OU basketball…the way James Naismith envisioned it to be…

Okay, so I was wrong already… In a recent blog I made the statement that OU would fare well in the NCAA tournament because we would have already faced teams from the toughest conference in America.   That reasoning along with my bracket went out the window after the first day.

Texas Tech loses to Butler (where the hell is Butler) Texas loses to a directional school from Iowa and West Virginia loses to a bunch of Lumberjacks from Texas (Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up, SFA’s mascot is the Lumberjack).

Not to be outdone Baylor does its standard first round belly flop by losing to a school with no players on athletic scholarship. I know we are talking Scott Drew here, but that is still embarrassing.

By the end of the first round the greatest conference in the history of college basketball had lost 57% of its games.

Hey, but wait a minute; I believe I see a silver lining for the Sooners…OU, KU and ISU used their Joe C. seeding gifts to salvage the day. These teams are each well-coached and will represent the conference well down the stretch. With the seeding mess that has produced all the upsets, I will be shocked if at least one of these teams does not make it to the final four.

As for OU, I like our chances. Granted living and dying by the three ball is not only nerve wracking, it is also dangerous, but I am telling you that there’s a chance.   Regardless of how far we extend our season, this sure beats sitting home on the couch watching everyone else play.

Who knows…as this team gets more rest their shooting legs may return and we could have a legitimate shot at the final four.

Regardless of how this thing turns out, I like the fact that OU and Lon Kruger are doing it the right way…OU will have four seniors off this team that will graduate in May.   In this “one and done era” where college basketball players seldom go to class, much less graduate, this may be a first.

I bet James Naismith would be really proud of how these Sooners are representing his game.

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Game on…

I first met David Boren forty years when I was a “still wet behind ears” college student. It was obvious to everyone that came into contact with the guy that he was someone that could get things done.

A governorship, a senate seat and a university presidency later and he is still making an imprint on this state. This time as the guy that will make sense of the Big 12.

In spite of his many strengths, Boren has one fault; that of wanting to get along. It was this fault that caused him to allow Texas and OSU to make a mess of the conference realignment picture a few years back. Now the conference is asking Boren to fix the mess left by T. Boone and DeLoss Dodds.

In the past the customary view was that the conference was to only entertain those schools not already part of a Power Conference. This made the list pretty sparse. Yes, Cincinnati from the AAC would do, but the rest of the list would do nothing to improve the conference.

Now word has come out that Boren and his sub-committee may consider universities from Power Conferences as well. This change of thought is a game changer. With this in mind I hope that Boren rectifies the original mistake made by conference leaders and goes after Louisville.

Louisville will give the conference an up and coming football team to go along with nationally ranked basketball and baseball programs. Louisville along with Cincinnati also fills out the eastern division dance card. Both these schools are a stone’s throw from each other and from Morgantown and Ames.

I suspect that the fifth member of the eastern division will have to be decided by seniority with TCU getting the nod.

The western division made up of OU, OSU, Texas, Baylor, and Tech will keep natural rivals in place. Conference leaders may have to flip a coin between KU and K-State for the 6th and final eastern division team. Either one works for me

In the end the rest of the beggars list of UCF, USF BYU, UConn and Boise State will be left out in the cold. Just as well, as none of these programs would have added anything of significance to the Big 12.

Here’s my conference expansion wish list…

Teams on the in…

Cincinnati (from AAC)

Louisville (from ACC)

 

Teams on the out in order of my preference for consideration…

Colorado State (Mountain West)

University of Houston (AAC)

University of Central Florida (AAC)

University of Connecticut (AAC)

Brigham Young (Independent)

Boise State (Mountain West)

University of South Florida (AAC)

 

 

 

 

 

Recruiting Finale…

College football is unlike any other sport in regards to its unpredictability. Players play for four years with the best players hanging around for only three.  Mix in yearly staff changes and we have the unpredictability that makes this game special.

At the same time there is one thing that separates the nation’s best programs from everyone else.   That one thing of course is recruiting.  Football teams can create ripple effects in college football by recruiting well for one or two years. For teams to become traditional winners, recruiting well every year is needed.  These teams never take a break as they must recruit year round.

Weeks before this year’s signing day, OU held several junior days to bring to the Norman campus the next crop of blue-chip players. It appears that OU may have righted the ship in the recruiting game as the Sooners are out of the chute fast this year with six-four star players committed to the Sooners.

Finally, as we wrap up recruiting for this year, let’s put a explanation point on longevity created by recruiting. I have combined the Classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017.  The 2017 rankings are based on commitments and not on signings, but it has been my experience that commitment rankings are extremely reliable. By combining these rankings, we find some interesting information for the Power Conferences moving forward.

Power Conference rankings…

1…SEC

2…Pac 12

3…Big 12

4…Big Ten

5…ACC

…The SEC will continue to dominate the game as a whole with Alabama, Florida, and Ole Miss at the top.   Auburn, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M will fill out the upper division dance card.

….In the Pac 12 look for Stanford to become stronger and stronger. It has become fashionable for four and five star athletes to choose the academic rigors and status known as Stanford.  Add USC, UCLA and Oregon to the mix and you have a really good conference.

….I see the Big 12 becoming much stronger over the next five years as OU, Texas, TCU and Baylor are recruiting much better these days.   These teams are off to hot starts for the Class of 2017 as well.  The middle division of league will be improved from past years and will allow the conference to move up nationally.   Once the conference adds Cincinnati and Louisville look out.

….The Big Ten with Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State will dominate an otherwise weak league.  This is really a top heavy conference that will eventually be seen for what it is…A top heavy league…Due to this fact look for Nebraska to move up the Big Ten chart.

….Same goes for the ACC…Florida State and Clemson are recruiting lights out these days, but the rest of the league sucks.  I expect Miami with its south Florida recruiting base and Mark Richt as its new coach to move into to third place, but the rest of the league is average at best.