we hauled in over $8 million dollars in revenue which will pay for Patty Gasso’s new house as she now makes $1.6 million dollars per year and finally, the Sooners showed a lot of class by hanging around after the loss to sing the alma mater. 

Hopefully, this blog will get to all of you before someone leaps off a ten-story building because help is on the way.  Brent Venable is in the process of recruiting a top five class that will add much needed depth to our defense and receiver corps.  Next, we play Texas in two weeks and a win in the Cotton Bowl will put last night’s game in the rear-view mirror.  Finally, and most importantly, the Pink Pandas won another game this week and are now 3-1 on the season after getting off to a horrid start. 

Humm…this sounds familiar…life has a way of putting these things into proper perspective.  We’ll be okay…

Boomer Sooner…

We need this one…

That’s right, we need to win this weekend’s game in the worst way.  Some Sooner fans believe this game will be a walk in the park and I hope they are right, but I’m not so sure. 

The Scott Frost firing could not have come at a worse time for the Sooners.  With Scott Frost at the helm, the Sooners were going to waltz into Lincoln and handily take down the Huskers.  Now, we have a fan base in Lincoln ready to see their season turned around in one game with their new favorite son at the helm.   

We will also face a bunch of players who will be playing for “their” guy.  How many times have you seen this scenario where the interim coach becomes a player’s favorite.  Current players always want the interim name to be taken off the new guy’s name plate.  It makes for a better situation for them down the road. 

And of course, we have Casey Thompson who resents OU and will be trying his best to create a Texas-size do-over. He had us in his sights against Texas last year and he sees this game as his opportunity to redeem himself.

The Big Red of the North crowd will be a fifteen on a scale of one to ten. We must figure out a way to take the crowd out of the game early, hold on until half and then put the hammer down after intermission.  With Kansas State, TCU, and Texas on the horizon, this is a must game.

Boomer Sooner…

We won…

The Pink Pandas kicked butt and took names last night in tee ball.  Given the fact that we were blown out last week 16-0, this reversal of fortunes was a major accomplishment.  Apparently, it’s true what they say about a team showing the most improvement between games one and two of a season.  It is also true how much more a coach is revered between week one and week two.  The parents were ready to string me up last week…this week, I walk on water.  Trust me, this is not my first rodeo, I won’t let it go to my head. 

I suspect the game one to game two scenario will also be true this week as the Sooners face Kent State.  I suspect that the Golden Flashes are a better team than UTEP, but I also suspect the Sooners will avoid lifting up on the accelerator like they did last week.  One would think that catching the Sooners the week before the Nebraska would be problematic for us, but then again, we are talking about a different mindset in Norman these days. 

Our guys will be well-prepared and loaded for bear.  Being a night game will help as well.  The east side will be hot early on, but this week east side fans will want to stick around to see the sun set on the Golden Flashes. 

Finally, there is not a whole lot I can add to the musings of talk radio this week.  It’s going to be hard to score points on this defense and our offense will only get better with each succeeding game.  CBS already has us ranked #4 in their playoff poll which to be honest given our schedule could happen. 

Boomer Sooner and go Pandas…

It’s football time in Oklahoma…

I can’t wait to hear this phrase bellowed over loudspeaker at Memorial Stadium this year.  Like a lot of things, I’ve stopped counting the years, but if I remember correctly, this will be the 45th year to make the trek to Norman with my OU football buddy.  Forty-five years is longer than most marriages and I’ll let you fill in the blanks from there. 

Of course, I was an OU fan long before I could afford tickets to the games, and I have seen OU coaches come and go. I don’t however believe I have ever been more anxious for a new era to begin.  We have put the old Lincoln in the barn, and we are ready to take the new BV out for a spin.  I’ve been wrong before about coaching hires (Howard Schellenberg and John Blake) before, but I will bet my house that I won’t be wrong this time around.

I’m not saying we will win a Natty this year, but I am saying that we are so much closer to that happening today than we were this time last year.  As we know, God works in mysterious ways, and this includes OU football.  In order to experience a rainbow, we must sometimes endure a thunderstorm first.  This is going to one of those times. 

BV hit the ground running and does the unthinkable by bringing in a top ten class right off the bat.  Next, he brings in a top transfer group to go along with solid team that was simply waiting for someone to take charge and coach them up. This year’s recruiting class is beating out the likes of Alabama for players as the Sooners skyrocket to the top of the Class of ’23.  Last, but not least is the positive chemistry that this guy has brought to this team. 

Last season, particularly the Bedlam game was horribly painful at times, but as so often happens when we lose to the Ags, something good comes from that experience. I truly believe that Brent Venables is building something special in Norman. 

As Sooner fans, we are so blessed…we need to take a minute to breathe in this stratified air and enjoy the moment. It doesn’t get much better than this…

Boomer Sooner…