Anxiety attack…

We now know that we will play a non-conference game along with nine conference games this season.  According to Joe Castiglione, we will play three games within five weeks which means we will play Missouri State on September 12th and Baylor on October 3rd.  The question now is who will be the mystery team in the middle of that sandwich.

Rumor has it that Big 12 officials want the Big 12 to start the season off with a bang so they are looking for rivalry games for that first conference weekend.    For OU this would mean either Texas or OSU. Texas will never agree to move their OU game away from October 10th and of course no one tells Texas what to do, so that would leave OSU. 

With their best team in years OSU would love the opportuniy to start the season on national t.v. against the Sooners.  For OSU this would be a dream come true.  For OU on the other hand, this would be a lose-lose situation.  

We are expected to beat OSU every year and as a result, the Sooners will have everything to lose and nothing to gain.  Next, the Sooners will start an inexperienced quarterback in Spencer Rattler.  We know that Spencer is going to be a star, but why put him in the fire swamp right out of the chute.  Give him a game or two to find his bearings. 

OSU on the other hand will start a former four-star quarterback who showed spurts of brillance last year.  The Ags will also trot out an experienced team with exceptional skill position players.   For the first time ever, this game will be played in front of phantom fans which means the Sooners’ home field advantage will be minimized. 

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been licking his chops for several years hoping that someone would knock the Sooners off their high horse.  He wants conference parity in the worst way and I would not put it past him to use this game to make that happen.

I  know all OU fans want football, any kind of football in the worst way, but we don’t want it to happen at OU’s expense.  It will be Joe Castiglione’s job to make sure that OU’s interests are protected and that this sordid scenario does not happen.   This pandemic is not the Sooners’ fault and having to play a game of this nature due to the virus is simply unacceptable.    

Boomer Sooner…

Conference plus two schedule…

The latest coronavirus player revolt in the Pac 12 will likely spread nationwide and if that happens it may be the death knell for college football this fall.  If that happens we will be praying for a spring season.  In the meantime, Big 12 officials will decide what to do with a fall season this week just in case it happens.   

The other Power Conferences have settled on playing ten game conference schedules this year with the ACC going one better by adding one non-conference game to their ten game conference schedule.  This really puts the Big 12 in a bind as we max out at a nine game conference schedule. 

The first proposal on the table at the Big 12 meetings this week will be a conference plus one schedule.  For OU this will consist of playing a conference schedule along with Missouri State.  The unfortunate part of this schedule is it’s strength of schedule weakness.  While Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama will have strong resumes made up of power conference teams, OU’s schedule will be woefully weak by comparison.  More importantly OU will be  seriously handicapped when the playoff selection committee meets at the end of the season. 

If conference officials choose to think outside the box and go with a conference plus two schedule we might have a chance in the strength of schedule area.  For OU, let’s keep Army on our schedule.  Granted, Army is not Tennessee, but Army would certainly give our non-conference schedule much needed substance.

Conference officials should continue to allow teams to start in August and they should redesign the schedule to move Big 12 teams to early year open dates created by this mess.   Then, the schedule makers should create additional open dates later in the year to accommodate Covid 19 issues. Here is the mock conference plus two schedule. 

August 29-Missouri State

September 5 -open date

September 12-Big 12 opponent

September 19-open date

September 26-Army

October 3-Baylor

Rest of conference season with additional open dates as needed.

The August opener will serve additional purposes…first, Big 12 players and teams can be showcased to the nation for that first couple weeks.  We’ll be the only game in town.  That weekend will also be the propsosed date of the Sooner Summit.   This will be an opportunity for Caleb Williams to recruit some of his five star buddies to Oklahoma.     

This fall season is hanging on by a thread, but if it happens, we need to be ready.  Joe Castiglione needs to insist on a conference plus two schedule.  

Boomer Sooner…

John Blake…

From all accounts John Blake was a stand up guy who was respected by all.  You can’t do much better than that.  It’s unfortunate that his football life was characterized by his days as the Head Coach at OU. It was to say the least ugly.  A three year period without a winning season… the only time in OU history.  

Unlike many, I feel badly for John Blake because he deserved better.  Most importantly, this should never have happened.  You can’t blame John Blake for applying for the job with no experience.  We have to believe in ourselves and John Blake was given the opportunity of a life time and he took it.    

OU fans were desperate after the Howard Schnelenberger debacle and we wanted to believe that John Blake would be the answer.  We were sucked into this thought by people we trusted.   Barry Switzer had campaigned for Blake to get the job the first time around and when it came open a year later, he would not he denied.  

Al Eschbach, the Sports Animal loud mouth saw John Blake as his ticket to the big time, not to mention a way to buddy up to the King.  Neither Barry nor Al considered the ramifications to John Blake if he got hired.  Between Barry and Al and starved OU fans, the Regents were outnumbered and hiring John Blake was the only way for them to stay in town.  This ended up being bad news for OU fans and bad news for John Blake.  He was in over his head. 

John Blake was mercifully relieved of his duties three years later.  Good news for OU fans and if the truth be known, good news for John Blake.  Fortunately, there is a good ending to this story.

Unknown to most OU fans, John Blake won a National Championship in 2000.  Yes, Bob Stoops was the Head Coach, but Bob won that trophy with John Blake’s players.  You see, John Blake was one heck of a recruiter.  

Every OU coach has a legacy and in John Blake’s case helping make that 2000 National Championship season happen will be his…

Boomer Sooner…

Same old story…

You gotta love it…OSU decides to conduct an internal investigation into Mike Gundy’s behavior and as expected he is cleared of all charges. That’s right, he talks and walks like a racist, but he’s going to take sensitivity classes and get all better.  Being a fly on the wall in those sessions would be fun.  Teaching Gundy to spell sensitivity should take at least two or three sessions.

Thankfully, the NCAA did not leave it up to OSU to investigate OSU’s latest “pay for play” basketball scheme.  They asked the FBI to step in and as you might imagine the results were decidedly different. 

In a nut shell, the NCAA with the help of the FBI lowered the boom on the OSU basketball program. OSU’s near-death penalty will include sanctions for three years, a loss of scholarships for three years and a ban from post season play for this year. 

OSU fans should be excited…their beloved athletic program has made history again. The Ags who were already the most penalized athletic program in NCAA history out did themselves this time.  OSU is now the only school in NCAA history to suffer a near-death penalty in both football and basketball.  That my friend is hard to do.  

Oh well, nothing will ever change in Stillwater…they screw up in reverse every time they try to outdo big brother.  This year’s OSU recruiting class was on paper their best ever.  With NCAA sanctions in place, those recruits are free to enroll somewhere else.  Granted their big dog will spend some time in Stillwater, but he’s a one and done guy so his stay will be short lived.  With no post season play, having this year’s recruiting class around will lack any bluster.  

OU on the other hand had one of their worst recruiting classes ever as OU and Lon Kruger basically took the year off knowing that they had a solid team returning.  For next year, the Sooners are on the verge of one of their best classes in a while.  I’ll have more on that later, but the bottom line is that OU will end up having the last laugh in this deal. 

Hopefully, OSU fans will remember last year’s game against OU when they rushed the court.  Hopefully, these same fans recorded that event because I don’t I expect that to happen again for a while. 

Boomer Sooner…

Crazy summer…

This has to be the craziest summer on record and if last week is any indication, things are about to get even crazier.   The latest Vegas odds for playing football this fall now stand at 50-50.  The Vegas guys have been hanging out with the NCAA Commissioner who can’t make a decision on this matter either.   He has abdicated his role to the Power Five Conference Commissioners.  Right on cue, they appear to be split on the matter.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 announced last week that they will play only conference games this fall and the ACC will apparently make that same announcement by the end of the month.  Even though southern states have experienced a sunami-type surge in covid 19 cases the SEC is not the least bit interested in  calling off the season.   That leaves the Big 12…

With only ten teams to play nine games, the Big 12 is in a box when it comes to playing a conference only schedule.  The Big 12 also has another problem that no one else has.  How do you stay local as health experts have suggested when you have one conference team located just this side of Outer Mongolia? Let’s call it like it is…The Big 12 has no leg to stand on when it comes to this issue.  At this point, it would be best for the Big 12 to call it like it is and forge forward with a full regular season schedule. 

Let the academic conferences play an abbreviated schedule and allow the football boys have a full slate of games.  This will make everybody happy and give OU a huge advantage.  To elevate the status of the Big 12, OU will play an SEC team in Norman and Texas will play one in Baton Rouge.  These games will give the Big 12 a huge leg up in the race to the top when it comes to strength of schedule. 

As a result, if OU can run the table and then beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game, it would come down to OU and the SEC champion for that coveted top playoff spot.  OU would have no less than a two seed which is critical to winning a National Championship. 

That’s right OU would go from today’s Vegas odds of no chance of winning a National Championship to a an excellent chance.  Ohio State which currently reigns as the top Vegas team to end up on top will come in at 3rd or 4th  in the seeding process due to its weak schedule.    Playing a conference full of Big Ten patsies won’t do much for a team’s strength of schedule resume.

Like they say…if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.  In this scenario, Ohio State may be staying on the porch.  I think Ryan Day should ask for a recount.

Boomer Sooner…

Crazy summer…

This has to be the craziest summer on record and if last week is any indication, things are about to get even crazier.   The latest Vegas odds for playing football this fall now stand at 50-50.  The Vegas guys have been hanging out with the NCAA Commissioner who can’t make a decision on this matter either.   He has abdicated his role to the Power Five Conference Commissioners.  Right on cue, they appear to be split on the matter.

The Big Ten and Pac 12 announced last week that they will play only conference games this fall and the ACC will apparently make that same announcement by the end of the month.  Even though southern states have experienced a sunami-type surge in covid 19 cases the SEC is not the least bit interested in  calling off the season.   That leaves the Big 12…

With only ten teams to play nine games, the Big 12 is in a box when it comes to playing a conference only schedule.  The Big 12 also has another problem that no one else has.  How do you stay local as health experts have suggested when you have one conference team that resides just this side of Outer Mongolia? Let’s call it like it is…The Big 12 has no leg to stand on when it comes to this issue.  At this point, it would be best for the Big 12 to call it like it is and forge forward with a full regular season schedule. 

Let the academic conferences play an abbreviated schedule and allow the football conferences play a full slate of games.  This will make everybody happy and give OU a huge advantage.  To elevate the status of the Big 12, OU will play an SEC team in Norman and Texas will play one in Baton Rouge.  These games will give the Big 12 a huge leg up in the race to the top when it comes to strength of schedule. 

As a result, if OU can run the table and then beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game, it would come down to OU and the SEC champion for that coveted top playoff spot.  OU would have no less than a two seed which is critical to winning a National Championship. 

That’s right OU would go from today’s Vegas odds of no chance of winning a National Championship to a an excellent chance.  Ohio State which currently reigns as the top Vegas team to end up on top will come in at 3rd or 4th  in the seeding process due to its weak schedule.    Playing a conference full of Big Ten patsies won’t do much for a team’s strength of schedule resume.

Like they say…if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.  In this scenario, Ohio State may be staying on the porch.  I think Ryan Day should ask for a recount.

Boomer Sooner…

Spring football…

OU fans love the spring game as it serves as a lifeline between the past season and the next.  If coronavirus cases keep spiraling out of control, we may have 12 spring games this season. 

Just two months ago, we were all giddy as the coronavirus pandemic appeared to be leveling off.  Students were set to return to campus in the fall and everything was opening up again.  Then all hell breaks loose with the virus.   To say that this thing is contagious is an understatement. 

Covid 19 reminds me of those sex talks we use to give our students.  You know the one where we insisted that their bad choice on a weekend “made in the heat of the moment” could be multiplied by everyone else in the high school making bad choices.  That talk masterfully done had a shelf life of about 24 hours tops. 

Here’s the problem…those high school students are now adults of all ages.  They didn’t listen to us then and they won’t listen to anyone today.   Wearing protective gear didn’t happen then and it won’t happen now.    As a result, I don’t expect that this thing will turn around anytime soon.  This spells really bad timing for the NCAA and the Conference Commissioners who must make a decision about the upcoming season within a couple weeks.      

At this point, we should pray for a miracle that will allow us to play in August while being open to other possibilities.  The most likely option will be for the NCAA to move the 2020 football season to the spring of 2021.   While on the surface this may sound simply unacceptable, it could just happen and if it does, I have some positives to consider…

  • Spring football is better than no football at all.  
  • Spring football would allow all season ticket holders to attend every game.   
  • Full stadiums in the spring will allow non-revenue sports to avoid budget cuts and/or closures. 
  • Football fans will be granted two football seasons in one calendar year. 
  • Average Oklahoma temperatures in February are actually better than temps in November and December.
  • And, I saved the best for last…

Football programs like OSU and Texas who have taken body blows due to their handling of the Black Lives Matter issue may lose star players to the NFL draft next spring.  OU players will stick around to play for another National Championship…

Something to think about…

LincUp21…

The dog days of summer are even worse than normal this year…who knows when the NCAA will make a decision on the upcoming football season.  On the upside, I don’t remember a better recruiting summer ever.   While everyone else was making excuses about the coronvirus’ impact on recruiting, Lincoln was busy making chicken salad out of chicken poop.  

While official on-sites visits have been outlawed by the NCAA,  Lincoln has been blowing recruits away with virtual visits that from all accounts may be better than the real thing.  While other coaching staffs have been stumbling aorund in the dark during these times, Lincoln’s staff has been playing home run derby.  

As of today, the Sooners have yet to break the top 25 according to any recruiting service, but that will change in a big way, any day now.   Lincoln is on the verge of putting together a monster recruiting class.   As a matter of fact that change will become evident as soon as this next weekend. 

Caleb Williams, the number one dual threat quarterback in the country and a top five pick overall will make his intentions known on July 4. Keon Coleman, a four star wide receiver that the Sooners want in the worst way will make his intentions known that same day. 

This is what makes OU football special.  OU is loading up with the cream of the crop talent from the east coast who never imagined crossing the Mississippi for their college careers.  They are now relocating to the wild wild west in record numbers. 

If things go as planned, the Sooners are in line to get commitments from the top quarterback, the top running back and the top wide receiver in the country in short order.   Not since the Barry Switzer days has OU recruited at this level.   

One last thing…what you have to love about this recruiting class is the level of talent headed to Norman on both sides of the football.   If that fact doesn’t put a spring in your step, you need to check your pulse.    

Boomer Sooner…

Prospective five-star recruits…

  • Caleb Williams…#3 – Dual QB – listed as five-star recruit by 247sports…July 4 announcement date…
  • Camar Wheaton…#7 – RB – listed as five-star recruit by 247sports
  • Tristin Leigh…#11 – OT – listed ad five-star recruit by  247sports…CW will have impact on this possible commitment.  
  • Mario Williams…#12 – WR – listed as five-star recruit by Rivals100…committed…

Prospective four-star recruits…

  • Dallas Turner…#44 – WDE – July 1 announcement date – this one may be a stretch here, but we’re on a roll.
  • Bryce Foster…#65 – OT
  • Cody Jackson…#96 – WR – committed
  • Clayton Smith…#98 – SDE – committed
  • Marcus Burris…#102 – SDE
  • Kelvin Gilliam…#108 – WDE
  • Keon Coleman…#116 – WR – July 4 anouncement date…
  • Latrell McCutchin…# 127 – CB
  • Jalil Farooq…#133 – WR
  • Kendal Daniels…#143 – S
  • Ethan Downs…#161 – WDE – committed
  • Prophet Brown…#197 – RB
  • Tommi Hill…#217 – Athlete
  • Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge…#315 – SDE – committed
  • David Abira…#335 – SDE

I’m 50 and I’m a buffoon…

I am borrowing this line from college football expert Paul Finebaum, but it fits Mike Gundy perfectly.   Gundy burst onto the national scene a few years back with his I’m forty and I’m a man rant.  That speech created nationwide attention for the mullet man.  Finebaum’s phrase serves as book ends for Gundy’s before and after buffoonery.  

College kids, especially the ones that OSU recruits are easily enamored by middle school behavior on the part of their head coach.  A few years back Gundy grew a mullet so he could relate to his players.  Give me a break…cut your damn hair.   Next, he developed a penchant for locker room dances after wins.  A Michael Jackson he ain’t, but OSU fans ate it up. 

Next he realizes that he was dealing with fans with the IQ of a house plant, so he scams them into believing that he was leaving Stillwater for Tennessee.   This worked not just once, but twice.  Give me another break…the guy can’t locate Tennessee on a map, much less apply for a job there. 

OSU fans fearing that they might lose their Joe Exotic to Rocky Top insisted that the administration put Gundy on a lifetime $5 million per year contract.   That’s right this guy makes more money than the rest of Paine County comnbined.  Only at OSU…

This has to be the best part.   Gundy wears a racist t-shirt in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Heisman Trophy candidate Chuba Hubbard calls Gundy out and Gundy is forced to do some fancy footwork to make everything better.   The OSU staff produces a video where  Gundy is seen having an epihany on the issue of race relations.    Over night Gundy becomes a Civil Rights Advocate.  I was born at night, but not last night…basically, Gundy now believes that Black Lives do matter as long as they can help him win football games.

With all of this swirling around, recent revelations by former players and opponents that Gundy commonly used the N-word during  his playing days has garnered less than a blip on the radar screen.  That may be the saddest part in all of this… 

Gundy reminds me of Alabama’s Paul ”Bear” Bryant.  The “Bear” became a stauch believer in racial equality the day after his slow white guys were pummeled by USC in Tuscaloosa.  It was 1970 and the “Bear” began recruiting black football players the very next day.   Gundy used Bear’s m.o. when Chuba became upset.  Gundy immediately became a “justice for all” kind of guy as he walked Chuba off the ledge and back into the OK Corral.    

Okay, I know that Mike Gundy and OSU fans will never change.   After all beating OU is all that matters to those guys.   I can however take solace in the fact that they have the mullet man and we have Lincoln Riley…that’s right, I feel better already. 

Boomer Sooner…

Patty…

Football will always be the king of the hill because football is America’s game and because football pays the bills.   As a result, football gets 85 scholarships.  Softball pales in comparison with its 12 scholarships.  In Patty Gasso’s case, 12 is more than enough.     

This year the OU softball team will have a roster of 25 players not counting walk-ons and transfers.  Each of the 25 roster players and most of the walkons will be on a full ride scholarhip.  To make this work, Patty begins her recruitment process at the 7th grade level.  Players good enough to play for Patty must also sell out to her academic regimen program.      

7th grade recruits are encouraged to enroll in curriculum-based Honors and pre-AP courses.  This move prepares Patty’s prospects for Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses at the high school level.  Then, as they say, the rest is history. 

These courses prepare students for ACT/and or SAT exams.  High scores on these tests can provide players with partial scholarships.   Exceptional scores on the PSAT can provide full ride National Merit Scholarships.  Last, but not least AP courses prepare students for Advanced Placement exams that will allow students to test out of multiple semesters of college course work. 

When you combine all of this with the 12 scholarships allowed by the NCAA, you have a total schlorship count that can easily top 30.   These numbers allow Patty to recruit the best players in America year in and year out.  Every recruit comes to OU believing that they will have a full ride scholarship for four years.  This a done deal with Patty’s plan. 

Here’s the hangup at many colleges…ten year plans require a coaching staff that is assured of being around for ten years to fulfill their promises.  Joe has done his part by upping Patty’s salary each year.  She is now making in excess of $1million dollars a year.  This may sound like chicken feed compared to Lincoln Riley’s salary, but Patty’s salary is the highest in the country for softball coaches.   

Here’s even better news…following her 4th National Championship in 2017, Patty signed a contract extension for seven years.  More importantly, the Board of Regents also guaranteed Patty a $200,000 per year stay bonus.   By 2024 Patty’s salary will top $1.8 million a year. 

OU fans, we are blessed… 

Boomer Sooner…