The tail wagging the dog…

I have often wondered why OU can’t go to the bathroom without OSU tagging along.  With some time off this summer, I decided to research the question for myself.  Now, I wish I had left well enough alone.

As we know Oklahoma is notorious for back room politics.  The most powerful people in the state spend their days hanging out at the big house on Lincoln Boulevard.   With rural legislators leading the way these guys have a ton of clout in this state and tend to wear orange on game days.

In addition to the deck being stacked against OU by state legislators, we also get it from the governor’s mansion as well.   Oklahoma governors appoint OU Regents.  The bad news is that the last two governors have been OSU grads.  That’s right, when the fox lives in the hen house; there will be chicken for dinner every time.

The current batch of OU Regents bears out this story.  Over the past two years, we lost two OU stalwarts in Clay Bennett and Kirk Humphreys from the Board.  As you might imagine, these two guys were appointed by OU grads.  It has gone downhill from there.

As for the current batch of OU Regents I can count three that might be loyal to OU.  Two others have a limited connection to The University and then we have the last two.  One Regent appointed by Mary Fallin has no connection to OU whatsoever and one Regent graduated from OSU.  Making matters worse is the fact that OU Regent Valerie Shirley also served as president at OSU/OKC.  Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Okay, that’s the bad news; the good news is that we now know why OU has been a dysfunctional mess for the past two years.  We also know why OU looked to Stillwater before making any conference re-alignment decisions three years ago.  Expect the same in 2024.

I for one would like to make my own bed instead of having an Aggie do it for me, but having lived here all my life, I am not hopeful that this will happen.  I know Oklahoma politics all too well.

All the more reason to kick some Aggie butt whenever we get the chance.

Boomer Sooner…

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Football wins…

Dr. Tamage, OU’s resident football historian passed on some interesting win total information for OU football recently.   OU has won 896 games in football compared to 632 for UCO, 621 for Tulsa and 592 for OSU.  That’s right…OU has 304 more wins in football than OSU.

This win total ranks OU as # 8 in the country in this category.   This amazing stat. was compiled in spite of the fact that the Sooners got a late start in the football game.  While other football teams began playing football years after statehood, OU started its football program 12 years before statehood.  Michigan, the team that ranks #1 on the win list at 953 wins achieved statehood 73 years before Oklahoma became a state.   Michigan also began playing football in 1879, some 16 years before OU played its first football game.

Now, let’s take a look at the other state schools.    UCO has won 632 games compared to 621 for Tulsa and 592 for OSU.    While the OU win total is impressive, equally impressive is the fact that UCO has 40 more wins and two more legitimate National Championships in football than OSU.  It looks like OSU has two big brothers instead of just one.

Let’s put this matter into even more clarity.  OU ranks up there with the big boys of college football in Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama.   OSU on the other hand has found a way to dumb itself down to the likes of West Chester, Albion, Charlotte, Wabash and Wisconsin-Whitewater.

About the time, we think it can get any better, it does…

National win list…

1…Michigan 953

2…Ohio State 911

3…Texas 908

4… Yale 907

5… Alabama 905

t6..Notre Dame 897

t6..Nebraska 897

8…Oklahoma 896

 

State School’s win list…

1…Oklahoma 896

2…UCO 632

3…Tulsa 621

OU softball…

It appears that OU softball under Patty Gasso won’t miss a beat going forward.  Patty Gasso will combine a solid group of returning starters with a boat load of new talent.

Here’s the good news…

  • Taylon Snow, a shortstop from Auburn has transferred to OU. Basically, she will replace Cayleigh Clifton in one form or another in the lineup.   With All-World shortstop Grace Lyons back, this may be the best middle infield combination in the country.
  • Giselle Juarez is only going to get better in the circle and now we have Brooke Vestal, the ace pitcher from last year’s recruiting class joining her. This combo could be lethal next year.
  • Mariah Lopez has found a home at Arizona. Coach Mike Candrea has a great reputation.  This is a win-win situation for everyone.
  • In this year’s 2019 recruiting class, Patty is bringing in Kinzie Hansen, America’s top player for this year. FloSoftball also ranks this group as the # 3 recruiting class the country.
  • Looking ahead, Patty has secured commitments from Class of 2020 players that ranks OU #1 in the country according to FloSoftball.
  • For the Class of 2021, OU already has commitments from the # 7 and # 14 ranked recruits.
  • Savannah Geurin, the top ranked pitcher from the Class of 2022 has committed to OU.
  • Finally, Patty Gasso just picked up a commitment from Leah McAnally for the Class of 2023. The Moore catcher was an 8th grader last year.

Boomer Sooner…

It can always be worse…

Here’s a scary thought…twenty five years ago Terry Don Phillips was a rising star as the Athletic Director at OSU.  In a surprising move Terry Don decided in mid-stream to give up one orange gig for another.  He left Stillwater to become the Clemson AD.

I remember thinking at the time…why would anyone leave one state Agricultural School for another?    Why would he also relocate to a football program that would play 2nd fiddle to another big brother?  South Carolina has never been a top feeder, but they were coached by Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier back in the day.  Clemson at the time was a middle of the road ACC Conference team dominated by Florida State.

Looking back now I suspect that Terry Don was provided with an exit plan by T. Boone Pickens.   The OSU Godfather was ready to make his move in Stillwater.   T. Boone hired his golfing buddy Mike Holder to be his A.D., who in turn hired Les Miles and Mike Gundy to run the football program.  Give T. Boone credit, he has done a nice job of putting OSU back on the football map, but nothing like Terry Don has done at Clemson.  Terry Don has since retired, but what he put in place at Clemson has turned the South Carolina Aggie School into a monster.

Gundy has beaten OU twice during his time in Stillwater and continues to recruit 3 star players.  Terry Don’s hire, Dabo Swinney has owned his big brother.  Clemson with its recruiting classes of five star athletes has created separation, from the rest of the ACC, not to mention from South Carolina.

Can you imagine the thought of having to play Clemson Thanksgiving weekend every year.    I don’t want to think about it.

Thank God for small miracles.

Boomer Sooner…

 

Whoa Nelly…

Unhitch the horses and put the ponies in the barn, Kansas is moving up the recruiting charts.  According to the latest Rivals rankings, KU has moved to #24 in the 2020 national rankings.  Due to the early nature of these rankings that value quantity over quality this ranking should not be overstated, but…

Give Les Miles credit…this is the same Kansas football program that just two years ago was ranked the worst in America.   Also, give Les credit for not trying to reinvent the wheel at Kansas.  Les knows a good thing when he sees it.  He used an effective smash and grab scheme two decades ago in Stillwater to put OSU back on the football map.  Les used his recruiting at OSU to leave Stillwater for a big league job at LSU.  He also left town before his despicable recruiting tactics could be discovered by the NCAA.

When T. Boone hired Les Miles, OSU was coming off its near-death penalty and was desperate for a winner.  Kansas football is in similar straits as the football program has gone almost a decade without a winning season.  Kansas A.D. Jeff Long reached out to Les Miles to replicate his by hook or by crook act in Lawrence.

I have no doubt that he will do just that.  I predict that over the next four years KU will beat arch rival K-State and go to a Bowl.   Once he does this Les Miles will hit the bricks just ahead of NCAA’s investigation of the program.   The guy is smarter than he looks…

 

 

 

More of the same…

I have always been a big fan of college football… this fact has not changed, but unfortunately, today’s game is in a rut.    For several years now, the SEC has controlled college football.  Now Clemson has joined the party on a permanent basis.  ESPN has been greasing the skids for the SEC with Saturday night prime time games and now the Godfather of sports will be doing the same for Clemson and the ACC.

Just like the rest of you, I hate those SEC chants that reverberate around SEC stadiums as much as you do, but we made our bed and must now lay in it.   With Texas and OSU controlling our fate, we decided a few years back to forgo the SEC.  That may end up being the right move, but that decision now has us swimming upstream when it comes to playing prime time games and recruiting difference makers.

Today’s high school players dream of playing on Saturday nights in the SEC.  These days, Alabama and now Clemson treats the recruiting as a selection process.   These teams have the daunting task of deciding which four and five star athletes to turn down.  Big 12 teams must recruit 3-star prospects and turn them into 4-star players.

I firmly believe that Lincoln will improve the talent level dramatically over the next few years, but doing so won’t be easy…we need to win a National Championship to enhance our chances on the recruiting trail.   With Lincoln Riley’s offense and an improving defense we can move into the Alabama/Clemson club.   To make this happen, we need to pick up the pace between now and the December signing date.

Now here’s the tale of the tape…

Here are the latest Rivals100 rankings as the summer’s month long dead period begins.  The list includes five (5) teams from the SEC, three (3) teams from the ACC, one (1) Big Ten team and one (1) independent.

  1. Clemson/ACC
  2. LSU/SEC
  3. Alabama/SEC
  4. Miami/ACC
  5. Georgia/SEC
  6. Florida/SEC
  7. Notre Dame/Independent
  8. Ohio State/Big Ten
  9. North Carolina/ACC
  10. Texas A&M/SEC

 

Big 12 teams…

  • 16. OU
  • 21. Kansas
  • 29. K-State
  • 36. OSU
  • 37. Texas
  • 42. TCU
  • 50. Texas Tech
  • 52. Iowa State
  • 52. West Virginia
  • 63. Baylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coaching…

Coaching is a tough business… Patty Gasso had a tough call to make prior to game two of the Women’s College World Series.  Does she go with a tired Giselle or does she go with her backup pitcher Mariah Lopez.  Regardless of her decision, she is going to be wrong if OU does not pull out the win.

Years ago I had that same choice to make as my American Legion team played for a state championship.  Go with a really inexperienced backup pitcher or go with my tired ace.    The choice appeared to be simple…go with the backup pitcher, after all as a coach I had everything to gain and nothing to lose.  If it worked, I would also look like a genius…I would also make one parent very happy.

Then again, in my heart of hearts I knew that sending the backup pitcher to face the Bronx Bombers would be like sending a lamb to the slaughter.  At least my ace could provide some cover and keep the game close.  In both cases the good guys lost, but we kept it close and gave our teams a chance to win.   We also avoided a young player being scarred for life.

I can only imagine what went through Patty’s mind after the first two UCLA batters went yard on Giselle.  To her credit, she never flinched.  She knew she had to do what she had to do.  Speaking of scar tissue, OU fans could not have handled another thrashing in game two.  We all hate to lose, but a month from now, that 5-4 setback will look light years better than a 2nd 16-3 bloodletting.

This OU team will be back sooner rather than later…

Boomer Sooner…