Bowl games…

I am probably the only guy in America that still gives a rat’s behind about bowl games. With the advent of the playoffs, these games have become pretty much meaningless. Then again, I love filling out a bracket and seeing my teams go belly up.

Some may ask…why do bowl games matter? Let me give you three reasons.

First…why else would anyone want to visit Alabama towns like Mobile and Birmingham? Here’s why…People in Kansas and Iowa are desperate for any reason to get out of town in the dead of winter.

Secondly, conferences use bowl games to sell their product. The Big 12 has nine bowl game tie-ins

For the bowl games, this is a win-win situation. Those empty seats you see on t.v. are actually filled with seats purchased by the conference.   Teams assigned to a bowl game by the conference must purchase an allotment of tickets. If fans don’t pony up the money, the league will.

Let’s say, oSU only sold 5,000 to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando which looked about right…the conference then picks up the tab for the rest of oSU’s 12,000 tickets. That’s right the conference is on the hook to the tune of $350,000.

Reason three is the big one…back in the day, teams with marginal records would occasionally turn down a bowl game opportunity. That never happens today for this reason. Bowl teams get an additional twenty days of practice…this is the equivalent to an extra spring practice.

Coaches use this time to evaluate younger players for the upcoming season. Only the big boys in the playoffs use this time to prepare a game-plan for the bowl game. This is why these games are so unpredictable and yes, ugly.

What I learned from this bowl season…

…Never pick against a service academy. Unlike everyone else, these teams take bowl games seriously. They also run the option that makes the opposing teams look silly.

…Never pick a MAC team. MAC teams should never play anyone outside the MAC. That Toledo team that lost to App. State (that’s right App. State) reminded me of the old Toledo Dolls Womens’ League team.

…Never pick a Mike Leach team in a bowl game. I know the guy is entertaining, but he will never take a bowl game or any game for that matter that means nothing seriously…Conversely, Mark Dantonio at Michigan State would take a dogfight seriously. This made for a predictable outcome.

…It is hard to believe that oSU only beat a very average Va. Tech team by nine points. And that 9 point win came gift-wrapped as the Hokies fumbled away a chance to go up by 11 points in the first half. oSU started three projected NFL first round draft choices in this game…what a waste.

…The TCU win over Stanford reassured me about OU’s chances against Georgia. The Horned Frogs who OU handled easily twice this year manned up quite well against a Stanford team that is mirror image of Georgia…I like our chances…

 

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2017 recruiting – first signing period.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m having a hard time getting use to the new early signing day. In the old days the 2nd Wednesday in Februrary was perfect. February is the most miserable month of the year and having a signing day in February made the month bearable.

This year the NCAA decided to create an early signing day in December, just four days short of Christmas. Most football fans were so covered up with Christmas distractions or work, they missed the whole thing.

Any way it is what it is…we will have to live with it. On a positive note, this year college football will have two signing dates. That’s my silver lining…

In any case, here’s the Scout.com’s national top ten…

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Texas
  4. Penn State
  5. Alabama
  6. Miami
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Clemson
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Auburn

1…Watch out for Georgia moving forward…they start a true freshman at quarterback and have a bunch of returning starters. With this year’s #1 recruiting class and finally a decent head coach the Bulldogs will battle Alabama moving forward.

2…Typical Ohio State class. These guys do less with more than any team in the country. OU needs to make Josh Proctor pay for becomimg a Buckeye.

3…I know Texas is known for wasting recruiting classes, but I suspect this coaching staff may be different.   The good news for Texas and possibly for the Big 12 is that Texas turned the tables on A&M and the SEC this year. Texas signed the top player in Texas and 9 of the top 15 in-state players.

4…Penn State got a player in Micah Parsons that OU would love to have had, but other than that, I am not impressed with Pedophile U.

5…Just as predicted, Alabama took their sweet time cherry picking the best talent. These guys are not finished…may end up #1 after the second signing date.

6…There will always be a ton of talent in south Florida for Miami to recruit. If these guys had any coaching at all, they’d be dangerous.

7…Notre Dame loads up once again on highly ranked slow white guys…

8…Clemson is the antithesis of the Big Ten schools. They will get the most out of their players and will dominate a weak ACC. Clemson will be in the final four discussion as long as they can hold onto Brent Venables.

9…OU recruiting is just getting started under Lincoln Riley. We should thank Bob Stoops for stepping down before the season and before this recruiting cycle revved up. Bob was done and he knew it…Lincoln is just getting warmed up.

10…Auburn will continue to be the oSU of the SEC. They can live rather well off Alabama throw-aways.

 

Big 12 Rankings

1…Texas

2…Oklahoma

3…TCU

4…Baylor

5…oSU

5…West Virginia

7…Iowa State

8…Texas Tech

9…Kansas State

10.Kansas

Big 12 thoughts…

1…See Texas comments above.

2…See OU comments above.

3…TCU does as good a job of evaluating its recruits as anyone in the country. Two years from now the Horned Frogs will be competing for a Big 12 Championship once again.

4…Give Tom Rhule and Baylor credit. This guy has brought Baylor back from the dead. Baylor will be back sooner than people think.

5A. Due to scholarship limitations, oSU will always get their share of Oklahoma kids that OU cannot afford to take. They will also get Texas kids that Texas and A&M don’t have room for. All in all, this is a pretty good Gag class.

5B. Some recruiting services have the West Virginia class ranked ahead of oSU. Nothing special here, but with quarterback Will Grier returning in 2018, look out for the Mountaineers, especially the Friday after Thanksgiving.

7-10…Give Iowa State’s Matt Campbell credit. Convincing three star recruits to relocate to Ames Iowa is pretty impressive.

Texas Tech continues to struggle to convince good players to move to Lubbock. I have never been to Lubbock, but those who have been there tell me that it sucks. Then again, Tech has finally learned how to play defense. The Red Raiders also have a bunch of returning starters for 2018, so pretty boy may get in done after all.

Look for K-State’s Bill Snyder to put the rumors aside and return for his 100th season in Manhattan. At that point he can set his sights on the 2nd signing period and the Kansas junior college crowd.   When this happens, this class will rank in the middle of the Big 12.

This Kansas recruiting season started off with so much hope with six Louisiana commitments. The Jayhawks ended up with half that many, but one was a four star defensive back stolen from under the noses of LSU. May not seem like much, but this is a start for the worst football program in America.

2017 recruiting – first signing period.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m having a hard time getting use to the new early signing day. In the old days the 2nd Wednesday in Februrary was perfect. February is the most miserable month of the year and having a signing day in February made the month bearable.

This year the NCAA decided to create an early signing day in December, just four days short of Christmas. Most football fans were so covered up with Christmas distractions or work, they missed the whole thing.

Any way it is what it is…we will have to live with it. On a positive note, this year college football will have two signing dates. That’s my silver lining…

In any case, here is…the Scout.com’s national top ten…

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Texas
  4. Penn State
  5. Alabama
  6. Miami
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Clemson
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Auburn

1…Watch out for Georgia moving forward…they start a true freshman at quarterback and have a bunch of returning starters. With this year’s #1 recruiting class and finally a decent head coach the Bulldogs will battle Alabama moving forward.

2…Typical Ohio State class. These guys do less with more than any team in the country. OU needs to make Josh Proctor pay for becomimg a Buckeye.

3…I know Texas is known for wasting recruiting classes, but I suspect this coaching staff may be different.   The good news for Texas and possibly for the Big 12 is that Texas turned the tables on A&M and the SEC this year. Texas signed the top player in Texas and 9 of the top 15 in-state players.

4…Penn State got a player in Micah Parsons that OU would love to have had, but other than that, I am not impressed with Pedophile U.

5…Just as predicted, Alabama took their sweet time cherry picking the best talent. These guys are not finished…may end up #1 after the second signing date.

6…There will always be a ton of talent in south Florida for Miami to recruit. If these guys had any coaching at all, they’d be dangerous.

7…Notre Dame loads up once again on highly ranked slow white guys…

8…Clemson is the antithesis of the Big Ten schools. They will get the most out of their players and will dominate a weak ACC. Clemson will be in the final four discussion as long as they can hold onto Brent Venables.

9…OU recruiting is just getting started under Lincoln Riley. We should thank Bob Stoops for stepping down before the season and before this recruiting cycle revved up. Bob was done and he knew it…Lincoln is just getting warmed up.

10…Auburn will continue to be the oSU of the SEC. They can live rather well off Alabama throw-aways.

 

Big 12 Rankings

1…Texas

2…Oklahoma

3…TCU

4…Baylor

5…oSU

5…West Virginia

7…Iowa State

8…Texas Tech

9…Kansas State

10.Kansas

Big 12 thoughts…

1…See Texas comments above.

2…See OU comments above.

3…TCU does as good a job of evaluating its recruits as anyone in the country. Two years from now the Horned Frogs will be competing for a Big 12 Championship once again.

4…Give Tom Rhule and Baylor credit. This guy has brought Baylor back from the dead. Baylor will be back sooner than people think.

5A. Due to scholarship limitations, oSU will always get their share of Oklahoma kids that OU cannot afford to take. They will also get Texas kids that Texas and A&M don’t have room for. All in all, this is a pretty good Gag class.

5B. Some recruiting services have the West Virginia class ranked ahead of oSU. Nothing special here, but with quarterback Will Grier returning in 2018, look out for the Mountaineers, especially the Friday after Thanksgiving.

7-10…Give Iowa State’s Matt Campbell credit. Convincing three star recruits to relocate to Ames Iowa is pretty impressive.

Texas Tech continues to struggle to convince good players to move to Lubbock. I have never been to Lubbock, but those who have been there tell me that it sucks. Then again, Tech has finally learned how to play defense. The Red Raiders also have a bunch of returning starters for 2018, so pretty boy may get in done after all.

Look for K-State’s Bill Snyder to put the rumors aside and return for his 100th season in Manhattan. At that point he can set his sights on the 2nd signing period and the Kansas junior college crowd.   When this happens, this class will rank in the middle of the Big 12.

This Kansas recruiting season started off with so much hope with six Louisiana commitments. The Jayhawks ended up with half that many, but one was a four star defensive back stolen from under the noses of LSU. May not seem like much, but this is a start for the worst football program in America.

Baker…       

We won’t know until January 8th if Baker Mayfield will be the greatest player in OU history, but this guy has to be in the discussion.

Everyone has their favorites from Bud’s Billy Vessels and Tommy McDonald to Barry’s Joe Washington. I have a special place in my heart for Jack Mildren because he single-handedly recaptured the Texas recruiting map and returned the program to its former glory days.

I also love the fact that anytime OU played Texas in Dallas with the Boz in tow, OU fans would return to the Sooner state happy campers. That guy owned Texas.

Then there were the litany of great players that played during the Stoops era that are too numerous to count.   All of these guys were great players, but can any of these guys compare to what Baker has done for this football program. I think is safe to say, that OU fans will never again see the likes of a Baker Mayfield at quarterback.

Unfortunately, far too many talking heads measure the value of a quarterback from what they do in the NFL. I really hate this…College football is a different game. To underscore my point…without using google, tell me where these NFL greats played college football.

Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan….all nice college quarterbacks, but not one conference champion in the bunch. I have enjoyed their stories of how they moved from non-descript college careers to become NFL stars, but still none of these legends of the pro-game could carry Baker’s jock in the college football arena.

Baker has single-handedly brought the OU program and the Big 12 Conference back from the dead. He beat Tennessee and Ohio State on the road, dominated rivals Texas and oSU, won three conference championships and willed his team to a final four playoff berth, not to mention winning the Heisman.

If Baker leads the Sooners to a National Championship, it will be hard to overlook Baker Mayfield as the greatest Sooner of them all.

Boomer Sooner…

 

The mullet man for life…

Mike Gundy outsmarts the Aggies once again as he plays his Tennessee hand to get another pay raise. Of course your thinking outsmarting a room full of Aggies is like outsmarting a room full of pet rocks. In other words, we should have seen this one coming.

What I don’t get is why Tennessee keeps getting played by the Mullet man. Maybe the Volunteers should be renamed Aggies. In any case, Mike Gundy has decided to make his permanent home in Stillwater so watch out orange blossom girls.

It is my belief that the productive life-shelf of a head coach at a Power Five Conference is ten years. Gundy is already on the south side of that mark. His best years are behind him and the Aggie faithful will be stuck with him well into the next decade.

Of course give Gundy credit, he realized that he was not up to the rigors of the SEC. They play man football down there and Mikey wanted no part of that. Instead he has chosen the comfy confines of the Big 12.

Being smarter than an egg plan, Gundy is assured of an 8-win season every year. He beats three high school teams during the non-conference schedule and five junior varsity teams during the Big 12 season for his eight wins. You or I could do this for a lot less money.

For Sooner fans, the Cowboys will continue playing second fiddle to the Sooners for the foreseeable future…for Cowboy fans, they will be stuck with the mullet man for life. Only an Aggie would give a lifetime contract to a guy that has a 2 and 21 record against their archrival.

Then again, this is why they call them Aggies.

 

 

 

 

The Playoffs…

The selection committee threw us a curve ball. They said they would go with conference champions first and foremost…then they went with Alabama over Ohio State.  Good move for college football and an even better move for the Sooners…

OU will play a winnable game against Georgia and then Sooner fans can sit back and root for the other Crimson team to beat Clemson.

I like OU’s chance against the run-first Georgia offense.   I know Jake Fromm was a five star recruit, but Fromm is still a true freshman.

As for OU’s offense, I believe this bunch, with or without Rodney Anderson will roll against Georgia. Those guys have not seen the likes of this offense before.

I know that rooting for Alabama is akin to blasphemy in Oklahoma, but there is a reason for my madness.  I believe that Alabama’s physicality gives them the best chance to knock off Clemson. I don’t about you, but I never want to play Clemson again. Roll Tide.

In Alabama, we will face a physical, well-coached team, but a team that OU can beat. The best remedy for a physical team like Alabama is to play up-tempo football. This Baker Mayfield offense seems to be able to always find the soft spot in a defense.

Alabama will also have just one week to prepare for the OU offense. A week is not nearly enough time to prepare for the number of weapons that a Lincoln Riley offense can throw at a defense.

I like our chances of bringing home #8

Boomer Sooner…

 

Saturday…

As you know I am not a big fan of the Big 12 Championship game, particularly when OU has nothing to gain and everything to lose. This fact will make Sooner fans understandably anxious prior to Saturday’s game.

At the same time, it is time for Sooner fans to accept the reality of the situation and go with the flow. As they say, it is what it is. What it is, is this…

The good news is that OU’s offense is hitting on all cylinders at just the right time of the year. Even the best of defenses have difficulty stopping a team that can both run and throw like this team can. The additional good news is that Baker Mayfield still wears the Crimson and Cream uniform.

The bad news is that TCU is coached by an obsessive, defensive, guru named Gary Patterson.   Piling on the bad news side of the ledger is the fact that the Horned Frogs have an outstanding offensive coordinator as well. Sonny Cumbie is much better coach than most people realize. He gets the most out of his players

Additional piling on, no pun intended, comes in the fact that TCU has become Thug U. Expect these guys to become headhunters on Saturday as they do everything possible to take out Baker Mayfield.

Okay, this is what I think will happen on Saturday. The game will be tight throughout the first half, as TCU benefits from playing OU just four weeks earlier. OU will get some separation right before half that hopefully will carry over into the second half.

Mike Stoops will make adjustments at half-time; I know this sounds crazy, but then again even a blind squirrel can find an acorn every once in awhile. Lincoln will make adjustments as well and the Sooners will win going away.

At that point, Sooner fans can sit back and enjoy elimination Saturday.

Boomer Sooner…