UCF

Every year we go through this same debate…does a mid-major team deserve to be in the playoffs.   With UCF defeating Auburn last year, this debate was intensified.   With UCF facing off against LSU in another New Year’s Six Game this year, we can expect this discussion to become even more intense over the next month.   Here’s my issue with this argument…Auburn last year and LSU this year were not and are not playoffs teams either.

My second argument is that UCF can go toe to toe with fellow AAC members like Memphis and Tulsa, but would finish in the bottom half of a Power Five Conference.  Jan. 1 bowl games should not be confused with playoff games.   I’m a firm believer that a college football team will play up to their competition and that in bowl games, the teams with the most to gain, play the hardest.

For evidence of this fact we should remember the 2013 Sugar Bowl game when Alabama laid an egg against OU.  Alabama had just been beaten by Auburn and in doing so lost out on a playoff berth.  The Crimson Tide barely showed up for the game while OU who had grown tired of SEC smack talk was on a mission from God.

This same thing happened in last year’s Sugar Bowl and will likely occur in this year’s Fiesta Bowl.  In both cases, UCF will be the beneficiary.  After a 29-0 smack down last month to Alabama that ended their playoffs hopes, LSU has not been the same.  UCF on the other hand will come into the game totally focused and on a mission to represent the little guys.

This time of the year, all we have left are bowl games, but we have to be realistic about their importance to players and teams.  These games basically exist for fan and donor enjoyment.  For the most part players could care less except in the case of a mid-major team like UCF.

Now for my guilt ridden admission; I will be rooting for LSU against UCF.  While I hate LSU as much as the next guy, I have really grown tired of hearing about the UCF winning streak.  Give me a break…these guys won twelve straight this year to add to their 25 game win streak by playing a mid-major schedule.  If you want to run with the big dogs get off the porch.  That’s right schedule Power Five Conference teams.

In the end, the real issue here is about the credibility of winning streaks.  OU has winning streaks of 47, 31, and 28 games, all of which span more wins that the current UCF streak of 25.  I take these OU win streaks personally and don’t want some Johnny come lately to threaten any of them.

Enough already about the UCF win streak…

 

 

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So you’re saying there’s a chance…

This is one of my favorite “Dumb and Dumber” lines when Jim Carrey thinks he has a 1 in a million chance to get the girl.  This was the case for Kyler Murray before last Saturday’s game.  With his performance in the OU/Texas game his Heisman Trophy stock has risen dramatically.  At the same time the horses are not in the barn just yet.  Here is why I say this.

While the ESPN sports writers have Kyler on top at this point, I can assume that all of those guys saw Saturday’s games.  Even then, the margin is only two first place votes versus two second place votes for a margin of 46 to 44.  That is cutting this deal pretty close given the fact that we can reasonably assume all ten of these guys know what they are talking about.

My concern is that a certain percentage of the 870 Heisman voters will have turned in their Heisman ballots prior to Championship Saturday.   Sounds horribly irresponsible for this to be the case, but I suspect that the Heisman committee is not watching this process as closely as we are.  For those voters who missed the OU/Texas and Alabama/Georgia games they missed the defining moment of this year’s Heisman race.

Tua looked like a guy being pressed by the competition.  Kyler looked like the guy who relishes playing against the big boys.  His touchdown passes to CeeDee Lamb and Grant Calcaterra were off the charts good.  Of course his passing was matched only by his ability to use his feet to avoid tacklers.  And of course as OU fans know, he has played this way all year.

I think Kyler has a great chance of making history on Saturday and OU football has a great chance of doing the same.  OU will be the first team in college football history to have back to back Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks.  I know that Army won the Heisman two years in a row back in the 40’s, but we are talking the quarterback position here.

At the same time, don’t be surprised for reasons stated above that Kyler does not win the honor.  As someone said, stupidity cannot be cured and voting before all the games are played would quality for that award.

Regardless of what happens on Saturday night the Kyler Murray story will still go down as one of the greatest of all time.  The guy delays his professional baseball career a year in order to play for the Sooners in football.  Can you imagine Trae Young doing this…not a chance.  Kyler is a different animal and Oklahoma fans should appreciate this fact.

Pray for Sooner Magic on Saturday night…but regardless of what happens, Kyler Murray is a special breed of kid who deserves our eternal gratitude.

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

How sweet it is…

Revenge is mine sayeth the Lord;  Breckyn Hagar the Longhorn who ran his mouth last week and fired up the OU defense must have missed this Sunday School lesson.  He was on the wrong team for this prophesy to come true.  I felt pretty good going into the game, but with Hagar disparaging the Lord’s team I realized I could go ahead and book my tickets for the playoffs.

Of course Lincoln had to make things interesting by deferring to the second half, a move that guaranteed that we would be playing catch up. That’s okay this made for one of the best endings of all time.  Not since the Roy Williams “Superman” hit on Chrissy Simms some twenty years ago have we had such an “in your face” ending to the Texas game.

That dramatic hit and ending made the wait since October and the anxiety of the game worth it.  Give Ruffin McNeil credit for saving that call until that precise moment and getting the most out of his players on Saturday.  I don’t want to think about what might have happened if Mike Stoops had still been in charge at the end of that game.

Okay, now we will have to play the “be careful what you ask for” game part II.  As I said before, I don’t want any part of Alabama or Georgia. Then again, as they say “if you don’t want to hunt with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”  This is the reason five star recruits come to Oklahoma.  We are not just playing for this year; we are playing for the future.   Given this offense, I think we can hang with Alabama for a while.

And another thing, Saban and Alabama will not be around forever…someone will eventually have to take their spot…why not OU.   After all, “there is only one Oklahoma”…

Boomer Sooner…

Texas do-over…

I felt pretty good about our chances against West Virginia, but after Lincoln’s play calling went south a couple times, I was beginning to wonder. Who would have thought that our defense would be the difference in the game?

I wanted a Texas do over and I have it. I felt that we were the better team in October and I still do.  The offense will roll and the defense will play inspired.  I also like the fact that the game is not being played in the Cotton Bowl.  I like our chances.

What’s the deal with OSU…Mike Gundy is doing a jig in the locker room after the West Virginia win last week and a week later his boys lose to one of the worst teams in America. TCU was down to its walk on, third string quarterback.  OSU beats Texas, West Virginia and comes within a point of beating OU and this team loses to three of the worst teams in the conference…go figure.

After OSU’s Saturday night loss, it appears that the Cowboys may have sunk to the Cheez-It Bowl.   Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.  OSU fans will come to the game dressed as orange Cheez-Its.

I never thought I would feel bad for Kliff Kingsbury, but I sort of do. The guy seemingly saved his job by beating OSU, loses his quarterback at the half time of the OU game and loses five games in a row which meant he was toast. Good luck finding someone to recruit to Lubbock, the arm pit of the universe.

One more OSU question…one must wonder how much money T. Boone is paying Hawaii graduate transfer Dru Brown to stay in Stillwater for another year. The kid transfers from California to Hawaii to Stillwater and gets beat out by a Corndog.  Go figure…

 

 

 

 

 

Pooka Williams…

The kid that ran wild Saturday night against OU was no mistake.  Pooka was a four star prospect that David Beatty had recruited out of Louisiana two years back.  Pooka was one of several Louisiana highly ranked athletes that Beatty convinced to move from Louisiana to Kansas.  This Kansas team is well coached and has a ton of young talent. With the right guy at the helm anything will be possible moving forward.

Unfortunately, the right guy was not Coach Beatty.  He had built this Kansas team up from the ashes to make it respectable.  We saw evidence of this fact last Saturday night.   The problem is that Beatty had inherited too much baggage and the fans had lost faith as evidenced by atrocious home attendance counts.

A change was assured the moment Kansas hired Jeff Long as Athletic Director.  Long is a longtime buddy of Les Miles.   That’s right Less has fallen into tall cotton once again.

Les may be the luckiest man on planet earth…this guy fell into similar situations at OSU and LSU before arriving in Kansas.  Some will think that I am crazy believing Kansas is a good deal for anyone.  Trust me, if Mark Mangino can win at Kansas, anyone can.   It is all about timing.  Les Miles used the Kansas deal to justify a final buyout from LSU and will use his name and his Louisiana and Texas contacts to relocate a bunch more Pookas to Lawrence.

I am not saying Less will win his 2nd National Championship at Kansas, but trust me things will be different.  Expect a new stadium to be built within five years, a move that will create a meteoric rise in fan interest and recruiting.

The guy is about as likeable as a case of Shingles, but the guy can flat out coach and more importantly can flat out recruit.  It won’t happen this recruiting cycle, but within two years, he will have top 30 recruiting class in Lawrence.  With the talent now on campus, the Jawhawks will be bowl eligible within three years.

Pooka Williams will lead the way for Les Miles, the luckiest man on planet earth.

 

 

 

Another shot at Texas…

Okay, OSU and Texas did their job so now it’s our turn.  Assuming that Texas will take care of business in Lawrence next Saturday and OU wins on Friday we will have our OU/Texas rematch. I know our defense still sucks, but it can’t be any worse that it was back in October and our running game has gotten so much better.

Why do I care you may ask…I care because I don’t want to wait a whole year for another shot at Texas.  I also care because I don’t want Kyler Murray to have to go through life without a win over the burnt orange.  Kyler Murray will be like a man possessed with another shot at the Horns.

The hard part will be getting past the Mountaineers this Friday, but I am encouraged. First, OSU took the wind out of their sails Saturday night and in doing so squashed any talk of playing for a National Championship.  Football is an emotional game and having something extra to play for can be huge.

Secondly, West Va. will be taking its transcontinental flight back to Morgantown for what was already going to be a short week of practice.  OU players will be watching game field today while the boys from Morgantown will be recovering from jet lag.  It may be Tuesday, before the West Virginia players can see quality practice time.

Here’s another factor that might play into this scenario.  Word appears to be leaking out that Dana Holgorsen may be interested in the Colorado job.  Apparently, he has tired of trying to recruit players to a place with no high school football.  He saw Will Grier as his lunch ticket and they may go out together.  Regardless, these rumors can’t help team morale.

Here’s another angle…we will know after Friday night if rooting for Ohio State against Michigan Saturday morning will matter.  I have learned that in the OSU/Michigan game, anything is possible.  With a Michigan loss and with OU running the table with wins over West Virginia and Texas, that loss in the Cotton Bowl back in October would basically go away as far as the selection committee is concerned.

Who knows…even in the end a Michigan win on Saturday might create an interesting debate for the selection committee.  OU would be playing a top ten Texas team in the championship game while Michigan will be a playing a four loss Northwestern team.

As you can tell, I have changed my thinking a bit on the playoff subject.   Granted, with this defense, I don’t want any part of this Alabama team.  At the same time I don’t want any part of a Georgia team in the Sugar Bowl either.  If we are going to have to play a SEC behemoth, it might as well be in a playoff game.

Boomer Sooner…

 

Kids now days…

My dad’s generation used this excuse and at times I have conveniently used it for myself over the years; to be honest, this is a blame game gem.  The custodian in the “Breakfast Club” may have said it best when he explained to Dick, the assistant principal that kids hadn’t changed, he had.

I would suggest that the custodian had it right…this would be good advice for both Mike Stoops and Mike Gundy who have used this excuse in recent weeks.  Stoops couldn’t get his players to play for him while Gundy was sore after losing another player to transfer.

Granted, age can be a factor when relating to the younger generation, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Far more often, using the “kids now days” excuse is just a cop out, particularly useful during rough times.  Mike Stoops failed to realize that the game had passed him by and Mike Gundy was the victim of his own hypocrisy.

The Mike Stoops statement stands for itself, but the Mike Gundy part may need further explanation.  A month ago, Gundy justified using the new four game red-shirt rule to play Corndog instead of his Hawaii graduate transfer and his true freshman quarterback.  When one of his young defensive backs and a heralded receiver uses the same rationale to transfer without losing a year of eligibility, he complains about how kids have changed.

Apparently, Gundy was under the impression that young players today would be so smitten with his mullet and his locker room dance moves that they would never leave his side.  Mike Stoops assumed that players these days would relate to his rants and raves.  Both were wrong.

Personally, I tired of Stoops’ side line rants the day he called out his defensive back for playing off the Baylor receiver time and time again as the Bears quarterback picked us a part.  Possibly adjusting the formation might have been a nice touch.  I tired of Gundy’s mullet the first day I saw it and I knew full well that the Gundy dance moves would eventually wear out their welcome.

Stoops and Gundy should have seen this one coming…kids of any generation will go through a wall for a coach when treated with respect.   Stoops and Gundy apparently missed the respect memo.

Something to think about…