When it rains it pours Part II…Kyler Murray…

A wise man once said that when a team has two starting quarterbacks, they have no starting quarterbacks. This was the case this past year with Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M.  As so often happens, the Aggies imploded and will lose both star-studded quarterbacks.

Cutting to the chase, Kyler Murray always wanted to be Sooner and now he will be…At this time last year there were two problems with making that happen. First, Josh Heupel was still hanging around Norman and secondly Murray’s dad was a former star at A&M.

Even at the end of the recruiting cycle after Heupel was evicted from the program, it appeared that OU might still get the talented Murray. In the end pulling the trigger with the uncertainty of what was going on in Norman was too much to overcome and Kyler Murray stayed with his year-old A&M commitment.

With the two programs now going in opposite directions, the OU move became an easy one. We can thank both Bob Stoops and Kevin Sumlin for this blessing…Stoops because he does not burn bridges and Sumlin because he can’t make a decision.

To put this major OU recruiting coup into perspective, here is the tale of the tape for Kyler Murray. During his senior year, Murray passed for 4,713 yards while running for 1,495 yards and 79 total touchdowns.  As a three year starter at Allen Texas he was 43-0.  He led Allen to three consecutive state titles in big boy high school football.

Without the benefit of a spring practice, Murray battled equally talented Kyle Allen for playing time. Kevin Sumlin mismanaged the situation from the get go and it was obvious to anyone with two eyes that it was just a matter of time before the wheels would come off the Aggie cart.

With high school teammate Bobby Jo Evans showing him the way, he left A&M last week and will join the Sooners for spring ball.

Again, when it rains it pours…Now OU will have a Heisman Trophy candidate for a starting quarterback in 2016 and the #1 dual threat quarterback in the country for the 2017 season.

With the experience of a Bob Stoops in dealing with egos I suspect that OU will fare much better than A&M in the end. Lincoln Riley will now have a Baker Mayfield clone to step in at quarterback when Baker hangs it up a year from now.

Sometimes we have to go through a little grief in order to appreciate the good times. Fortunately for the Sooner Nation, it is raining good times in Norman these days.

Boomer Sooner…

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When it rains it pours Part II…Kyler Murray…

A wise man once said that when a team has two starting quarterbacks, they have no starting quarterbacks. This was the case this past year with Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M.  As so often happens, the Aggies imploded and will lose both star-studded quarterbacks.

Cutting to the chase, Kyler Murray always wanted to be Sooner and now he will be…At this time last year there were two problems with making that happen. First, Josh Heupel was still hanging around Norman and secondly Murray’s dad was a former star at A&M.

Even at the end of the recruiting cycle after Heupel was evicted from the program, it appeared that OU might still get the talented Murray. In the end pulling the trigger with the uncertainty of what was going on in Norman was too much to overcome and Kyler Murray stayed with his year-old A&M commitment.

With the two programs now going in opposite directions, the OU move became an easy one. We can thank both Bob Stoops and Kevin Sumlin for this blessing…Stoops because he did not burn the Kyler Murray bridge and Sumlin because he could not make up his mind.

To put this major OU recruiting coup into perspective, here is the tale of the tape for Kyler Murray. During his senior year, Murray passed for 4,713 yards while running for 1,495 yards and 79 total touchdowns.  As a three year starter at Allen Texas he was 43-0.  He led Allen to three consecutive state titles.

Without the benefit of a spring practice, Murray battled equally talented Kyle Allen for playing time. Kevin Sumlin mismanaged the situation from the get go and it was obvious to anyone with two eyes that it was just a matter of time before the wheels came off  in Aggieland.

With high school teammate Bobby Jo Evans showing him the way, he left A&M last week and will join the Sooners for spring ball.

Again, when it rains it pours…Now OU will have a Heisman Trophy candidate for a starting quarterback in 2016 and the #1 dual threat quarterback in the country for the 2017 season.

With the experience of a Bob Stoops in dealing with egos I suspect that OU will fare much better than A&M in the end. Lincoln Riley will now have a Baker Mayfield clone to step in at quarterback when Baker hangs it up a year from now.

Sometimes we have to go through a little grief in order to appreciate the good times. Fortunately for the Sooner Nation, it is raining good times in Norman these days.

Boomer Sooner…

What a difference a year makes…

When it rains it pours…Last year OU was mired in one of the worst recruiting seasons ever…After the end of season meltdown and the subsequent coaching staff makeover, the Sooners recruiting machine had lost its swagger. That was then and this is now… The Sooners are back and recruits are lining up to play for the Sooners.

Big time recruits look for two major aspects in a football program; coaching stability and a winning tradition…OU has both.

Young head coaches who can speak the language of today’s athlete can have a short term impact on recruiting; it is however the seasoned head coach who has young energetic assistant coaches who will have the most success in the end.  Players and in particular their parents want a head coach that will be there to make sure their sons graduate.  Right now Bob Stoops is gold in this area.

Secondly, high school players want a proven product, one that has won in the past and one that will likely win in the future. Again, Bob Stoops and the Sooners are gold in this area.

The latest commitment to the OU cause underscores this fact.   Four-star defensive lineman Chris Daniels out of Dallas Euless is pure gold himself.  At 6’ 3” and 300 lbs. Daniels will likely be a three year starter on the defensive line for the Sooners.. There was a time when OU had to beg defensive linemen to take a look at the Sooner program.  Today,  these guys are calling Norman just for the opportunity to visit the campus.

Daniels gives OU six four-star prospects in this class to go along with four four-star recruits for the next year’s class. As you know I love connecting the dots between recruiting and program success.  With a ton of talent coming back to Norman in 2016 and with recruiting on the rise, the future looks incredibly bright for the Sooner Nation.

What a difference year makes…

Based on Rivals100 star rankings  the OU’s Class of 2016 is ranked #20 and on the rise.

National blue chip star-ranking average.

1….Ohio State…3.82

2….Georgia…3.79

3….Alabama…3.65

4….USC…3.57

5….Auburn…3.56

6….Tennessee…3.53

7….Florida State…3.52

8….Notre Dame…3.50

9….Ole Miss…3.5

10..UCLA…3.44

11..Michigan State…3.44

12..Texas A&M…3.44

13..Penn State…3.44

14..LSU…3.44

15..Clemson…3.44

16..Michigan…3.43

17..Stanford…3.37

18..Oregon…3.37

19..Baylor…3.37

20..OU…3.33

 

Big 12…

…1. Baylor 3.37

…2. OU 3.33

…3. Texas 3.33

…4. TCU 3.25

…5. OSU 2.82

…6. Texas Tech 2.81

…7. West Virginia 2.74

…8. K-State 2.69

…9. Iowa State 2.54

..10.Kansas 2.46

Army-Navy part II

In case you missed it the Black Knights of Army put up a gallant fight and almost did the impossible by beating Navy last Saturday. A missed field goal and a botched pass day did in Army as the Cadets went down for the 14th year in a row.

To be honest, the navy helmets were cool at first, but as the game wore on they began to lose their appeal.   At that point the less flamboyant Army uniforms began to grow on me.

Also, believing that college football is more than just a game, watching the post-game performance of the cadets from West Point was awe-inspiring,  Keeping in mind that the losing team must serenade the winning team and then stand at attention as the reverse happens, the stature of the Army players and cadets was amazing.

As the tear rolled down the face of a Cadet during the Army alma mater, I was reminded of how I felt back in the day losing to Texas year after year. I know that I am breaking a man-law here, but I must say that that scene gave me goose bumps.

As you might have figured out I am an Army guy and I am anxiously looking forward to next year when this reign of terror will be over. I will have a similar feeling that I had back in 1966 when the OU broke the Texas streak.

Nothing lasts forever, particularly in college football as winning and losing streaks eventually pass away.   Army will win next year and exorcise itself from its two decade demon.

Army with its second year coach Jeff Monken and its 16 returning starters, among which will be its quarterback, stud wide-receiver and both running backs will turn the tide in 2016.

Put it in the bank…Army beats Navy in 2016 for the first time in a decade and the Black Knights will be serenaded by the boys in blue.

Go Army…

 

Thanks Trevor…

As expected Trevor Knight will be leaving the OU family after the bowl game.   Unfortunately, Trevor Knight will leave the program without deserved appreciation from the Sooner Nation.  Of course this is the nature of the OU fan base; we are a very fickle bunch.

Trevor Knight quarterbacked the Sooners to 20 wins in two years including the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama which was one of the most meaningful bowls wins in recent memory.

Granted there were some down times along the way including unexpected losses last season to TCU, K-State and yes Baylor, but for the most part Trevor did his part. He was handcuffed by the offensive play calling of Mickey Mouse on the one hand and Daffy Duck, the defensive coordinator on the other hand.

Fans jumped off the Trevor Knight-ship in droves after last year’s Clemson loss, but again this is what we do as OU fans. Keep in mind, that Trevor Knight was handcuffed by his head injury from the Baylor game and the fact that the team had checked out after the Bedlam mess.  Not even John Elway could have saved the team that night.

Don’t get me wrong, like all OU fans I was thankful for the arrival of Baker Mayfield because Trevor was mentally done as the OU quarterback. Football is an emotional game and once a team loses confidence in its leader, that leader is toast.

At the same time short-sighted OU fans must remember that while OU has had a ton of really outstanding young men make their way through Norman over the years, none have been more special than Trevor Knight. I am a sentimentalist who loves class acts and this guy is a class act.

Not one time did he complain about the play calling of Josh Heupel.   Not one time did he bemoan the fact that he had been beaten out by Baker Mayfield; instead, he became Baker’s biggest cheerleader.

Typical of Trevor Knight is his decision to transfer now. Doing so will allow OU’s next year’s backup quarterback to get more snaps.  This is a win-win situation for OU and for Trevor Knight.

Trevor Knight is still an outstanding quarterback who can be successful in the right system. Every OU fan should wish him well.  If my dream comes true Trevor Knight will get a standing ovation from OU fans when he returns to Norman next season.

To that end my hope is that the Trevor Knight will land in the barren fields of Manhattan, Kansas. Being the class act that he is Bob Stoops has given Trevor Knight his unconditional release, a move that will allow Trevor to play for an OU opponent next season and this would include K-State.

Trevor Knight would be a great fit in the Bill Snyder system. Just as importantly for OU fans, he will not be a threat to OU as the Sooners will play the Wildcats in Norman next year and the Sooners will be loaded.  He will however create a sizeable issue for OSU who will play the Wildcats in Manhattan in 2016.

I religiously avoid watching OSU play football, but I will be glued to my set next November when the Cats host the Ags…

When was the last time a quarterback beat a college team twice at separate universities…Probably never, I can’t wait for that to happen…

Go Trevor and Boomer Sooner…              

 

 

Army Navy…

It is always sad at this time of the year as the college football season winds down and we realize that in a few weeks, we will be 8 months away from another football season. Fortunately for Sooner fans, we have the playoffs which will keep busy for another month.

For those of us who crave anything football, we have one more regular season game. We have the Army-Navy game and the incredible college football tradition that goes with this game.

Three things stand out about this game for me. One is the tradition of Heisman Trophy winners as Doc Blanchard (’45), Glen Davis (’46) and Pete Dawkins (’48) won the award three out of four years back in the day.

Then there was Navy’s midshipman Roger Staubach who did the same before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys.

Secondly, is the pre-game show where thousands of midshipmen and cadets file into the stadium.

Third is the post-game tradition where the winning team (almost always Navy) goes to the Army side for the playing of the Army alma mater. Then in a real act of character and resilience the losing team (most assuredly Army) will move across the field to honor the winning team.

This act of selflessness on the part of Army has become a real act of courage as Army has lost this game 13 years in a row. When Army breaks this streak, hopefully next year when Keenan Reynolds graduates, the post-game show will be particularly sweet.

Finally, this year Navy and UnderArmour have made the game even more special. Navy players will be wearing helmets that will replicate various ships from the U.S. Naval Fleet.

Some of you may have seen these helmets from a previous blog from Dr. Tamage, but if you have not, check these helmets out on Saturday.

Jason Kirk@SBN.com reports the ships and their corresponding positions are as follows.

  • Linebacker: Cruiser– Provides anti-air defense and packs the biggest punch of Naval surface ships representative of the linebackers on the Navy football team
  • Defensive Back: Destroyer- Known for significant fire power, speed, and anti-missile defense as are Navy’s defensive backs
  • Wide Receiver: Submarine– Predominantly utilized as blockers, wide receivers play a key role in driving the Navy rush attack, taking on a stealth-like persona as they blend into the rhythm of the offense but bring significant fire power when called upon, just like a Naval submarine
  • Lineman: Amphibious Assault Ships– Just as a lineman’s job is the create a hole for a running back or linebacker, these ships are utilized to establish the “beach head” that enables the invading force to gain access and ultimately accomplish their objective
  • Quarterback: Aircraft Carrier- The QB of the Naval Fleet, the aircraft carrier is the ultimate decision maker; the “quick strike” weapon of the Naval fleet
  • Running Back: Littoral Combat Ship– Like running backs, these fast and nimble ships can navigate through both crowded shallow and deep waters
  • Kicker/Special Teams: Minesweeper- Much like the specific task of the Navy special teams, this small ship has a unique mission of identifying and eliminating mines

Regardless of whether you are an Army or Navy guy, this is pretty cool stuff…