Remembering Bud’s words…

Bud Wilkinson used to say that things are never as good or as bad as they appear to be at the time.  For OU fans during the Bud era, remembering that fact was essential to survival.  Bud’s teams rarely lost, so when they did, it really hurt. 

This year’s OU basketball team is making us remember Bud’s saying.  We have gone from being on the top of the mountain to losing two bad games in a row.  First, we go up to Manhattan and tank a game against a team that had won only six games all season.  Then we follow that performance with a loss at home to little brother.

I take full responsibility for Saturday’s mess.  I went off the reservation and went crazy about this team.  They’re still the biggest bunch of overachievers ever but beating the NBA’s top lottery pick was not being realistic.  

That’s okay let the Gags have their fun.  They paid good money for this group of players to relocate to Stillwater.  Also, their “one and done” guy was 43% of their offense on Saturday and like I said, he will be “one and done” in a few weeks. 

Thanks to the idiots at the Big 12 office, things are going to get worse before they get better.  They have arranged for us to play Cunningham again on Monday night.  T.V. ratings are down this year and they want to get their money’s worth at our expense.

All the more reason to remember what Bud said…things are never as good or as bad as they appear to be at the time.  

Boomer Sooner…

Lon…

Living in Oklahoma during non-football months can be rough but living here during a pandemic and a massive snowstorm makes things next to impossible.   Lon Kruger has tossed us a lifeline that will hopefully get us over the hump.   

Lon’s boys are the biggest bunch of overachievers ever.  They were picked to finish in the bottom half of the conference and now we are looking at a three seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.   Seriously, they should take part of Sherri’s salary and use it to give Lon a raise.  

The amazing story here is the way Lon Kruger has built this team.  He could have taken a page from the Stillwater playbook and instructed his assistant coaches to offer player incentives on the way to the NBA.  Instead, Lon plods along winning basketball games the old-fashioned way.  

For better or worse, the pandemic has created a Bedlam doubleheader at the end of this abnormal season.    The Sooners and Cowboys will face off twice at the end of the regular season.  A perfect ending to this regular season would be for the Sooners to sweep the cowboys on the way to the tournament.  

You can bet your bottom dollar that ESPN will be focused like a laser beam on Cade Cunningham in both games.   Cunningham is projected to be the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft.  He also chose to attend OSU despite the bribery scandal that hopefully will put the Cowboys on probation during our lifetime.   

I believe in Karma and I am hopeful that OU will sweep the bad guys from Stillwater as a parting gift to Cade Cunningham. Okay, I’m getting carried away here, but I do believe that good will always conquer evil in the end and a possible sweep could happen.  Regardless of that…Lon’s a good guy and an excellent coach and we’re lucky to have him. 

Boomer Sooner…

Sherri…

I’m not sure who won the OU-West Virginia women’s game Saturday even though I know the Sooners came out on top on the scoreboard.  I do know however that Sherri Coale got a stay of execution.   With less than nine minutes to go in the game, the Sooners were down by nine and Sherri’s job was hanging in the balance. 

Lose this game and Sherri would be on target for her 3rd losing season in a row. Granted Sherri has that long term contract deal to fall back on but another losing season and a contract buyout could be back on the table.  Then, it happened the Sooner women went on a tear and ended up beating the 19th ranked Mountaineers by one. 

In the span of one quarter, the Sooner women went from a 7-10 to an 8-9 team.  With several winnable games still on the table, a winning record for 2020-21 is much more likely.  Like a cat with nine lives Sherri has lived to see another day.

Here’s the bad news…according to bracketology experts, the Big 12 conference has been on a downward spiral for several years with only Baylor being worth a darn.   Point being…why are Sherri’s teams doing so poorly in this downtrodden league.  Unfortunately, there is no hope in sight as the recruiting trail has not been kind to Sherri of late.

Joe Castiglione breathed a sigh of relief Saturday night.   If Sherri continues to win, even in a marginal way, he can avoid taking a stand on keeping her around for three more years.  Buying her out this year during this economic downturn would be difficult, but with the back side of her buyout being less financially challenging, moving forward without Sherri at some point would have been affordable.  Now, who knows. 

It is amazing how the once proud women’s basketball program has come to this.  With almost every other athletic program on the OU campus vying for National Championships these days, Sherri and her fans are sitting at the kids table and picking up crumbs.   

Here’s a look a look at the upcoming OU women’s basketball schedule. 

Current record/8-9…Likely record prior to Big 12 tournament/12-11…

Remaining schedule…

Feb. 17 Texas Tech/9-11 (W)

Feb. 20 Baylor/15-2 (L)

Feb. 24 @ TCU/8-9 (W)

Feb. 27 @ Texas/14-5/postponed game (L)

Mar. 4 TCU/8-9/postponed game (W)

Mar. 7 Kansas State/postponed game 5-12 (W)

Big 12 tournament game

Final 2021 recruiting rankings…

I love recruiting, but I find the rankings created by recruiting services confusing.   For my money they focus way too much time on the size of the class and not enough time on the quality of the signees within a class.  For the fun of it I create rankings based on the average score for each team’s recruits.

This year’s Sooner class serves as a perfect example of the differing philosophies.   OU signed only 16 players which meant that the Sooners’ ranking in Rivals was #13.  With the averaging formula the Sooners jumped to #4 in the team rankings.  I know it sounds like I’m being a homer, but I will combat that argument with results. 

It has been my experience over the years that this quality point system creates the best teams on the field year in and year out.  I will bet the house that Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and OU will be at the top of the heap for several years to come similar to where to they are in the rankings based on the averaging formula. 

Adding to its value, this system has become even more advantageous in the transfer portal era.  Why sign a bunch of three-star players to fill out a class when you can use those scholarships to sign seasoned four-and five-star transfers that will contribute immediately. 

I have used the same averaging process to rank Big 12 teams as well.  Rivals and 247sports ranked Kansas as #3 and #4 in the Big 12, respectively.  While Les Miles has done a really nice job recruiting at KU over the past few years, the Jayhawks are still a long way from competing with the Sooners.    In the real Big 12 rankings, the Jayhawks slipped to #7 and #9. 

I have also made note of the four-and five-star players that these teams have recruited via the transfer portal.  While I have not factored in these numbers per se, these players add significant quality to their team’s recruiting classes. 

By the way, OU is now tied with Ohio State at 4.2 in the 2022 rankings using the averaging process…that’s right the hits just keep on coming…

Boomer Sooner…

2021 Rivals100 national rankings…

  1. Alabama/4.04
  2. Ohio State/4.00
  3. Clemson/3.95
  4. Oklahoma/3.88
  5. Oregon/3.87
  6. LSU/3.86
  7. Georgia/3.85
  8. Texas A&M/3.83
  9. USC/3.82
  10. Miami/3.62
  11. Michigan/3.57
  12. Florida/3.55
  13. North Carolina/3.53
  14. Notre Dame/3.44
  15. Texas/3.38

2021 Rivals100.com Big 12 rankings…

  1. OU/3.88 plus one-five star and two four-star transfers…
  2. Texas/3.38 plus one four-star transfer…
  3. West Va./3.25 plus one four-star transfer…
  4. Texas Tech/3.18
  5. TCU/3.14 plus one four-star transfer…
  6. Kansas St/2.94 plus four-star transfer…
  7. Kansas/2.91
  8. OSU/2.90
  9. Baylor/2.88 plus one four-star transfer
  10. Iowa State/2.85

2021 247sports.com Big 12 rankings…

1…OU/93.20 plus one five-star transfer and two four-star transfers…

2…Texas/88.81 plus one four-star transfer…

2…West Va./87.90 plus one four-star transfer…

2…TCU/86.97 plus one four-star transfer…

5…Texas Tech/86.69

5…Baylor/86.47 plus one four-star transfer…

7…OSU/86.17

7…Kansas St./85.46 plus one four-star transfer…

9…Kansas/84.96

10.Iowa St./84.76