The OSU train wreck…

About the time we think OU has issues, we get a dose of reality in the form of an OSU train wreck.   What we saw in Norman two weeks ago can’t hold a candle to what we saw in Stillwater last Saturday night.   The Norman train wreck was a mere fender-bender by comparison.

OSU’s end of the season debacle could be seen coming as OSU front-loaded its football schedule.  By playing high school teams early in the season along with the weakest Big 12 teams OSU, Aggie fans and the media got a false sense of security.   While the moral victory against FSU was nice, Florida State simply got bored in the second half of that one.

Then came a dose of reality as TCU hammered the Pokes and brought the Aggie Nation back to earth.   Then, one by one the Cowboys were pummeled by four more Big 12 teams.    What, you ask has caused this train wreck?  Of course the obvious choice here would be youth and inexperience along with an injury or two, but I suggest there may be a bigger picture here.  I suspect that the rift between Mike Gundy and T. Boone Pickens may have precipitated the worst OSU season in years.

Under T. Boone, OSU hired the best assistant coaches money could buy.  From Dana Holgorsen to Bill Young to Joe Wickline.  The OSU cupboard was always stocked full of outstanding coaches on both sides of the ball. At first Mike Gundy seemed to be just fine with letting T. Boone call the shots.

Then came Gundy’s overtures with Arkansas and Tennessee that eventually resulted in Mike Holder upping Gundy’s salary to $4 million dollar a year.    Now Mike began to think that he was hot stuff and well worth the money.   That my friend is where the wheels began coming off…

Yes, OSU kept their Mike Gundy, but highly respected coaches wanted nothing to do with Gundy’s high priced arrogance.   The Cowboys lost highly respected defensive coaches Bill Young and Vance Bedford to retirement and Texas respectively and offensive coaches Joe Wickline and Doug Meachum to Texas and TCU.  These guys were exceptional coaches who were basically keeping Mike Gundy afloat.  Evidence of that fact is what we see happening in Stillwater today.

Adding insult to injury will be the fact that OSU will not go bowling this year.  Not only will this fact hurt recruiting, it will also set the team back next year as well.   Teams use bowl practices to get a jump start on upcoming seasons.   For a young team like OSU, these practices are critically important.  I suspect that the OSU losing streak may extend into next year as well.

In Gundy’s defense, he no doubt assumed that anyone worth $ 4 million dollars for coaching a game must be pretty darn special.   As a result Mike apparently decided to go off on his own and hire his own set of coaches; as we can see this did not work… Mike is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.   With Gundy being the arrogant ass that he is, he is not about to go crawling back to T. Boone.

That’s right, Gundy simply forgot who is daddy was and the Gundy/Poke run is over…Gundy was within a whisper of beating OU three years in a row and now his Cowboys are on the verge of being the 7th best team in a ten team league.

The good news for OSU fans is that there will be a ton of openings this off-season for Mike Gundy to consider.   Additional good news is that T. Boone can buy out Gundy’s multi-year contract without breaking a sweat.

The bad news is that T. Boone may have created a monster in Mike Gundy.  He may be the only guy in Stillwater with a bigger ego than T. Boone.   With OSU being Gundy’s Yankee’s job, running Mike out of town may not be as easy as one would think.

In any case, the OSU train wreck will serve as a great distraction for OU fans as we work to get our own house in order.

Baylor Post-Mortem…

In light of what happened last Saturday I thought a dose of good news, bad news might be in order.

  • First off, the bad news is that that OU gave up 45 unanswered points, experienced one series where the opponent’s quarterback completed nine passes in a row, and had a stadium empty out quicker that poop through a goose. The good news is that OU fans only experience this degree of despair and helplessness every fifty years.  The last time was in 1969 as K-State’s Lynn Dickey lit up the OU defense for 59 points.
  • The bad news is that the Sooners must bounce back this weekend on the road in Lubbock in what will be sub-freezing weather.   The good news is that the Sooners have the opportunity to bounce back this weekend in Lubbock in sub-freezing weather.  (cold weather negates home field advantage)
  • The bad news is that Baylor under Art Briles has arrived and may have  better athletes than OU right now…The good news is that OU could have a major infusion of talent in 2015 in the form of Baker Mayfield, DGB, Joe Mixon, and Frank Shannon.
  • The bad news is that OU fans must deal with the Baylor bad taste in their mouths all week.   The good news is that OU must only wait a week and not an offseason to get the bad taste out of their mouths. (remember the offseason after the A&M debacle)
  • The bad news is that OU fans are fickle and spoiled.  The good news is that OU fans are fickle and will return enmasse for the Kansas and OSU games.
  • The bad news is that due to the Bob Stoops policy of hiring within the OU and Stoops family OU is stuck with two of the worst coordinators in America.  The good news is that head coaching positions will dot the college football landscape after this season, a fact that could spell relief for OU fans next fall.
  • The good news is that OU fans will be feeling much better this time next week and a lot better this time next year…
  • Boomer Sooner…

2014 Bowl Season and the Big 12…

If you are like me it is never too early to begin thinking about bowl games. I am a bowl game junky…And of course with this year being the inaugural playoff year, bowl games have more meaning than ever.

To be honest, I never thought the Big 12 would have a team in this year’s four team playoff.  Given last year’s performance by Big 12 schools and the lack of a championship game I thought the Big 12 chances of making it to the big dance were slim and none.  Fortunately for Big 12 Conference lovers things are looking up.   Last weekend’s loss by Georgia coupled with the TCU win over West Virginia has solidified the Big 12 chances of landing a team in the final four round robin.

The college football experts at SB Nation have TCU representing the Big 12 in this year’s final four.  Of course this scenario would unravel in a hurry if the Horned Frogs stumble at home against Kansas State or at Texas on Thanksgiving night.  At the same time this may be the best coached team in America and I like their chances of winning both these games.

The rest of the Big 12 pecking order is impressive as well as these website guys have OU as the number two team in the bowl-game pecking order.  This means that the SBNation gurus believe that OU will score an impressive win over Baylor next Saturday and that TCU will handle K-State in Fort Worth.  Sounds like a great plan to me.

In addition to the Big 12 and TCU making the final four playoff, a couple other interesting match-ups jump out from this list.  First, according to SBNation, the Sooners will get another crack at Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.  If this scenario pans out I like the Sooners chances of handling Notre Dame.  The Sooners will be on a five game winning streak and will have a serious tail-wind when they hit big D.

I am not sure the Irish can get there with their season ending schedule, but it is fun to dream.  For the Sooners to take out the Irish twice in an 18 month span would be like a dream come true.  Paying the Irish back for fifty years of misery would be like an extra Christmas for Sooner fans.

Another game that interests me from this list is the LSU/OSU match up in the Liberty Bowl.  I would love to see a Les Miles/Mike Gundy match-up.  I doubt that the stadium would be big enough to hold these two egos.

Here is a look at this SBNation’s bowl projections. playoff and Big 12 bowl projections…

Rose – Alabama vs. Oregon

Sugar – TCU (1) Florida State (Playoff game)

Cotton Bowl – OU (2) vs. Notre Dame

Alamo – Baylor (3) vs. Arizona State

Russell Athletic – West Virginia (4) vs. Clemson

Texas – Kansas State (5) vs. Missouri

Liberty – OSU (6) vs. LSU