The way too early football predictions for 2017

After the basketball season from hell, it is time for OU fans to focus our attention on football.

Yes, OU lost some difference makers on offense, but that is why OU recruits nationally every year. With Baker at the helm and the entire offensive line and Lincoln Riley returning, I expect the offense to be churning by the Texas game.

Prior to that game the Sooners will have to rely more on the defense, which as we know has sucked of late. Don’t expect a miracle in Columbus, but by the Texas game I expect the defense to be much improved.

Someone finally clued in Mike Stoops to the realization that a 3-4 alignment could not create a pass rush.   By recruiting able-bodied defensive linemen, the defense can now return to the defensive look that made us famous.   I also believe that we will see more of Caleb Kelly this year, which will be a very good thing.

According to ESPN, OU and OSU will battle it out for the Big 12 championship and Alabama, Florida State, USC and the Big Ten winner will make up the playoffs teams. On paper, I would agree with their findings, but thankfully the game is not played on paper.

The key for OU is to not get blown out in Columbus and take care of its Big 12 business. The Big 12 championship game will be same weekend, as the Big Ten game so if OU can impress the committee on that weekend OU will have a legitimate shot at the final four.

OSU will be good again as T. Boone has financed the latest set of triplets to return to Stillwater. Here is the thing however. The past few years OSU has lived the Life of Riley with no injuries. It is no secret that a big part of reason has been its powder-puff schedule.

This could change in 2017, as the Cowboys will fact a tough Tulsa team in its home opener and then go on the road for two games. One of those games will be played against a physical Pittsburgh team.

If the Cowgirls can avoid injuries in all three of those games and beat an improved Texas team in Austin, I will give them their due. Regardless of this fact, in order for the Ags to win the Big 12 and make it to the final four, OSU must beat the Sooners twice in one season. Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I don’t see that ever happening.

Below I have listed The ESPN “way too early” Big 12 and national rankings…

1…..OU (#8)

2…..OSU (#10)

3…..Kansas State (#17)

4…..West Virginia (#22)

5…..Texas (#23)

The ESPN “way too early” Top 25…

1…..Alabama

2…..Florida State

3…..USC

4…..Ohio State

5…..Penn State

6…..Clemson

7…..LSU

8……OU

9..…Washington

10….OSU

11…Auburn

12…Wisconsin

13…Clemson

13…Georgia

14…Michigan

15…Stanford

16…Miami

17….Kansas State

18…Louisville

19…Colorado

20…USF

21…Washington State

22….West Virginia

23….Texas

24…BYU

25…Virginia Tech

 

 

 

 

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Stunner in Stillwater…

About the time I think we are through with basketball for this year, OSU lays an egg and gives me another plot line.

The best basketball coach to hit Stillwater since Eddie Sutton has decided to move on…. More importantly, for OU fans the guy who single-handedly turned the tables on OU in one season is leaving. What the heck happened?

Could it be that recruiting players to the middle of nowhere was harder than expected? Or, possibly, Underwood decided at age 55 that he did not want to spend his twilight years playing 2nd banana to Mike Gundy?  Or could it be that T. Boone was not getting enough T.V. time and became disenchanted with basketball?

Regardless of the reason/s, Underwood is off to coach the Fighting Illini and in my opinion, good riddance. This guy can flat out coach…He coached a rag-tag Sam Houston State team to the sweet sixteen last year and got OSU into the tournament for the first time in a decade.

As soon as Travis Ford was fired last year, I knew Brad Underwood would be the next OSU coach and unfortunately I was right.   The good news is that his stay on the Swine Farm was short lived.

While I know T. Boone has a bottomless pit of money, I also know he has an ego that has to be constantly stroked by his coaches.  He expects everyone in Stillwater to kiss his ring and if a head coach hesitates the least bit they are done.

Underwood’s asking price of $3 million dollars combined with Travis Ford’s $2 million dollar yearly buyout may have been more than T. Boone was willing to pay without Brad Underwood’s undying affection.

When you sell your soul to the devil, you serve at the devil’s pleasure.  OSU sold their soul to T. Boone and as a result the move just caught them a really good coach.

In any case, OU fans will take it…we have Lon Kruger who is his own man and we are okay with that.   More importantly, OU basketball will be alive and well next season while OSU breaks in another new coach.

That is why the call them Aggies…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

 

 

From 4th to 163rd

OU has gone from 4th to 163rd http://www.teamrankings.com in the span of one year. The Sooner basketball train wreck actually started last year as the Sooners suffered a record 44 point loss to Villanova in the final four. Not to be outdone this Sooner bunch lost a record twenty (20) times this year.

Mercifully the season came to an end with a twenty-point loss to lowly TCU. The Lon Kruger that we have come to adore is currently mired in one of the worst streaks in college basketball history.

The excuse used by many OU fans is that this team is incredibly young.   That may be true, but the guy making $2 million dollars a year must own this one.   He knew the team would be young last year and did little to rectify the matter. Transfers and juco players have to be recruited to fix issues created by youth.

Making matters worse is the fact that T. Boone saw the Sooner meltdown coming and pulled the plug on Travis Ford. He replaced OU’s best friend with a real basketball coach.   Going into this season OU owned OSU. That mindset has evaporated in just one season.

The saving grace for Sooner fans comes in the form of the most unlikely of candidates. Five-star recruit Trae Young spurned both OSU and Kansas to play for the Sooners. Chalk this one up to Sooner Magic.

Ironically, Trae Young’s signing with a downtrodden OU team reminds me of some to blue chip players that signed with John Blake’s sinking ship. It was crazy then and to be perfectly honest it was crazy for us to get Trae Young. The difference of course is that Lon Kruger has a clue and John Blake did not.

With the entire team back next year along with a much needed triggerman in Young, possibly the Sooners will make a 180-degree turn and make history in the other direction.

That would certainly make March a lot more fun…

Boomer Sooner

From 4th to 163rd

OU has gone from 4th to 163rd  http://www.teamrankings.com in the span of one year. The Sooner basketball train wreck actually started last year as the Sooners suffered a record 44 point loss to Villanova in the final four. Not to be outdone this Sooner bunch lost a record twenty (20) times this year.

Mercifully the season came to an end with a twenty-point loss to lowly TCU. The Lon Kruger that we have come to adore is currently mired in one of the worst streaks in college basketball history.

The excuse used by many OU fans is that this team is incredibly young.   That may be true, but the guy making $2 million dollars a year must own this one.   He knew the team would be young last year and did little to rectify the matter. Transfers and juco players have to be recruited to fix issues created by youth.

Making matters worse is the fact that T. Boone saw the Sooner meltdown coming and pulled the plug on Travis Ford. He replaced OU’s best friend with a real basketball coach.   Going into this season OU owned OSU. That mindset has evaporated in just one season.

The saving grace for Sooner fans comes in the form of the most unlikely of candidates. Five-star recruit Trae Young spurned both OSU and Kansas to play for the Sooners. Chalk this one up to Sooner Magic.

Ironically, Trae Young’s signing with a downtrodden OU team reminds me of some to blue chip players that signed with John Blake’s sinking ship. It was crazy then and to be perfectly honest it was crazy for Trae Young. The difference of course is that Lon Kruger has a clue and John Blake did not.

With the entire team back next year along with a much needed triggerman in Young, possibly the Sooners will make a 180-degree turn and make history in the other direction.

That would certainly make March a lot more fun…

Boomer Sooner

 

 

There is only one, Oklahoma… 

While the average football fan fails to comprehend this statement, those of us who have followed OU football forever get it…As a result, we realize that Bob must do what Bob must do as he disciplines Baker Mayfield.

We are not Ole Miss. or Baylor or the guys up north…we are better than that…Yes, it is frustrating when those same events that occur in Stillwater receive little or no attention and players receive no discipline, (three times in the last two years, one the week of Bedlam, OSU players were arrested for public intoxication with all situations handled internally), but then again, there is only one Oklahoma.

I hate hypocrisy as much or more than the next guy, but I also I firmly believe that what goes around comes around.

All, the more reason for Bob to keep things in check. All, the more reason for OU fans to question Barry Switzer’s take on the Baker Mayfield episode. Yes, I know that Barry tends to shoot from the hip, but his tweet that “they couldn’t have caught my quarterbacks” was simply out of line.

Not only was his tweet disingenuous, it was also untruthful.   I remember like it was yesterday the Sports Illustrated cover with quarterback Charles Thompson being led off to prison in shackles after being convicted of distributing cocaine.   The Thompson episode was just the latest in a litany of OU crimes that included four OU players being convicted of rape.

Trust me Charles Thompson was not outrunning anyone on that day….

More importantly for OU fans with short memories, the sordid end of the Barry era culminated years later with the John Blake era…John Blake takes the rap for the worst period in OU football history, but none of that would have happened if Barry had not lost control of his program and his players.

My point is this…we should all credit Barry Switzer for resurrecting the program in the early 70’s that had gone dormant after Bud left. We should give Barry his due, but we should also realize that the world has changed…

OU cannot win in today’s highly competitive college football world with a shoddy, undisciplined image. To recruit National Championship-type players, we must offer their parents something different.

David Boren, Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops understand this. That is why Joe Mixon was encouraged to go pro, Parrish Cox will not be back in Norman and Baker Mayfield must be disciplined…

These facts will encourage OU players to think twice before they embarrass the program again…Bob must do what Bob must do and Baker because he loves being a Sooner will handle it like a man.   OU football will be better for it…after all…

There is only one Oklahoma…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

Class of 2018 Recruiting…

The latest 247sports recruiting rankings sprinkled in with information to spice up the rankings.

  1. Penn State – Former Vanderbilt coach will produce a winner in Happy Valley.
  2. Miami – Former Georgia coach Mark Richt was a great hire to harness south Florida athletes…
  3. Florida State – Seminoles are loaded for a Final-four run…
  4. Notre Dame – same old Notre Dame – Irish recruit lights out and then do nothing with it.
  5. USC –The USC players were right with their coach pick. USC will be final-four team for years…
  6. Clemson – With DeShaun Watson gone, Clemson will fall back into ACC pack.
  7. Kansas – New Orleans high school coaches boycotting LSU. KU asst. coach picking up pieces.
  8. LSU – With Louisiana talent, LSU will always be good, but will always play 2nd fiddle to Alabama.
  9. Texas A&M – SEC move continues to pay off for Aggies…
  10. Ala. –The Tide will ebb and flow leading up to signing day, but will end up #1 in the rankings at the end of the day.
  11. Ohio State – Urban Meyer may be losing his swagger after the Clemson smack down last year…
  12. BYU – The team is older than some NFL teams with most players married with children…
  13. OU – OU already has a five star player in this class in Southmoore’s Brey Walker.
  14. Louisville – Bobby Petino was a solid hire at Louisville. The Big 12 missed out on Louisville.
  15. Washington – Pac 12 team that is outside the soft norm. Will help USC reach the final four.
  16. Georgia – Recruits lights out every year and every year is overshadowed by other SEC teams.
  17. Michigan State – Same for Spartans in the Big Ten…
  18. Auburn – #18 in recruiting will not cut it at Auburn…I don’t expect Guy Malzahn to be long for Auburn.
  19. Nebraska –Mike Reilly was not a splashy hire, but this guy is a good fit at Nebraska..
  20. Miss. State – Bulldogs will benefit from the NCAA investigation and penalties at Ole Miss…
  21. NC State – Always the bridegroom and never the Bride in ACC…
  22. Virginia Tech – Justin Fuente, the former OU QB is the feel good story of the decade….
  23. Tennessee–Butch Davis is not long for Knoxville. Great recruiter, but lousy coach…
  24. Texas Tech – Decent ranking, but I will have to see it to believe it…
  25. Michigan – This will not get it done for the Wolverines.

Other Big 12 teams…

  1. OSU – Cowboys go back to Denton Guyer for next quarterback.
  2. Baylor – Bears continue to rebound under Matt Rhule…
  3. Texas Texas junior day pays off with big bump…
  4. TCU – Horned Frogs will always recruit well in Dallas.
  5. West Virginia – needs to join league closer to home…
  6. Iowa State – Young coach Jeff Campbell continues to impress…

Big 12 no-shows in early going…

Kansas State – With Bill Snyder on the mend and KU getting better, the pressure will be on the Wildcats this year…