The future…

Our generation grew up watching the movie “Back to the Future” where we were able to relive the good old days.  It would be cool to do that with the Bud years.  Bud and OU put Oklahoma on the map with winning streaks and National Championships.  One of the things that stood out during those years was recruiting and player development.

After a lull, the Sooners welcomed in the next generation of National Championships with Barry Switzer who was the greatest recruiter of all time.  Three more National Championships went on the board.  

With the exception of a temporary respite in 2000 for Bob’s National Championship, the OU terrain has been parched since the Barry days, some 35 years ago.  While Bob Stoops was never considered a great recruiter perse’, he did add a major recruiting piece to the puzzle that in the end may best them all.  

Bob Stoops recruited Lincoln Riley who in turn recruited a staff full of top-of-the-line coaches and yes, recruiters.   Lincoln has brought back visions of Barry Switzer with the talent he has brought to campus this year. 

Between previously recruited players, players recruited via the transfer portal and this incoming freshman class, we are headed to the top of the college football world once again.  Taking a look at the Class of 2021 tells the tale of the tape.    

Ten members of the Class of 2021 enrolled in school back in December and went through spring drills.   I have borrowed some of the comments from John Thune from OUinsider and two upperclassmen to underscore the prowess of this group.  

Here is a quote from Linebacker Dashaun White… “I will honestly say that I think this class came is light-years ahead of where our class was”.  “They’re so locked in; they’re so mature, which is really rare to see from a group of freshmen. I think the sky’s the limit for this group.”

Defensive back Jaden Davis concurs with White by saying “They came in with a different kind of hunger, with a different kind of mentality. And it’s a testament to Coach Grinch, the recruiting and the mentality and the standard that we’re building at Oklahoma.”

John Thune writes… Throughout the spring, every player and coach that’s spoken to the media has echoed one common sentiment: Oklahoma’s freshman class is special.

If this does not get your Crimson blood pumping, I would call my doctor.   As elder statesmen we love to revel in the glory days of OU football, but we also want more.   We want a return to the top of college football world on a permanent basis and we want National Championships.  

And I believe it’s coming…move over Dabo and Nick, there’s going to be new Lincoln parked in the National Championship garage Sooner rather than later.   

Boomer Sooner…

Pretty darn good…

Previously, I stated that the OU softball team must sweep Texas and OSU in order to move ahead of UCLA and the SEC representative for that magical top seed in the NCAA tournament.  This fact matters because seeding means everything when it comes to bracketing for the World Series. 

The OU women went a long way in fulfilling that wish over the weekend with three run rule victories over the 7th ranked Texas Longhorns.   To say, it was not close is an understatement as the Sooner beat Texas by a combined score of 30-3. Obviously, the Sooners continued to hit at a major league clip, but pitching was off the chart as well.   

Patty Gasso had three Sooner pitchers basically go the distance.  Even with the kind of run support shown over the weekend, holding a team as good as Texas to three runs in three days is pretty darn good.  The Sooners made Texas look like a little league team. 

The wins over Texas should move the Sooner RPI up a few notches.  Then, it’s on to Georgia for what should be better competition and a few more RPI rungs.  Then we will visit Stillwater in three weeks for what is shaping up to be a massive Bedlam matchup.   As you know, I hate Bedlam talk, but I may have to bite my tongue on this one.    

OSU is on a winning streak of their own and if things go as planned their streak should be at 18 when the Sooners hit Stillwater the first week in May. They will be chomping at the bit to beat the Sooners and snap the OU winning streak which at that point should be at 45 games.  By the way, the Sooner streak will be at 52 games overall when games from last year are factored in.    

If the Sooner win streak stays intact after a weekend in Stillwater, the Sooner RPI will take care of itself.    

Boomer Sooner…

Kelvin…

Upon further review, I may have been remiss in not telling this Kelvin Sampson story back during the OU coaching search.  Maybe, it would have put the kibosh on the insane “Kelvin is coming back to OU” talk.   To be honest, it now occurs to me that I may have conveniently forgotten much of this.  The truth of the matter is that Kelvin was out of control back in the day. 

Long story, short is that Kelvin was under immense pressure at OU to live up to the legend of Billy Tubbs.  He cut corners by making hundreds of excessive phone calls to recruits and the NCAA caught him in the act.   The NCAA set up camp during his last two years in Norman.   Kelvin left OU under a dark cloud only to do the same thing at Indiana.  Of course, at Indiana, Kelvin was trying to live up to Bobby Knight, a god-like figure in that state. 

Before Kelvin could be run out of Bloomington, Indiana was given three years’ probation and Kelvin was banned from coaching for five years.  This is like the death penalty on steroids.    Of course, the one place that was willing to hire Kelvin after this banishment from coaching was Houston.  This is a marriage made in heaven.  Houston is an outlaw program that loves drama. 

So far so good for Kelvin and Houston as he had the Cougs in the final four this year.   Houston has tied their future to Kelvin with a long-term contract and hundreds of millions of dollars in facility improvements.   They are banking on Kelvin being a changed man, or not. 

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second or in this case a third chance.  I also know that the NCAA will probably have Kelvin’s phone in Houston tapped to make sure he got the message.   We shall see…

Softball…

Now, that we have basketball in our rear-view mirror we can focus on other sports.  At the end of this blog, you will be provided with the current rankings for softball, men’s and women’s gymnastics and golf.   Being ranked in a couple of these sports would be good, but to be ranked at the top of all four is phenomenal.  

I will hit on gymnastics and golf later, but today let’s talk softball.   Everyone is fired up about the Sooners’ 28 game winning streak and #1 ranking, but unfortunately, there is another side to this story.   Hopefully, we will see a happy ending, but ending up on top will not be as easy as some might think.   

Due to Covid, the Sooners have played a relatively weak schedule.  OU has not played a team listed on the top ten list at this point.  This is not Patty Gasso’s fault, but it is unfortunate just the same.   A better schedule would have allowed for the Sooners to sharpen their skills.  Yes, we’re really good, but at this point, we don’t know how good.    

Here’s the rub…the Pac 12 is loaded from top to bottom.   The league has four top ten teams.  The SEC has three on this list as well.  This means that the conference champion from both these conferences will be battle tested.   These teams will come into OKC with the wind at their backs and a possible top seed.    

Here’s what needs to happen at this point for OU to end up on top going into OKC. First, we must find games to play this weekend after the Baylor bailout.  (only in Whacko Waco could Covid be worse than any other place on the planet).  Moving on…replacement games this weekend are needed for us to stay sharp going into the Texas series. 

This is where things get interesting.  We have to be thankful that OSU and Texas are ranked as high as they are.  Currently, Texas is ranked #7 and Oklahoma State #12.  Granted these teams cannot take the place of the brute force possessed by Pac 12/SEC teams, but it could help. 

To get that #1 national seed we must sweep Texas at home and OSU on the road.  While pitching is still a question mark, our offense can carry the day.    I would estimate that ESPN would give us less than a 50/50 chance of this happening, but then again, we’re talking OU softball and Patty Gasso here.     

Boomer Sooner…

NCAA top ten rankings…

Softball…

  1. Oklahoma
  2. UCLA
  3. Oregon
  4. Alabama
  5. Florida
  6. Washington
  7. Texas
  8. Arizona
  9. Florida State
  10. Arkansas

Men’s gymnastics…

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Michigan
  3. Stanford
  4. Nebraska
  5. Ohio State
  6. Penn State
  7. Iowa
  8. Illinois
  9. Navy
  10. Minnesota

Women’s gymnastics…

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida
  3. LSU
  4. Michigan
  5. California
  6. Utah
  7. Alabama
  8. Minnesota
  9. Denver
  10. Arkansas

Men’s golf…

  1. Florida State
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Wake Forest
  4. Illinois
  5. Arizona State
  6. Texas
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Vanderbilt
  9. Auburn
  10. Texas A&M

Joe does it again…

Over the years Joe Castiglione has shown his stripes time and again by helping his buddies in Stillwater.  As we know, Joe created the Bedlam rivalry back in the day to give OSU a boost.   He later schemed with the Big 12 to move an OU home football game to Stillwater, a move that resulted in a Cowboy win over the Sooners.   I know they have only 18 wins in football, but 17 sounds better to me.   

Now, Joe is at it again…he has moved both an OU baseball and an OU softball home game away from Norman to help the Ags.  OU will now play a home baseball game in Tulsa where they seldom lose and a home softball game in Stillwater where they shouldn’t lose.   

As for baseball, we know that the Sooner baseball program is on life support these days and we know that the trip down the toilet was enhanced last Tuesday with a loss to OSU in Stillwater.  That loss represented the 12th Sooner loss in the last 13 games to OSU.  That’s right Joe, your baseball friends in Stillwater don’t need any help.   

In softball the Sooners have dominated OSU over the past decade with a ten-year winning streak.    The Sooners have not lost a game in this series since 2011.  As OU fans, we love winning streaks, and we expect our athletic director to do his part to make sure those winning streaks continue.        

I know OU softball fans are thinking, what’s the big deal…. we’re OU softball. Here’s the thing… why give OSU an extra chance to snap the streak.   This is the best OSU team in years, and it is conceivable that they could win one of their three home games and snap the streak.   Softball is a seven-inning game, so anything is possible.  

Okay, here’s the question of the day…would Alabama ever entertain such thoughts of helping Auburn or for that matter would Michigan take care of Ohio State. I think not…their AD’s would be tarred and feathered for even contemplating such a move.  I must be missing something here…

Oh well, maybe everything will turn out okay and the Sooner baseball team will win their game in Tulsa and the softball team will win their games in Stillwater.   I hope for Joe’s sake that this happens. 

Boomer Sooner…