Skewed numbers…

Numbers are important, but far too often they are easily manipulated.   Berry Tramel is on a mission to right the OSU ship after OU left them for the SEC.   Tramel is also the master of misinformation.   This time, he is using t.v. ratings to make his case.  I have listed those numbers at the end of this blog.

Notre Dame, the Big Ten and the SEC top the t.v. list…no surprise there.  The Big Ten plays in a densely populated area of the country and their games are played at night.  As for the SEC, eight of these teams are ranked in the top twenty so they help each other.  They also play their games in prime time.    

OU’s numbers are worse than they should be because the Sooners play in the Big 12 and at 11:00.  OSU numbers are helped because they play a ratings bonanza game every year called Bedlam. 

As for Tramel’s use of these numbers to support OSU’s candidacy for Pac 12 membership, I suggest that he must be smoking some good stuff.   There is a reason that OSU has not been invited to the Pac 12 prom.  The Pac 12 uses a different set of metrics than what Berry Tramel is throwing out there.  

Tramel’s viewership average over a five-year period…

  1. Ohio State – 5.19 million
  2. Alabama – 5.09 m.
  3. Michigan – 4.18 m.
  4. Notre Dame – 3.61 m.
  5. LSU – 3.22 m.
  6. Auburn – 3.12 m.
  7. Georgia – 2.91 m.
  8. OU – 2.90 m.
  9. Clemson – 2.67 m.
  10. Penn State – 2.6 m.
  11. Florida – 2.46 m.
  12. Wisconsin – 2.27 m.
  13. Texas – 2.26 m.
  14. Florida Sate – 2.23 m.
  15. Michigan State – 2.20 m.
  16. USC – 1.98 m.
  17. Tennessee – 1.85 m.
  18. Texas A&M – 1.75 m.
  19. Oklahoma State – 1.64 m.
  20. Ole Miss. – 1.69 m.
  21. Iowa – 1.57 m.
  22. Nebraska – 1.55 m.
  23. Miami – 1.50 m.
  24. TCU – 1.49 m.
  25. Stanford – 1.43 m.

PW10…

What goes around, comes around…In 1958, the Oklahoma legislature pressured OU to allow Oklahoma A&M to join the Sooners in the Big Seven Conference.  The State of Oklahoma was a bigger rural state then than it is today.  Those backroom politicians

The Oklahoma A&M resume’ for applying for what would then become the Big Eight was playing in a basketball league alongside Tulsa, Drake, Wichita State and Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference. 

The next year, OSU did their best to change their image.  OSU may be the only team in America that has changed both its name and its mascot.  The Big Eight with OU and Nebraska doing the heavy lifting created the best football conference in America.  In 1971, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado finished the season #1, 2, and 3 in the final rankings.   

OSU was actually competitive in the league through a combination of cheating and T. Boone’s money (or a combination of the two).  T. Boone is gone now, and things have changed.   The local press ignored the original implosion of the Big 12 Conference back in 2016 and advertised the new league as the greatest thing since sliced bread.  It wasn’t and everyone knew it.     

Without rehashing recent realignment news, it appears that there will be four Power Conferences when the dust settles.  The Big 12 will go the way of the dinosaurs as Iowa state will use this year’s stellar season and its academic standing to get an invite from the Big Ten.  West Virginia will weasel its way into the ACC and the deed will be done.  OSU will end up in one of the Group of Five Conferences (AAC or Mountain West).    

Steeley’s uncle from KREF 1400 has this thing all figured out.   He has OSU becoming part of the PW10 Conference.   According to Uncle, the Pop Warner 10 Conference will consist of OSU, El Reno Community College, Redlands College, the Oologah Volunteer Fire Department, the Burns Flat Beauty Academy and five teams to be named later.  

I don’t know where Uncle is getting his information, but he may not be far off.  Life has a way of working its way out over time.  OSU used its political muscle to get into OU’s conference back in the day.  Now, it looks like they will be shacking up with a bunch of chumps in the PW10. 

What goes around, comes around…

Boomer Sooner…

Joe Harroz…

OU has had a number of great presidents over the years…from David Ross Boyd who began the greatness on the prairie legacy to George Lynn Cross, David Boren and now Joe Harroz.  Putting Harroz on this auspicious list so early in his career may appear conspicuous, but I suspect we will look back a few years from now and whole heartedly agree that he belongs there.

Far too often in these situations a guy who gets the job may not be a committee’s first choice, but that that person will end up becoming the best choice.  We are blessed that the other guy did not work out and that Harroz was still waiting in the wings. 

As for OU Presidents, you must love George Lynn Cross who told it like it was to the Oklahoma legislature.  He stated unabashedly that he wanted to create a university that the football team would be proud of.  He also got the Big Red Machine rolling in the 50th’s by hiring Bud Wilkinson. 

Of course, Sooner fans also must appreciate David Boren for restarting Sooner football twenty years ago by firing John Blake and hiring Bob Stoops.  Boren was a great President, but he had his Achilles Heel.  He insisted on taking care of OSU. 

In terms of leadership style, Joe Harroz is a fac simile to Boren with one exception.  He is going to take care of OU first.  His decision not to consult with the OSU brass about our move to the SEC is a prime example of this fact. 

The following statement by Joe Harroz about the SEC move tells us a lot about him…

“In the 130-year history of the University of Oklahoma athletics, this is a significant decision,” said Oklahoma president Joe Harroz. “In 2012, OU took time and thought about whether or not we should make a conference change at that time. In the end, we decided to stay…in the Big 12 Conference. So, what’s changed? And the answer is everything. The Big 12 [is] the last in line for media negotiations and being last in line has consequences. We sat back and we asked what’s important to the University of Oklahoma…The role of athletics plays a critical role in the life of a university. Windows open and opportunities can evaporate in a moment. We believe that joining the SEC will sustain our national caliber and traditions.”

It looks there may be a new sheriff in town…ya’ gotta love it.

Boomer Sooner…


 [ES1]

Bedlam…

As things currently stand, we may be stuck with Bedlam through the 2025 season, but in my heart of hearts, I believe this thing won’t drag out that long.  Which means we may be rid of Bedlam Sooner rather than later. 

Bedlam is played each year to make OSU football relevant and to create a lose-lose situation for the Sooners.   Of course, relativity is in the eyes of the beholder.  Over the past 115 years OSU has come out on top 18 times.  That is their idea of being relevant. 

What’s my point…my point is that due to realignment, we may be done with this Bedlam  nonsense as early as next year.  I know, we should never say never, but there is real hope here.   The value of the SEC move for OU will be up in the air for a while, but the possibility of ridding us of Bedlam will be worth the price of admission.       

OU President Joe Harroz is saying all the right things about the Bedlam issue and in doing so has kept the Aggie politicians at bay.  From a scheduling standpoint continuing Bedlam will not be financially feasible after a Big 12 breakup.

The expanded SEC will likely create a nine-game conference schedule that will leave room for three non-conference games.  OU already has three non-conference games contracted through 2026.   Below, I have listed next year’s non-conference schedule.  Similar OU non-conference schedules exist for the next six years.   

Legally and financially, I just don’t see a way out of these contracts.  Non-conference games are scheduled years in advance and buying out a game would cost the Sooners a ton of money.  Between the buyout clause and the home game revenue generated from the game itself, I would estimate lost revenue at $8 million dollars.  Even with SEC money, OU simply cannot afford that kind of loss. 

All of this may help kick the Bedlam can on down the road.   We hope…

Prospective 2022 Sooner Football Schedule with contracted non-conference games…

Game 1. UTEP (non-conference)

Game 2. @ Nebraska (non-conference)

Game 3. Arkansas

Game 4. Texas

Game 5. LSU

Game 6. Kent State

Game 7. Texas A&M

Game 8. Auburn (prospective opponent from eastern division)

Game 9. Ole Miss.

Game 10. Missouri

Game 11. Florida (prospective opponent from eastern division)

Game 12. Mississippi State

SEC…SEC…SEC…

I know that’s so obnoxious, but like it or not, we’re now part of the hype.  By the way, I was wrong about believing that OU would never get away from little brother.   From all accounts it appears that it will happen.  The only thing left to discuss now is when.  The end of the current Big 12 will be when the current t.v. contract runs out in 2025 or as early as next year if certain things happen.  

Given Bob Bowlsby’s current bluster and the desperation of the current Big 12 dwarfs, I don’t see this thing ending well.   Instead of trying to recruit a couple teams to fill out the OU and Texas schedules, Bowlsby and company are now going to sue everybody and drag their feet. 

Then again, who in their right mind would want to join this motley crew.  Houston from the AAC would appear to be a good choice, but after the way they were treated last time around why would they bother.  Convincing the Big Ten or Pac 12 to take one of these teams off our hands would seem a possibility, but those conferences have academic standards, and we know what that means.   

This leaves us with only one choice.  We do not want to be part of a sinking ship for five more years so we will have to buy our way out.   It will take roughly $60 million dollars to make this happen.  OU does not have that kind of money, but Texas does. 

Texas also has an ace in the hole that I bet they have shared with ESPN from the beginning of these negotiations.  ESPN still owes Texas over $100 million dollars for its Longhorn Network Contract.  Expect Texas to free up this money to say adios to the Big 12 for both OU and Texas.    

Politics and football certainly make strange bedfellows, first the SEC and now Texas.  Like I’ve said before, these are crazy times.  Dog and cats sleeping together.  I’m sorry, I just can’t resist that Ghost Busters line. 

Boomer Sooner…