You can’t make this stuff up…

 

It was another proud moment for OSU football last week as the Cowboys become the first team in college football history to be banned from practice by the NCAA.  May only be one day a week, but it is still a big deal.   After all, these guys need all the practice time they can get to get it right.   To put the APR into perspective, a failing APR is score would be like a public school getting an F on the A-F scale.  For a normal program in a normal state, a failing APR score would be not only embarrassing; it would cost someone his job.  

The good news that was lost in most of this was the fact that on the day when the team would normally be practicing, team members will be relegated to study hall sessions.   What the NCAA does not seem to understand is that an extra two hours week will not be enough to teach these guys how to read and write.  Dexter Manley, former OSU and NFL player, spent four years in Stillwater, graduated from OSU and still could not read and write. 

You would think the program, with its very own Sports Illustrated expose’ outlining the program’s academic fraud, would do a better job of covering these things up.  It sounds like the NCAA investigators are not as inept as the local media have made them out to be.  Possibly there really was something to the SI story about tutors doing class work for football players and players attending classes disguised as empty desks.  Is it possible student tutors aren’t any smarter than the players themselves?  After all, these students come from the same gene pool. 

Fortunately for OU fans, the media whitewash will only make matters worse.  In the end, the possibility there is more cesspool evidence lurking below the surface here becomes more and more possible.  The OSU beat writer for the Oklahoman is not doing OSU any favors by discounting the APR scandal.   OSU is the only power conference football team to be penalized.   The media should call a spade a spade, but of course this would offend a third of their market.  As long as the media continues to give OSU a pass on these issues, OSU will continue to operate as an outlaw school. 

There is a silver lining for both OU and OSU fans here.  OSU fans can stop worrying about Mike Gundy leaving for another program.  Unless Appalachian State or Saint Mary’s of the Plains come calling, he will retire in Stillwater, his Yankees team.   No legitimate college president will touch this guy.  These guys pride themselves on academia as much as football.   Gundy will be like tainted meat to these guys.

For OU fans, OSU will be stuck with Gundy for the foreseeable future which has to be a good thing given his track record against the Sooners.  In case you missed this tidbit, Gundy is 1-12 as a player and coach against the Sooners.  It will take a lot more than a cute locker room dance to allow Gundy, the favorite son of OSU football, to create an edge over the Sooners now.  With so much bad press, Gundy has lost his momentum and his best days at OSU are behind him.

Don’t get me wrong OSU will still get their share of special needs players that will find their way to the NFL, but not enough to overcome the Sooners.  Like I said before, you can’t make this stuff up.    Eventually, the academic cesspool will bite Mike Gundy and OSU in the recruiting butt.

Below is the black and white reality of the OSU APR ranking.   The Cowboys rank #12 and dead last in the Big 12 and # 63 and dead last among all power conference teams.  This is ugly.  I have also included some conference APR information.

Big 12…

  1. K-State (968) 
  2. OU (965)                   
  3. Kansas            (959) 
  4. Baylor (957)  
  5. Iowa State (948)       
  6. Texas (947)               
  7. TCU (945)                 
  8. West Va. (942)          
  9. Texas Tech (932)
  10. OSU (929)  

 

1-62 Power Conferences

    63 OSU

 

 

APR rankings by conference (OSU drags down the conference)

 

  • Big Ten: 964.9
  • ACC:  966.8
  • SEC:  960.8
  • PAC 12:  957.3
  • Big 12:  949.2

 

 

 

Note: So much for the argument of some that the SEC is stronger in football than the Big 12 due to lower academic standards.  Thanks OSU…

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Evil Empire versus America’s Team…

 

Is it me or do I sense that the NBA is doing all it can to ensure a KD/Lebron match-up for the NBA championship.   The masters of marketing have outdone themselves this year by insisting that these two teams make it to the finals.  This is reality t.v. at its finest…

 

What could be better…The good guys from the heartland led by America’s Mother’s Day gift Keven Durant versus the Thug Brigade from south Florida.  Leading the Evil Empire is Lebron with a face that only a mother could love and the multi-tattooed Bird Man from Alcatraz.  This bunch represents the Yankees of the basketball world.  You either love them or hate them with nothing in between.  

 

Assisting me with my NBA conspiracy theory is the Thunder/Grizzlies match up where the small market Memphis Grizzlies looked to pull off the upset and send the NBA sponsored Thunder to the sidelines.    Thunder fans who ignored the obvious conspiracy here are as delusional as OSU fans.  Sidelining the Grizzlies’ best player in the 7th game was like benching Joe Montana for a championship game.   The Grizzlies were slam dunked by the NBA office…Not to be outdone was the 5th game of the Clippers series where the refs gift wrapped a win for the Thunder.

 

I know this may sound like I am a Thunder hater, but that is not it… The truth of the matter is that I am basically non-committal on the subject.   I must admit however that I see a lot of OSU mentality in Thunder fans as car flags and license plates are directly proportional to winning streaks.

 

I also tire of Thunder fans refusing to accept the obvious.    Be a fan, but accept the fact that NBA is playing a major role in picking the championship series finalists.   These fans have deluded themselves with the thought that the NBA is a sport.  Pure and simple the NBA is big business run by billionaires who script out the playoffs like made-for-t.v movies.

 

There is nothing wrong with that, after all this is America and this game is a perfect example of the free enterprise system at its finest.   While the more traditional and long standing sports of Major League Baseball and the NFL do the same to some degree, the NBA is in a league of its own when it comes to playoff orchestration. 

 

The NBA makes no bones about it.    It is more about the league than individual teams and the playoffs bear this out.  From a series of early playoff episodes where the lower seeded team have virtually no chance of coming out on top to the carefully choreographed playoffs at the end.  Most importantly, the NBA is banking on the American viewer loving a good versus evil plot…

 

It will be fun to watch over the next week to see if the Spurs and Pacers can rain on the NBA parade.   As for me, my money is on the NBA finding a way to give America what it wants, an Evil Empire versus America’s Team match up…

 

Gaylord-Wilkinson Stadium

 

Now that Dean the Dream has broken the news that OU will enter the 21st century with a massive stadium expansion, I have become consumed with another mission.  The timing of this endeavor could not be better.  With the naming of the new OU stadium now up for grabs it is time to reward the man and coach who put OU football on the map.

 

Last week’s article highlighted the Bud years and demonstrated that no coach in the history of college football can hold a candle to this guy.   This includes such stadium namesakes as Amos Alonzo Stagg, Bear Bryant, Lavelle Edwards, Bill Snyder and Oklahoma’s own Darrell Royal.  These guys were certainly pillars of the game, but again they lay in Bud’s shadow when it comes to greatness. 

 

The current name sakes are for Benny Owen (field), who coached the Sooners in the early 20th century, and the Gaylord family, who donated a sizeable amount of money the last time around.   I obviously have no problems with maintaining the Owen Field designation and for that matter continuing to pay homage to the Gaylord family, particularly if they kick in more money this time around.   At the same time, Bud Wilkinson’s name must also be remembered in a substantial way.

 

Adding fuel to this fire is the rumor that the next Headington Hall-type dorm will be built on the site of the current Bud House.  Similar to Headington, it stands to reason that the new dorm will be named after the person who puts up the most money for the project.  If this happens, the campus will have no building named after the greatest coach in history of college football.   This fact would be simply unconscionable and a real slap in the face to Bud Wilkinson and his players.  

 

Without rehashing the dominance of the Bud years, let’s just say no one and I mean no one will ever top his accomplishments on the field of play.   At the same time, Bud meant so much more to Oklahoma off the field.   Bud coached in an era when OU football was more than winning football games.  He single-handedly restored pride and dignity to a generation of Oklahomans beaten senseless by the Great Depression.  The pejorative term “Okie” was used to shame Oklahomans.  Football gave us hope and something to brag about on Monday mornings. 

 

Bud and the boys taught us how to fight back.   Oklahomans, who had little to call their own, always had OU football.   Every Saturday was a good day to be an Oklahoman.   The new stadium should be named in his honor.  This issue should be a slam dunk.

 

I understand how politics work and how donors that donate massive amounts of money get first dibs on naming rights.  This is the nature of big time football and I get that.  At the same time, I am hopeful that one or more of these major donors will hear from enough Sooner fans and honor Bud Wilkinson.  

 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for those of us who love OU football to do something special for the legend of the game.   This will be the last major building project of its kind in the next half century.   By the next time a building project of this kind comes along,  Bud Wilkinson will be like Benny Owen, a distant memory to most OU fans.   Young OU fans deserve to understand the measure of Bud’s greatness by reciting his name when they refer to the OU stadium.     

 

Let’s share the stadium’s name with the Gaylord family similar to the way that Alabama shared President George Denney’s name with the legendary Paul Bear Bryant.   By using the Alabama model, the new stadium can be named Gaylord-Wilkinson Stadium.  Takes care of the Gaylord legacy while honoring Bud. 

 

How it happens is neither here nor there, but it needs to happen.   If Sooners fans rally around this idea, the right donor or donors can make it happen.  Hopefully, this will happen sooner than later.

 

Boomer Sooner

 

OU’s Game of the Week réel…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPOEOcLiARs

Thanks to Doctor Tamage, who finds these gems on the OU message board, we are blessed with this black and white nugget from the Bud days.  While it was not a classic OU win, it does point out how dominant Bud’s teams were in those days.  It also demonstrates that things have not changed for KU.  Sticking with basketball has always been the best choice for the Jayhawks.  Give the Jayhawk fans credit however; it looks like Jayhawk fans may have orchestrated the first white-out…

 

By the way, the video is surprisingly good considering the fact that televised games were quite an anomaly in ’54. The first televised game on a regional level between Waynesburg and Fordham occurred only a decade earlier.  It was not until the 50’s that the NCAA allowed games to be televised on a regular basis.

 

The video is the game of the week featuring OU and Kansas.  While I was around when this nugget was on television, my family had not yet entered the 20th century and there was not television in the Story household.  At the same time, I had the second best thing as I listened to the Bob Barry doing play by play on my transistor radio.   In his prime Bob Barry was as close as one could get to being there in person, without being there in person.   At the same time an audio feed was not the same as seeing it in live time.

 

Doc T., the elder statesman of OU football, reminded me that this win was number 14 in the 47 game winning streak that ran from 1953 to 1957.  Adding to the dominance of the Big Red during this time period was the fact that this streak was on the heels of a 31 game streak that ran from 1947 to 1950.  The reason the OU stadium should be named after Bud Wilkinson and not a newspaper guy is that Bud Wilkinson made OU football what it is today.  Recovering from the Dust Bowl and the Okie era was no easy task…Bud made it possible… 

 

Bud’s teams won 3 national championships and should have won a couple more AP titles during his heyday.   In addition the Sooners captured 13 consecutive conference titles during this time, a feat almost as impressive as the winning streaks.  

 

One last thing…Had it not been for Notre Dame, Bud’s teams would have never lost.  From mid-season 1951 and into the 1958 season the Sooners posted two ties to Pitt and Colorado and three losses to the Irish.   During a 71 game stretch in the 50’s (seven seasons in those days) the Sooners were 0-3 against the Irish and 65-0-2 against the rest of college football.  It is no wonder that the old timers hate the Irish so much. 

 

It is also no wonder that OU fans are so arrogant…We have the facts to back it up…

 

Boomer Sooner…