Way too early preseason rankings…

I must admit that turning the page from one season to the next is not a problem for me.   Once that final buzzer blows I’m ready to move on.   I use bowl season to glean helpful tidbits of information so I can better evaluate where teams will line up the next season.  

ESPN does the same thing as they create their “way too early 2021 predictions.”   It has been less than a week since Alabama throttled Ohio State, but they have already created their preseason list for 2021.   Their list pretty much speaks for itself, but it never hurts to highlight a few informational points that may be of interest to Sooner fans. 

As we know, OU coaches have circled ’21 as our year and the ESPN site simply reinforces that optimism.   Offense has never been a problem for the Sooners and now that we have a defense the sky will be the limit.   

As you will see below OU is listed at #3 on this list and I suggest that the Sooners would be higher if it were not for our recent CFP history.   Our 2021 schedule may be a bit of drag as well.  Commemorating the 50th anniversary of “the game of the century” this year will be way cool, but Nebraska does not help our cause from a power index perspective.     

That’s the bad news…the good news is that OU will start the season at #3 which means that the Sooners will have to jump only two teams to get to the top.  Our hope must be that Nebraska will use its relatively weak Big Ten schedule to produce some power scheduling points for us on the back side. 

Okay, here’s the list…The numbers in parentheses represent projected starters on offense, defense, and special teams.      

  1. Clemson Tigers – (5) (10) (1)   
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide – (4) (9) (1)
  3. Oklahoma Sooners – (6) (8) (2)
  4. Georgia Bulldogs – (9) (5) (2)
  5. Ohio State Buckeyes – (6) (5) (0)
  6. Texas A&M – (6) (6) (2)
  7. North Carolina – (10) (10) (2)
  8. Iowa State – (10) (8) (0)
  9. USC Trojans – (8) (8) (2)
  10. Indiana Hoosiers – (9) (10) (1)
  11. Cincinnati Bearcats – (8) (7) (1)
  12. Iowa Hawkeyes – (7) (6) (1)
  13. Oregon Ducks – (7) (7) (2)
  14. Washington (11) (8) (1)
  15. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – (3) (6) (2)
  16. Fl0rida Gators – (5) (7) (1)
  17. Wisconsin Badgers – (8) (7) (2)
  18. Ole Miss Rebels – (8) (9) (1)
  19. Louisiana Ragin Cajuns – (9) (8) (2)
  20. LSU Tigers – (8) (8) (2)
  21. Texas Longhorns – (5) (7) (2)
  22. Penn State Nittany Lions – (8) (6) (2)
  23. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers – (6) (6) (2)
  24. Liberty Flames – (6) (7) (1)  
  25. Miami Hurricanes – (9) (7) (1)

Boomer Sooner…

Game on…

Hating Texas is a way of life in Oklahoma.  I grew up hating the Longhorns…we could never beat them in football…when I say never, I really do mean never. We lost twelve (12) out of thirteen (13) years during my adolescent years.   It took Barry Switzer to energize the program and create a level playing field.

To say that things have been turned around is an understatement.   OU has beaten Texas nine (9) out of the last twelve (12) games and four (4) out of the last five (5).   During this time Texas donors have tried to play catch up by building state-of-the-art facilities and hiring the best coaches’ that money could buy.  

Of course, we know that these moves have not worked.  Texas has now hired their fourth coach during this downturn.   Now, they have decided to take the OU approach to hiring football coaches.  They’ve decided to hire an offensive-minded head coach. 

While Steve Sarkisian comes with some baggage, I do believe that the guy can coach offense.   But to compete against the Sooners, he will need more than an offense.   Offensive minded guys tend to overlook that part of the equation.  The Lincoln system is only working because Lincoln hired Alex Grinch.

Here’s the good news for OU fans.   Turning a program around takes time and as we know patience has never been a Longhorn virtue.  We can hope that Texas donors will once again get antsy and fail to let the cake set.  Texas thinks they should win a National Championship every year and when that does not happen, they immediately start looking for the off switch.     

Just to be sure, let’s take no chances…let’s create space between ourselves and the Steve Sarkisian era that will outlast the patience of Texas fans.   That’s right, we need to recruit, recruit, recruit…

Boomer Sooner…

2021…

The good news is that 2020 is now in our rear-view mirror.  Not the least of the 2020 issues has been the football season from hell.  We never knew from one week to the next if the Sooners would be playing.  We also never knew what players would be allowed to suit up.  Now we can focus on 2021… 

The good news is that the Sooners are on an eight-game winning streak…granted, this is nothing compared to the grandaddy of them all, but we will take it.   As for the last game of 2020, we needed a statement win in the Cotton Bowl and we got one.  Sheer domination of that game is an understatement. 

Thank goodness, Florida was shorthanded, otherwise we would won by 100.   Seriously, Holly Roe and company were so fixated on the fact Florida was undermanned that they could barely cover the game itself. Unfortunately, they missed another tidbit of information. 

Here’s the skinny…the Florida Gators suited up three more scholarship players than we did.  That’s right we suited up 57 players for the Cotton Bowl.   The Sooners were operating at 28 scholarship players below the legal limit and we still kicked the dog out of the Gators. 

Here is more OU/SEC news.  Alabama will send six (6) first round draft picks to the NFL this year including their Heisman quarterback/wide receiver tandem.  They will also lose OC Steve Sarkisian to Texas.  We can also expect both Clemson and Ohio State with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields leading the way to lose a ton of front-line players as well.    

Oklahoma will lose some players, but we will still be loaded on both sides of the football.  OU faces a relatively weak non-conference schedule to go along with typical Big 12 Conference slate of games which will help the cause.  Now, if we can avoid that one traditional let down, we should be good to go. 

2021 is going to be our year…

Boomer Sooner…

Crunch time…

The Big 12 has an image problem that must change.  Far too many national observers consider the conference soft and not worthy of Power Five Conference status.   The last few seasons have done nothing to change this mindset.  The last three years, OU has lost to SEC teams in bowl games and the past several years we have played second fiddle to the SEC in recruiting. 

Spitting in our face is Alabama who has stolen a five-star running back from us each of the past two years.   We simply must turn this thing around and fast.  The first step on our road to recovery is this year’s Cotton Bowl. 

The good news is that we will be playing the SEC’s 3rd, possibly 4th place team in the Cotton Bowl.  The bad news is that we are a three-point underdog going into the game.  I realize that beating Kyle Trask and the Gators will be a tall order, but we simply must get this done.     

We must stop the bleeding to get where we want to be.   We must start beating SEC teams on the grid iron and we must go toe to toe with SEC teams on the recruiting trail and pull out some much-needed w’s.     

This year’s Cotton Bowl will represent the beginning of the 2021 season.   OU fans should see this year’s Cotton Bowl as the season opener, a season that we believe will end with a CFP appearance and shot at a National Championship.   Additionally, with the end of the recruiting season still six weeks away, a big Cotton Bowl win will go a long way in securing a top five recruiting class that will lay the groundwork for 2021.   

Sitting back and enjoying a leisurely Cotton Bowl is not in the cards for OU fans…We need this win in the worst way and a sizeable point differential would be even better. 

That is right…it’s crunch time. 

Boomer Sooner…

Week seventeen…

First, we have the early National Letter of Intent signing day and then we have the Big 12 Championship game.  In the end, both will be huge successes for the Sooners and will mirror what to expect in coming weeks. 

The early signing period pretty much went as planned as OU hauled in a bunch of big-time athletes that will help them get to the next level.  The group of 16 which will grow to 23 over the next few weeks is stocked full of four- and five-star athletes.  In typical OU fashion even the three-star players have four-star potential written all over them.  One example is the long-armed defensive back Jordan Mukes out of Choctaw.  This guy fits the Alex Grinch system perfectly and will allow us to get away from having midgets covering tight ends.    

The only surprise I saw in the early group was that of four-star offensive lineman Savion Byrd.  Byrd is a top ESPN top 100 player who we stole from SMU.   He has family members on the SMU coaching staff that were pulling him south, but the OU name was too much for him to resist. 

The one disappointment was losing five-star offensive lineman Bryce Foster to A&M.  He would have been a great get, but he was an A&M legacy and in the end that hill proved too high to climb.   By the way, I suspect that OU got Byrd when it was revealed that Foster was going to A&M…that is the crazy world of recruiting. 

Rankings at this point mean nothing as some teams have already finished their recruiting while OU has signed only 16 of its projected class of 23 players.  Even with 16 players, 247sports has ranked OU at #8 in the country.  Down the stretch OU will sign several more four- and five-star recruits and in the end have a top five class.

Finally, we have the other good news from December. We will get a chance to settle the score with Iowa State.    Far too many Sooner fans abandoned ship back in October as the Sooners lost to Iowa State in Ames.   Sooner fortunes turned in that game on one play.  Sooner fans should have more faith.  Just like today’s recruiting successes, the Sooners will have a big day on Saturday.  

This defense will neutralize the Iowa State tight end passing game by putting pressure on the quarterback, a move that will impact the Iowa State run game as well.   Our offense which is so much better than it was back in October will make the pregame 5.5 point spread look silly.   December is off to a rip-roaring start.  A top five recruiting class and a revenge win over Iowa State.  Back in October who would have imagined that this would be happening. 

Those old timers in the crowd who have seen this movie before knew that OU would be okay.    It is as if the Sooners love putting us through this.  Then again, while the 1-2 start was painful, without that start another memorable December might have slipped right by us. 

Sooner Magic strikes again…

Boomer Sooner…

Week Sixteen…

To say that this football season is limping to the finish line is an understatement.  Almost half of the games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled.  And the ones that were not cancelled should have been.  That game in Waco was a poor excuse for a football game. 

I always miss football after its gone, but I also need the off-season to recover from the fake news spewed out by the local media about OSU.  Yesterday was a low water mark as the local press simply ignored the fact that OSU beat the snot out of a Baylor team that was forced to play without half its players.

Baylor was a shell of its former self and it showed.  For those who care, the final Covid stats for Baylor on Saturday accounted for 52 players and staff members missing in action.    Oh, well OSU got a big win over a depleted Baylor team that had only beaten the Kansas schools up to that point.  This is exactly why I hate OSU and the local press. 

Also Saturday night in case you missed it…a 3-win LSU team beat #6 ranked Florida.  This game was noteworthy only because it was such a struggle picking a team to root against.  While its easy to hate the SEC, it’s hard to decide which teams from that conference are more hate-worthy.   That game may mean something to OU fans down the road however as Florida may now become the Cotton Bowl opponent for the Sooners.

Not far behind the SEC on the hate list is USC.   After the Trojans had greased out a win against UCLA the Trojan players spent the post-game taunting the Bruins players.  It was pretty ugly…how an all-out brawl was avoided is hard to believe.  Those guys are total jerks…

Finally, its on to Arlington for what appears to be our destination point for our final two games of the 2020 season.  The national media has installed Iowa State as the Power Five darling for the 2020 season.  With Florida losing, look for the Cyclones to move into the top seven this week.  As for me, I still have a hard time seeing it.  

Do not get me wrong, Matt Campbell deserves a lot of credit for his Ames reclamation project, but still who have the Cyclones beaten.  They beat us before we had learned how to walk and a bunch of mediocre Big 12 teams.  This bunch also lost to the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns team and OSU.  Seriously…

Alex Grinch has had most of this season to figure out how to slow down their tight ends and their one-man running game.  This move will allow us to put pressure on their quarterback and slow down their offense.   Our offense is much better than it was two months ago, so I believe we will have plenty of success on that side of the ball this time around.

Boomer Sooner…

Something to think about…

  • Should Tom Herman be thankful that his Horns lost to Iowa State Thanksgiving weekend.  This may sound crazy, but I would say yes to that question.   Beating Iowa State and securing a spot opposite OU in the Big 12 Championship game would most assuredly gotten the guy fired.    
  • Today’s Sooner team is light years better than the one that Herman faced back in October.  A 2nd loss to the Sooners would be bad enough for Longhorn fans, but an embarrassing loss to the Sooners would have inflamed the Texas fan base.  Now Tom Herman can orchestrate a three-game end of season winning streak that will include a bowl win.  Firing a head coach with a 7-3 record in a COVID year will be hard to do even for Texas. 
  • Don’t get to worked up about the lackluster OU win against Baylor…Baylor is better than people think.  As usual this Baylor team has a ton of athletes and new Head Coach Dave Aranda has them playing well at the end of the season.  They also caught OU at the best possible time…It was next to impossible to get OU players and fans fired up for Baylor after the OSU game.  OU also had to deal with Covid issues that required many of the practices to be conducted via zoom.  Think about that one for a while…only in 2020. 
  • Speaking of OU-Baylor…when was the last time that time that we saw our defense bail out our offense.  This defense is really good…the last three opponents have scored 9, 13, and 14 points. That three-game event has not happened since the 2006 season.  And of course, in one of those games we shut down a Big 12 Champion and the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner. 
  • Speaking of OSU…the Ags have done it again…they get their fans all fired up with rosy expectations only to crush their dreams. They always get off to a hot start against soft competition only to hit the skids once they start playing teams with better athletes.  TCU didn’t have better athletes, but OSU simply insisted on losing that game. 
  • Expect Chuba Hubbard to unofficially opt out for the rest of the season.  That boot on his foot makes it looks like he’s really hurt, but in actuality he is opting out without going public. He’s likely already hired an agent.  Same goes for Tylan Wallace.  Both these guys are wondering, what the hell was I thinking…
  • I borrowed this one from Dr. Tamage…when was the last time a reigning National Championship team was a fifty-point dog the next season…that would be this past weekend as LSU was a fifty-point underdog to Alabama.  It could not happen to a better team.  You really have to hate LSU fans…
  • Finally, the early signing period is this Wednesday…This will mark the beginning of what could turn into a monstrously great recruiting year for the Sooners…
  • I have three favorite holidays…National Letter of intent signing day, Thanksgiving and Christmas in that order…I know, this sounds crazy, but this has always been the case for me.  

Post Bedlam…

This has been without a doubt the craziest and most unpredictable year in the history of college football.    Fortunately, in some cases, the more things change the more things stay the same.  OSU will always be our little brother and as a result, we will be eternally grateful that we can always depend on the boys from Stillwater to stroke our egos. 

I must say that I felt pretty good going into the game and once I was reassured by my OU football buddy, that our defensive line would manhandle their offensive line I felt even better.  Once we got up on the boys by 21, I was ready to sit back and relax.  Then of course, Bookie came roaring out of nowhere to make things interesting. Fortunately, his teammates bailed him out in the end, but seriously why does he insist on doing that stuff. 

After that, I was not perfectly comfortable until the Godfather of all trick plays shut the door on the orange-clad cowgirls once and for all.  I know that it was never that close, but having to live here amongst these sod busters day in and day out, I was couldn’t take any chances. 

I can remember only yesterday when Mike Gundy assembled his team for a pep rally to announce that this team would the latest greatest ever…he said his bunch would not be denied this year.  The Mullet Man had convinced Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace to forgo the NFL draft to return to Stillwater.  He would combine these two with Spencer Sanders to create the latest triplets ever. The Aggie faithful saw Heisman Trophies and National Championships dancing in their heads. 

That was then and this is now…once again the Sooners insisted on putting “baby in the corner.”  Aggie dreams of beating big brother would be smashed for the 90th time in the series. Seriously, wrap your head arond that stat…90-18-7.  

To reinforce my thoughts on this game and this so called “Bedlam” crap, let’s remind ourselves of these facts…

1. The OU-OSU series is the most lopside intra-state rivalry in America. 

2. The final score was 41-13 and could have been a lot worse.

3. Mike Gundy punts the ball to the Sooners near midfield with only minutes gone in the fourth quarter which tells us a lot about Gundy’s mindset against Lincoln Riley. 

4. OSU will most assuredly lose two thirds of their latest triplet collection to the NFL this year and then what will they do.  Granted, the NCAA will allow OSU to return a bunch of their fifth year seniors again next year, but at some point depending on 6th year seniors instead of four star recruits has to backfire.  

4. The Sooners won the game with a redshirt freshman at quarterback and a ton of returning talent for next year’s trip to Stillwater. 

5. The win will allow the Sooners to win another Big 12 Championship and a likely New’s Year’s Day Cotton Bowl bid.  A win there which will serve as a huge springboard for next year. 

6.  And this may be the most telling sign of all…the Sooners are set to reload this year with a top five recruiting class while oSU is tied at seventh in the Big 12 and #51 in the country in the latest Rivals rankings.  

As for the Ags, they have been denied once again of bragging rights against the Sooners. 

Boomer Sooner…

What a difference a month makes…

I remember walking down the ramp following the K-State shocker when one of my football buddies mentioned that we were looking real hard at a possible 1-3 start to the season.  He was right, but he was being kind.  If this team had lost to Texas after the loss to Iowa State, we would have been looking at a loss to TCU and a 1-4 start.   

No one wants to face a Gary Patterson team in a weakened position.  That guy can flat out coach defense and if Spencer Rattler had been on a three game losing streak he would have been puddy in his hands.  I know that Lincoln is good, but managing that sinking ship in today’s “transfer portal” world would be like juggling a live hand grenade.       

As for Lubbock, no one wants to see Lubbock on a good day, but going to the south plains on a four game losing streak would be nasty.  Thankfully, the Sooners righted the ship with the four overtime thriller against Texas.  That game made this team believe in themselves and gave us confidence going forward.    

With a win in Lubbock the Sooners can go into Bedlam with a 5-2 record.  Now, I realize that beating this year’s OSU team may be tougher than normal, but they’re still OSU and we’re still OU.  If we can get past the Red Raiders on the road and OSU at home we can go on a seven game winning streak.  At that point all bets will be off when it comes to the Big 12 Championship game and post season play.   

We will know a lot more about how this situation will pan out in a couple weeks because Kansas State will lose to OSU and then go on to lose two more games.  Iowa State will lose two more games as well and this will leave both of those teams out of the running for Big 12 honors.  This will mean that the Big 12 Championship game will be up for grabs.  

Before we worry about that, let’s enjoy the moment and remind ourselves what a difference a month can make. We’re back………………….

Boomer Sooner…

Social distancing…

I’m totally confused about this whole social distancing thing when it comes to college football games.  On the one hand, we have Texas A&M with their 12th man student section that resembles a mosh pit at a rock concert.  Then, we have the OU student section that resembled a Sunday morning church service at the K-State game.   Texas A&M upset 4th ranked Florida while OU was upset by K-State.  Enough said…

I know we have the piped in crowd noise this year that gives the appearance of fan support, but the OU players aren’t stupid.  When they look over at the student section and see a bunch of students spread out over five time zones, they know something’s up.   The students were being punished for not properly social distancing during the Missouri State game.  Seriously, who gives a rip…it was Missouri State and they were bored to tears just like the rest of us.   

When things starting going south in the 2nd half there was no raucous student section to stem the tide against the Wildcats.  Kansas State scored 24 unanswered points in that game.   I realize that I can’t blame the loss completely on the student section being dismantled, but I think it was certainly a contributing factor. 

I hope OU officials will get over themselves and allow our students to be students once again.  Wearing masks should be punishment enough.   If the same thing happens against OSU we should hold someone accountable.   This will be another test for Joe C.’s leadership style.  I hope for all of us that he passes this one. 

Boomer Sooner…