There is always next year…

Just like the Chicago Cubs fans of old, this has been the mantra of OU fans for years. I loved OU football growing up, but I cut my teeth as a baseball player. Needless to say, I became an OU baseball fan as well. Times were good back in the day as Enos Semore put OU baseball on the map.

After Enos retired, OU spent only one year in neutral before hiring another great baseball coach in Larry Cochell. Cochell guided the Sooners to a National Championship in ’94. Those were good times…we did not know how good we had it. That was then and this is now.

A young Joe Castiglione fired Cochell for an ill-advised, politically incorrect comment. He compounded that mistake by hiring Gene Stephenson from Wichita State. Stephenson lasted less than 24 hours before changing his mind and returning to Wichita. Then in a knee-jerk move, Joe C. hired Sunny Galloway who many contended during his tenure to be the worst human on the planet.

When Texas pitching coach Clint Johnson was overlooked for the Texas job, Joe hired him to be the pitching coach for the then coach head coach Pete Hughes. I have to believe that Joe has matured as an A.D. and that he knew all along that Clint Johnson would be promoted to be the head guy at the first opportunity. This happened last year and now we shall see.

Okay, here’s deal with OU baseball…OU baseball is woefully behind the rest of the world. We recruit to a high school-type stadium while the other guys play at stadiums that Minor League teams would be proud of.  We will not turn this thing around over night, but then again, the college game can be unpredictable.

In spite of OU’s traditional midseason swoon, the Sooners have managed to salvage the third game of the three game set against Texas and Tech.  May not seem like much right now, but after twenty years of horrid baseball, we will have to depend on moral victories until the new coaching staff gets things figured out.

I know I am going out on a limb here, but I think we may finally have the right coach…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

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Pass me the football please…

Yes I know we are still stuck with Mike Stoops and yes; we must learn to play without Baker Mayfield, the greatest baller of all time.   At the same time, I really like Lincoln Riley and the direction of this team.   Unlike most of us, Lincoln spent little time stewing over the Rose Bowl loss.   He knew he had work to do.   Lincoln knew that OU had three priorities for returning OU to perennial national championship status. Improve the play of the secondary, special teams and recruit SEC-type athletes.

Being far wiser than his 33 years would suggest, Lincoln avoided making a classic Schnellenberger mistake. With Bob Stoops still hanging around Norman, firing Mike Stoops would have been a huge mistake. He did the next best thing…he promoted Kerry Cooks to play bigger role on defense and sent Cooks out to recruit a difference-make for a much-aligned defense.

Brendan Ridley-Hiles was recruited during the late signing period and this guy was a huge get for the Sooners. OU has not had a lock-down corner for years so getting Ridley-Hiles was big time.   Bookie as he is known was recruited out of IMG Academy, the Florida high school football factory.   With or without Mike Stoops, our defense will be much better over the next few years due to guys like this.

Next, Lincoln went out and hired a co-offensive coordinator and a special teams guru in the same package. Given today’s coaching staff size restraints, this was a brilliant move.   Again, Lincoln is avoiding mistakes made by more seasoned coaches.   Play callers can make excellent head coaches, but only when they share the offensive load with someone they trust.

Hiring Shane Beamer to help with the offense and with special teams was remarkable move to say the least.   In case this name sounds familiar, Shane Beamer is the son of Frank Beamer, the former Va. Tech Head Coach. For years Vegas odds-makers have given the Hokies an extra 10 points per game because of the play of Frank Beamer’s special teams.   Shane Beamer is a chip off the Frank Beamer block. This guy will be the difference maker that OU has badly needed in this critical area for years.

There you have it…in the last three months OU football has gotten better in each of the three phases of the game…offense, defense and special teams.   After living through the Trae Young/OU basketball trainwreck, football can’t get here fast enough. Pass me the football please…

Boomer Sooner…