I’ll believe it when I see it…

This is where I stand regarding the evolution of the OU/Texas move to the SEC.  I’ve seen this movie before.   Granted, this situation is much further down the road than in the past and the secrecy regarding the matter would make NSA proud, but still…let’s take a breath and see what happens.      

There are two major stumbling blocks.  Both those issues come in the form of Aggies.  Texas A&M has dominated Texas high school recruiting since they made the move to the SEC and those guys are not going to let go of those advantages without a fight. 

Then, we have our own set of Aggie problems as leaving OSU behind would be a major culture shift for this state.  Additionally, OSU has been sponging off big brother for years and they won’t know what to do with themselves if they must go it alone.     

Here’s the deal…The SEC only needs consent from 11 of 14 teams to approve the move, but in issues of this magnitude, league officials really want a unanimous vote.   And, as we know, Texas A&M will never approve the move.   On the Oklahoma front, OSU controls things politically in this state.  From the governor’s chair to the legislature, Aggies oversee state politics.  Getting over that hump will be a major hurdle. 

Finally, about OSU…I find it interesting that Iowa State is talking to the Big Ten.  West Virginia is apparently headed to the ACC.   Baylor, TCU, and Texas Tech have contacted the Pac 12 about possibly moving west.   That leaves only the Kansas schools, that nobody wants and OSU.  OSU has been eerily quiet through all of this.  This adds to my caution about jumping the gun…

In any case, the next two weeks will be some kind of interesting. 

Boomer Sooner…

Dumb move…

The horns-down controversy is a solution in search of a problem.  Seriously, what’s the big deal.  The big deal is that someone back in 2018 decided that teams should be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for the horns-down gesture.   It was a dumb move then and it‘s dumb move today…

In that year Will Grier, the West Virginia quarterback was hit with a taunting penalty as he made the gesture toward the Texas student body after scoring the game winning two-point conversion.  Seriously, what a cool move.   Fortunately, on that day, it was no harm no foul.   

The problem is that the move by the Big 12 office was never properly vetted. If it had been someone with the slightest modicum of intelligence would have pulled the plug on the matter at that point.  Now, we’re stuck with this mess, and no one can put the toothpaste back in the tube. 

Here’s the problem…it may not happen this year or next, but it will happen.  One of these days at a critical point in an OU-Texas game a Sooner player will get caught up in the emotion of the game and will be give the horns down gesture.  We will be flagged with a 15-yard penalty that will stop a drive for us or extend a drive for them that will adversely impact the outcome of the game.  

Someone needs to stop this craziness before it impacts someone’s National Championship season…

Boomer Sooner…

NIL…

College sports is under attack from politicians and Supreme Court justices.  The NCAA must act quickly to quell the storm.  Name, image, and licensing (NIL) is a solution, but only part of the solution.  NIL can create a huge lift for amateur sports by providing college athletes immediate additional money. It can also quieten critics. 

First things first however.  Some six years ago, the NCAA began allowing universities to use athletic department revenue to pay scholarship players monthly checks. This past year OU issued their athletes $450 each month for the school year.   The NCAA has kept this program quiet in order to avoid the “pay for play” boogeyman. As we know that boat has sailed so it’s time to get off our high horse and get to the business of saving college sports. 

Cost of attendance revenue was a huge step in providing players with spending money, but these funds come from already strapped athletic departments.  This system also creates huge disparities between the haves and have nots, both colleges and players.  As you might imagine the SEC pays their players top dollar while non-Power Five Conference teams barely scrape by.  We must do better…

The football gods who want amateur sports to succeed have given college sports a gift in the form of an expanded playoff system.  Within two years, this event will be like March Madness on steroids as it pumps millions of new dollars into the coffers of America’s athletic departments. 

This money can be used to increase additional “cost of attendance” funding.  It can also create equity among conferences and players.   Every scholarship player in America can make $1500 per month without breaking the bank. This move will quiet today’s “players are being treated like indentured servants” crowd.  Just as importantly, it will forestall the unionization of college players movement. 

While name, imitation, and licensing (NIL) will get most of the attention these days, cost of attendance stipends is the long-term solution.   Let the Spencer Rattlers of the world have the opportunity to make immediate big-time cash.  Then use (COA) stipends generated by playoff revenue to take care of the whole of college sports. 

It won’t be easy to get this passed, but it can work…and it’s certainly worth a try.

Boomer Sooner…

In state recruiting…

The Sooner Nation went nuts this past week when it was announced via ESPN that Edmond Santa Fe wide receiver Talyn Shettren had flipped his commitment from OU to OSU.  The message boards roared that Lincoln Riley had lost his ability to keep Oklahoma high school recruits at home. 

As usual there are a lot of moving parts to this story.  OU seldom loses a recruit that’s been committed for a year, especially one that switches his commitment to OSU, unless of course there is more to the story.  Normally, I would accuse OSU of buying another player or in this case two players, but instead I’m going with the mama card.  

Here’s the deal…as we know blood is thicker than water and Mama Shettren wanted both her sons to get a football scholarship to a D-1 school.   The second son is Tabry is a kid that should be playing at UCO or Southwestern in the fall.  He is nowhere near good enough to get an OU football scholarship.   When push came to shove, Lincoln had to be honest with mom and share this with her.  Not caring about scholarship limits, mom gets upset and tells Talyn to commit to Mike Gundy or else. 

Mike Gundy was glad to come to the rescue in order to stick to OU and Lincoln Riley.  At this point, Lincoln simply kicked the dust off his shoes and moved on down the road to prospects who wanted to be part of a National Championship team.  While OU fans were moaning and groaning, Lincoln was busy getting commitments from four blue-chip players.  Since the Shettren incident the Sooners have risen to #6 in Rivals.   

Defending Lincoln with facts is my favorite OU football historian who researched the subject.  Below we have a comparison of nine power conference teams and their ability to keep in state players in state.  As you can see, the Sooners rank 2nd among these teams in this category. 

  1. Ohio State – 32 in state players with 19 players signing with the Buckeyes for 59% average. 
  2. Oklahoma – 15/8/53%
  3. LSU – 43/21/49%
  4. Alabama – 44/20/45%
  5. Georgia – 122/20/30%
  6. USC – 135/32/24%
  7. Texas – 178/36/20%
  8. Texas A&M – 178/34/19%
  9. Clemson – 13/2/15%

Finally, intelligent OU fans realize that you can’t compete for National Championships with only Oklahoma high school talent.  Oklahoma seldom has more than a half dozen blue chip players.  In spite of this fact Lincoln does a great job keeping the good ones home. 

Boomer Sooner…