Is Texas back?

If given a litmus test, I would have to say no…They looked really bad in that meltdown last Saturday in Stillwater. I know OSU seems to have their number, but then again, OSU had just lost to a really bad K-State team by three touchdowns the previous game.

Now, Texas is really up against the proverbial wall as their entire season hinges around a win against West Virginia.  Then, the Horns must follow that win up with one in Lubbock the next week. Bad timing after the Shorthorns laid an egg in Stillwater last week.

The question to be asked is which West Virginia team will show up in Austin Saturday afternoon…the one that was dismantled by Iowa State or the one that dismantled Baylor last week.  If West Virginia brings it’s “A” game to Austin, the Horns will be in trouble.

I do think that Texas is better than last year so possibly they will show up to play this week.  I do know one thing for sure, if the Horns come out complacent again, it will get ugly early.  I also know that Texas fans traditionally show for one game a year, the one in the Cotton Bowl.  The first hint of a loss to West Virginia and these fans will be headed for Sixth Street.  Texas has gone from playing for a CFP bid to a Cactus Bowl berth in just one week and their fans know it.

Finally, this game is making me crazy…On the one hand, I want Texas to knock the wind out of the West Virginia sails before we play them on Thanksgiving weekend, but then again, our only shot for the playoffs is with a West Virginia win.

I believe that West Virginia is better than Texas and Dana Holgorsen will not allow his team to be unprepared for a night game in Stillwater in two weeks. I will be rooting for the best of all worlds here…another Texas loss, an OSU loss to West. Va., and an OU win over a highly ranked Mountaineer team at the end of the year and yes, a playoff berth.

Is Texas back?  We will know the answer to that question at 6:00 on Saturday. My money will be on my previous opinion that I had at the beginning of this year…the Horns are still a year away…

The Big 12…

First, let’s address the Texas meltdown in Stillwater…the moment the game was scheduled for a night contest, it was over…I watch a lot of college football and underdogs have a huge advantage in night games.  Last week it was Purdue, Washington State and Iowa State.  This week it was Mississippi State and OSU.  Liquor up the night crowd and its game on regardless of the opponent.  These are made for t.v. dramas that ABC/ESPN lives for and I would suggest plan for.  Their latest attempt at creating an upset and a crowd rushing the field scene will be this next Saturday night in Lubbock.

Of course Texas did their part by being ill-prepared for the game.  Then again, like I’ve said before Texas only gets up for one game a year.   Watching the Texas debacle may actually help OU’s players avoid the same plight.  I expect that Lincoln will have his Sooners ready to play from the get go in Lubbock.

I have to admit that I was actually rooting for Texas in this game, not just because it was OSU, but because a Texas win would have helped OU’s playoff hopes.  Texas can still get to the Big 12 Championship game, but only as a two-loss team which will not help the Sooner cause.

The other scenario is a lot tougher…if West Virginia beats Texas next Saturday and runs the table the Sooners must beat the Mountaineers in Morgantown the night after Thanksgiving which will be a tall order.  Even with that win, the Sooners will end up playing a two loss Mountaineer team in the championship game the next week.  Again, this will not impress the selection committee.

That’s right…not only did Texas losing cost us a great chance at revenge, it may have also cost us a playoff berth. Making matters worse will be the consolation prize of playing the SEC runner-up in the Sugar Bowl.  I’ve had better thoughts…

Of course the Sooners will have to win out for any of this to matter so that mission must start in Lubbock this next Saturday night…

Finally, a shout out to the Kansas Jayhawks…KU won their first October game since 2009.  That’s right Saturday’s win over TCU was the first KU October win in 38 games.  That streak had spanned the KU coaching careers of Turner Gill, Charlie Weis and the first two years of the David Beaty regime.  Can you imagine having to live through that…

Now it’s on to Lubbock…the good news is that the defense is improving…the bad news is that it’s a night game in Lubbock.  I like our chances, but it will be a struggle.

Boomer Sooner…

 

Week 8 thoughts…

I am not positive about this, but I could have sworn I saw the OU defense make three stops in row during the 3rd quarter on Saturday. I say that I am not positive; because it has been so long since I had seen a defensive stop by OU, I had forgotten what they looked like.

I know that TCU was playing with a banged up starting quarterback, a backup quarterback that was playing in the Ivy League last year and no running game, but at least it’s a start.

Why the heck does Lincoln Riley insist on playing his starters deep into the 4th When up by four touchdowns inside the 5 minute mark, pull your starters and avoid costly injuries. I worried all night about the severity of the Trey Sermon injury.  For those using style points for an argument for running up the score…you can forget about that one. The playoff selection committee doesn’t reward teams for margin of victory.

Next week’s Orange Bowl in Stillwater is a win-win situation for OU fans…in one day one of our hated rivals is sure to lose…This is a tough one, but I will have to root silently for the Horns…a Texas win helps OU’s playoff cause.

Did you catch Saturday’s ESPN Game Day…it was from Pullman Washington where they had 55,000 fans show up at 7:00 in the morning. That number was 20,000 more than were in attendance for the Big 12 games in Lubbock and Fort Worth on Saturday.   It was also 25,000 more than the paid attendance at the WSU/Oregon game itself…it may be time for WSU officials to think about a stadium expansion.

Keeping with the Washington State topic, I love the fact that Mike Leach never played a down of college football…you might say that Leach spent his college days at BYU as a student of the game.

What a difference a coach can make…Ten years ago, Washington State and Purdue were as bad as today’s Kansas…Possibly once Bill Self gets indicted for taking Adidas money, the KU officials will take his $5 million dollar paycheck and hire a football coach.

You gotta love college football…only in this game can a #2 ranked Ohio State team get schooled by a by a bunch of Boilermakers…seriously, how can you not root for a team with that mascot.

By the way, I am sorry, but I miss the old days when a big OU win meant rushing the field…the rest of college football does it…I saw it twice on Saturday. Pull off the brown shirts from the sidelines, pay the fine and let the kids rush the field. This game is special because of it’s emotional side.   OU officials need to get over themselves and let it happen.

I may owe LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron an apology…He’s got his Bayou Bengals playing really well. Then again, you gotta hate LSU…what a bunch of ……….. you may fill in the blank here.  Speaking of obnoxious…LSU is the only team in America that gets to wear its road whites both home and away.  I like those uniforms, but who died and made LSU God.

 

 

Here we go again…

As every OU fan knows it seems to be imperative that the Sooners lose one game during the first half of every season.  The painful part this year is that it had to be Texas.  That’s okay, play our cards right and we can make this deal work out for us in the end.

It seems as if any time we lose to OSU or Texas something good comes of it…a few years back it was the eventual demise of Josh Heupel and this year it is losing Mike Stoops.   I don’t expect Ruffin McNeil to work wonders with this OU defense, but things can only get better.

The OU defense under Stoops reminded me of the entire team under John Blake…total disarray.   At least this time the offense already knows where to line up.  TCU will provide an excellent test to see if the OU defenders can get lined up as well.  It will be a perfect test for our re-tooled defense.  Shawn Robinson may play, but this guy is far from 100% and their running game is anemic.

Helping grease the wheels with be the 11:00 start at Amos Carter Stadium.  The TCU crowd won’t show up until the middle of the 1st quarter and will head for the house in the 3rd quarter.  I love their new stadium, but their fans are weak.

Gary Patterson bit off way too much to chew this year.   Playing physical Ohio State and Texas teams back-to-back was a back breaker.   TCU followed those games up with a couple of improving Iowa State and Texas Tech teams.  That was a brutal schedule. Patterson will have his guys ready to play, but without a full strength Shawn Robinson, OU should prevail.

Then, the Sooners will start their standard march to the top again.  I hate losing, but it is always pretty cool to watch how a loss can motivate a bunch of Sooners.  Texas is plenty good and has a nice schedule down the road, but I would love to see these guys play a re-tooled and worked up OU team in December.

I know I should be careful what I ask for, but I can’t help myself…

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

Saving seasons and possibly careers…one game at a time…

OSU appears to be working wonders this year at saving the seasons of opposing coaches.  After playing their preseason schedule against high school teams, the boys have proceeded to save the seasons and possibly, the careers of four coaches.

First, we have Kliff Kingsbury at Tech.  Kliff had lost six in a row to the boys and needed a win in Stillwater in the worst way.  Lose that game and Kliff would have been looking for another job.  Next up was Kansas where David Beaty is hanging on by a thread.  I know that OSU beat Kansas, but we are talking Kansas here.  The Jayhawks were within 13 and had the football late in the fourth quarter before OSU pulled away.  It doesn’t take much to save a coach’s job at Kansas.

Next up was a 1-3 Iowa State team desperate for a win to save their season.  The Cyclones had lost to in-state rival Iowa, OU, and TCU.   Matt Campbell was not in jeopardy of losing his job, but a loss to OSU would have thrown a major wrench into Campbell’s rebuilding program.

Finally, I know that Bill Snyder will be in Manhattan as long as he wants, but at some point even Snyder will tire of beating his head against the wall.  Going 2-5 at this point in the season might just have done it for the Silver Fox.

Just think about this, in the last month, OSU has gone from being favored by ESPN to win every game except Bedlam and being projected for a New Year’s Sugar Bowl game to a possible 6-6 season.  Now, they are scrambling at 4-3 and are favored to beat only Baylor and West Virginia the rest of the way.  Thankfully, for OU fans Mike Gundy has a life time contract in Aggieland.

 

A conundrum…

The definition of a conundrum is “a confusing and difficult problem or question.”   I did not explain this for my highly educated OU readers, but for Mike Gundy and OSU fans who are avid readers of my blog…

Mike Gundy is in a conundrum or yes a fix.   Gundy had it all figured out going into this season…he planned for Corndog to come in this year at quarterback after backing up Rudolph for two years.  Corndog would run the OSU offense like a well-oiled machine.  Mike forgot that there is a reason that they call these guys back-ups.

Most importantly, Mike believed that his preseason high school schedule, along with a game with Big 12 bottom feeder Kansas would get his boys off to a fast start on the way to another 10-win season and a  major bowl game.   Most importantly, Gundy would to be able to save the red-shirt years for Hawaii graduate transfer Dru Brown and his freshman phenom Spencer Sanders.

Gundy never believed that OSU would lose to Texas Tech for the first time in eleven years, Iowa State for the first time in six and a K-State team with only two wins this year.

As Keith Jackson was prone to say, “Woe Nelly” to Mike’s plan.   You might say that after OSU’s game against K-State the wheels have come off Mike’s master plan.   OSU has been blessed with an off week for Mike to fix this problem.  Here’s the deal…start one of these guys against Texas will mean that Brown or Sanders would likely end up playing in at least four games this year and lose their red-shirt status in the middle of the season.

Pull the red-shirt from one of these guys may save the season for OSU.   The move will likely invigorate the OSU players and give OSU a chance to upset Texas in Stillwater.  Go with the current plan and the Ags will lose to Texas and possibly win two more games this year, play in a minor bowl game, but save the red-shirt years for Brown and Spencer.

In either case, the mullet man is in a conundrum…

Stay tuned…

 

 

What now…

As we know the Mike Stoops firing was inevitable….The question was not if, but when…Now, Ruffin McNeal and Bob Diaco will step in to fill the void.  In line with my thinking on Saturday night I suspect that the OU Regents had a lot to do with this move.  I know Lincoln insists that this move was his call and I want to believe this, but sometimes in these matters, a little push can’t hurt.

Now for page two…I love the timing of this move…It coincides with another move that happened during an off-week back in 1970.  That was the year that offensive coordinator Barry Switzer installed the wishbone offense during the off-week prior to the Texas game.  The move was not immediately successful as the Sooners lost 41-9 to the Horns that year, but…

The long term success of the move created a five year winning streak against Texas, a game of the century against Nebraska, and two National Championships. We can only hope that the latest off-week move will produce similar results.

I am not sure that the Ruffin McNeal/Bob Diaco team will be the long term answer, but it can’t hurt.   Ruffin is a player’s coach and the players will rally around him in a big way.    Mike’s rant and rave style impressed fans, but did not relate well to today’s players.  The game had passed him by.

It will be important for OU fans to remember that we did not get into this mess overnight and expect vast improvement overnight is folly.   It will take a few games for the players to adapt to the new style.  Regardless, OU fans now have hope.

Before, we were looking at limping into Fort Worth, Lubbock, and Morgantown and holding our breath against OSU in Norman.  Now, we at least can hope that we can make enough stops on defense both early and late to make every game winnable.

For those of us who are prone to drinking too much OU Kool-Aide, we can even consider the possibility of taking revenge on Texas at Jerry World in December.  I know what you are thinking…this guy is losing it, but remember we are talking about Sooner Magic here so anything is possible.

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

 

 

 

Enough already…

As anyone with any football sense knows…45 points should be enough to win a football game.  Of course this subject has become reoccurring theme as we said the same thing after OU’s 48 points in the Rose Bowl game last year.  How about this trivia question…how many times in the 113 year history of the OU-Texas rivalry has OU scored 45 points and lost…how about never…not even close.

Of course everybody and their dog could see this one coming as OU’s defense in a word…sucks… Saturday’s OU defense resembled a greased up turn style for offenses to flood through.

The only time the Texas offense was stopped Saturday was when their players on offense became exhausted from out outrunning the OU defense.  I am not a rocket scientist when it comes to defensive schemes, but I am smart enough to ask for help when mentally over-matched for a job.

Oh, well it is times like these when OU fans have to make chicken salad out of chicken s..t.   Three years ago, OU did just that.  Pressured by OU fans, the OU Regents insisted that Joe C. instruct Bob Stoops to make a change at offensive coordinator.  It worked…out goes Josh Heupel and in comes Lincoln Riley.

This time around OU fans need to insist that the same happens on defense.  Use this year’s Texas game as the road map for change…losing after scoring 45 points on offense should do it.   After the December signing period, offer Mike a financial buyout deal he can’t refuse and send him on his way.  Then go out and hire the best defensive mind in the business and be willing to pay him whatever it takes.  We will never get back on top nationally without a defense.

Quality defensive coordinators like Brent Venables are making head coaching-type salary these days.  We need to use the new OU president’s oil money contacts to make this happen.  Lincoln has honored Bob’s wishes and has given Mike a shot.  Ain’t going to happen…Mike’s as dumb as box of rocks.  Today’s game has passed him by.

Enough is enough…

OU-Texas…

OU has three tough games on its remaining slate…Texas, TCU and West Virginia, and yes, all three on the road (Dallas is still in Texas).   Of course, as OU fans we expect to win all three, but given our coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball, we need to be practical about these things.

Of the three, beating a liquored up West Virginia fan base in Morgantown the Friday after Thanksgiving may be the toughest.   With this in mind, the Texas game becomes more critical than ever.  A win over Texas by the Sooners will virtually assure the Sooners of a Conference Championship Game, most likely with the Mountaineers.  A win over Texas will require the Mountaineers to beat OU two weeks in a row which is highly unlikely.

At this point, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State appear to have the inside track on the first three playoff spots.  As usual the Big 12 and OU will be playing catch up for the fourth.  As we know the Big 12 will get no respect from the national media and the section committee. A one loss OU team making the playoffs will be tough…a two loss Big 12 team will be impossible.

The bottom line is that we have to take care of Texas and then let the rest of the season play out.   As stated earlier OU must take the ball first regardless of the coin toss and go up by a touchdown.   This will allow Mike Stoops to do the thing he loves best…play a passive defensive scheme.  Yes, I know we have better athletes this year, but Mike only knows one way to play the game.

Keep that touchdown cushion going into halftime and hold on…Late in the game the OU defense will get the inevitable stop or turnover which will allow the Sooners to leave the Cotton Bowl victorious for the third year in a row.  I also am banking on the thought that Lincoln Riley and special teams coach Shane Beamer have been holding back something special for this game…

As fans, we will be on the edge of our seats the entire game, but this is what we do these days as OU fans.   Same as Iowa State and Army, we just have to find a way to win…

For an extra psychological edge, let’s start a prayer chain that will stretch from Norman to the north slopes of Alaska.  That should do it…Beat Texas…

Boomer Sooner…

Week five thoughts…

  • Baker Mayfield has been well trained for his NFL gig. The Cleveland defense performs like the sieve he has seen at OU for the past few years.   If Baker wants to succeed in this league, he will have to score early and often.   Just like last year, the last team with the ball wins.
  • This OU team should beat Texas on Saturday… Kyler Murray has never lost a football game in the state of Texas and there is no reason to think this year will be any different. I also believe that we have better players on defense this year which should help…I know we still have the same coach, but he is overdue for a good game and possibly, this will be it.
  • Just in case, the old Mike Stoops shows up in Dallas, we need to take the ball first regardless of the coin toss. We need to get up by a touchdown early and let them play catch up.
  • That’s the good news…the bad news is that Texas is better this year and the Horns play over their heads every year in the Cotton Bowl. Texas fans may hate OU more than we hate Texas which is saying something.
  • Throw back the throwback uniforms…I know as a Bud guy I should love the white helmets, but I don’t…actually, the OU uniforms I like the best are the road white uniforms with red helmets and the intimidating inter-locking OU.
  • 18, 363 was the announced attendance at the KU-OSU game…Can you imagine playing before 18,000 fans spread out over a 50,000 seat stadium…demoralizing…build a new stadium, hire new coach and start over
  • This Army team is really good. The Cadets were a two touchdown dog to the MAC leading Buffalo team and won the game by four touchdowns on the road.
  • Hard to root for a team in the Ohio State/Penn State game, but I picked The OSU because we beat them last year and I like their uniforms. Conversely, I hate Penn State’s uniforms.   This Ohio State team may also be the only team with a chance to beat a SEC playoff opponent.
  • Speaking of Playoffs, this may be the year to avoid playing Alabama at all costs. I suspect the only teams that can touch these guys are the ones playing on Sundays.