Bouncing Back…

If you live long enough it will become apparent that some things are just not meant to be… For me I gave up on being 6’3” some time ago.   For OU fans the K-State game was one of those times.    From the rooster kickoff on an unseasonably hot Autumn day that benefited K-State to Trevor’s Knight’s out of character pick-six to Michael Hunnicut’s unbelievable botched field goal, the day was out of synch from the get go…

Don’t get me wrong K-State is a good team that is coached by a maestro who knows how to make lemonade out of junior college lemons, but that game should never have been close.   From the beginning it felt like the Sooners were swimming upstream as the Snyder slowed the game to a crawl and allowed his one-dimensional quarterback to make just enough plays to win the game.  His plan worked to perfection on that day as the Wildcats hung around just long enough to eke out a win.

This past weekend as I watched kicker after kicker hit chip-shot fields I was reminded of the Michael Hunnicutt miss. Adding salt to the wound was the fact that statistically that a field goal attempt of less than 20 yards is missed only 10% of the time.  Adding to this mysterious game was the bizarre fact that at the most critical point of the game both Aaron Ripkowski and Blake Bell were on the bench.    That was crazy, weird stuff…

Not understanding the craziness of the day, the OU coaching played that last series for a field goal instead of going for the dagger and OU fans paid the price for their miscalculation.   With the blocked PAT still dancing in his head, Hunnicutt hooked the easiest field goal attempt he will ever attempt.

In any case, as they say, it is what it is and OU fans who have seen have seen this movie before must must gird their loins and move forward.   Taking advantage of what OU did right on this craziest of days the Sooners must now go to Ames and kick some Cyclone butt.  Keep in mind that we faced this same scenario heading into Manhattan last year.  Things worked out pretty well for the Sooners then and they will work out this time as well.

On the upside, Trevor Knight is finally coming around and Cody Thomas appears to be developing into a quality back-up. Michiah Quick and Austin Bennett are beginning to see the field and will become difference makers, Blake Bell is on the cusp of becoming a big-time tight end and the running game will get a boost when Keith Ford returns.  Also keep in mind that things could be a lot worse.  The Vo-Ag School in Stillwater may not win again this year.

Most importantly, the schedule is in the process of turning around for the Sooners. OU has already played the conference’s best teams in K-State, TCU and West Virginia.  Now the Sooners will get face the league’s worst teams Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech and OSU in that order.  Add the overrated Baylor Bears to this lineup and you have five game winning streak to end the season.

OU will use the off weak to heal up and coach the players up for the end of season run.   OU will run the table at the end of the season, beat up on a slow-footed Big Ten team in a bowl game and end up having another 11-2 season.  Fair weather fans who may have jumped off the Sooner Schooner will be back as happier days will be here again.

One last tidbit of information that may or may not help your mind-set… It is time for OU and Big 12 fans to accept the fact that the SEC monster will not go away with the playoff system. With its powerful RPI and its championship game, the SEC is likely land two teams in the Final Four tournament.   An undefeated Florida State and either a one-loss Oregon team or a one-loss Big Ten team will fill out the dance card.  In other words an OU win over K-State would not have gotten us to the Promised Land this year.

At the same time hope breeds eternal as Sooner fans can relax, root for an 11-2 season and pray that the SEC monster will eventually weaken its grip on the rest of college football. With DGB and Joe Mixon and a slew of new recruits in the fold for 2015, the Sooners will make a legitimate run at the top rung next year.

Boomer Sooner…

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The upside of OU/Texas…

Whew, I am glad that one is over…I was nervous about this OU-Texas game and for good reason.    I felt that OU was a decent team going into the game and obviously still do.  We were fortunate to get by Texas this year.  No one knows what the future holds for Texas or for that matter what rest of the season hold for OU, but I suggest we enjoy the good news from Saturday which is that OU recording another win and most importantly another win over Texas…

I have to admit that the Texas team I saw against BYU was as bad a Longhorn team as I have ever seen. Give Charlie Strong and his staff credit; this team is not all that bad.   In true OU fan form the message boards Saturday night looked like OU had lost the game. OU fans are to say the least spoiled, especially the millennial crowd.  I can remember when a one point win over Texas was celebrated like a Super Bowl win.  Again a win is a win is a win, particularly over Texas…

Going forward, it is important for OU fans to keep in mind that this is the same Texas defense that shackled Baylor for half the week before.   Texas still has athletes and unfortunately they may have found the missing ingredient for success, that of discipline.  OU fans should enjoy the good times over Texas while we can.

OU will use this ugly win to create another great season.   Over the next few weeks, OU will find a wide receiver from last year’s recruits to compliment Sterling Shepard.    Keith Ford will eventually return to give OU a breakaway threat at running back and Blake Bell will mature into a go-to tight end.  Even with Elmer Fudd calling plays, Trevor Knight will return to a semblance of his Alabama form.  Same goes for the OU defense where Mike Stoops will rely more and more on young players to put pressure on starters and provide needed depth.

Additional good news last Saturday came in the form of Baylor greasing out a win over TCU and West Virginia beating Texas Tech by a field goal at the wire.   The Baylor win while good for both OU and the Bears exposed the Baylor defense for what it was, weak…More good news came in the form of West Virginia further deepened the self-doubt on the high plains for the 2014 Red Raiders.   The upcoming Saturday will be fun as the Sooners will dispatch of K-State and Baylor will play a proverbial trap game in Morgantown.  More fun will come as TCU bounces back to smash the overrated Cowboys in the mouth.

As the end of the season unfolds OU will benefit from the schedule turning around to take care of K-State, Baylor and OSU at home.   The other contenders will have to play their tough games on the road.   In the end OU will be at the top of the heap and with the improved perception of the Big 12 have a great shot at a final four spot.   College football is an easy game to predict as teams protect their home turf 90% of the time.  This fact will serve the Sooners well in coming weeks.

By season’s end OU’s ugly win over Texas will look better and better as the Sooner take the conference crown and become part of the inaugural final four.

Boomer Sooner…

A game of inches…

Even as badly as OU played Saturday, the Sooners were just one play and one foot from winning that game…If OU makes that forth and one late in the game, Sooner fans are celebrating another Sooner Magic moment and contemplating a final four selection.   Instead OU fans must play the “what if” game once again.

Most OU fans realized going into the game that Gary Patterson would have his guys ready to play and that OU would have to play well to avoid the Fort Worth landmine. As stated earlier I knew that if Patterson and TCU ever found an offense the Horned Frogs would be dangerous.  That happened and then some on Saturday.   Whether or not TCU can replicate that act against anyone else this year is uncertain, but it certainly happened on Saturday.

While many OU fans will bash Trevor Knight for this loss, I suggest that OU coaches like most fans underestimated the opponent and did not prepare the team well. I also blame Josh’s anemic 2nd half play calling, the lack of a deep threat to stretch field and clock management issues that reminded me of the John Blake era…These ingredients will get you beat by a good team on the road every time.

As for TCU coaching staff, it is important to give Gary Patterson credit for scheming a great defense and for hiring an offensive coordinator that would turn Trayvon Boynkin from a caterpillar into a butterfly.   He did not look like the same guy out there.  Still, OU was the better team and should have won the game.

Now that I have that out of my system, it is time to move forward…Thankfully Texas is next up on the OU schedule. The players and coaches have already shifted into full gear developing their “Beat Texas” game plan and so should the fans. Like TCU, Texas has a nice defense, but unlike TCU, Texas has no quarterback to support that defense…This time next week after we have beaten the dog out of Texas, things will feel a whole lot better.

As for the rest of this season, all is not lost…The Sooners can still win the Big 12 Championship and a possible final four spot.   Going into Saturday I believed that OU would have to go undefeated to secure a Final Four spot.  After upset Saturday I am not so sure.    While I still believe the Big 12 is not a legitimate power conference, national pundits apparently think otherwise.  More importantly Baylor has become a media darling.  In the most recent power poll Baylor is ranked #5.  Three of the top four teams in the power poll are SEC teams who will knock each other off down the road.  What does all this mean?

Nothing has changed…The OU-Baylor winner on November 7 will win the Conference title and have the inside track to the final four spot. The OU coaching staff will learn from the TCU experience and be better prepared for TCU-type defensives.  After having Bevo burgers for lunch next Saturday, OU will follow up that feast with six more wins down the stretch…

First things first, we need to spank Texas and get some style points doing it…Then OU will come back home and take care of business…At that point the TCU loss will be but a distant memory.   Here is my scenario for OU getting back into the Final Four discussion.

  • TCU (will have two losses) after the Horned Frogs lose to Baylor in the consummate trap game next Saturday.  That loss will be followed up with a loss in Morgantown later in the year.
  • K-State will lose to OU in Norman giving OU the tie-breaker…
  • Baylor will lose to OU in Norman giving OU the tie-breaker…
  • OSU will lose to OU in Norman giving OU the tie-breaker.
  • West Virginia has already lost to the Sooners giving OU the tie-breaker.

Boomer Sooner…