What’s happening in Stillwater – Part II…

Last week I made a point that OSU recruiting may be off a bit this year. This week I would like to offer some thoughts as to why this may be the case.

Theories…

  • Shelf life of head coaches…Gundy may have outlived his. Motivation is hard to come by when a person is guaranteed a life time contract that pays $5 million dollars.  The Mullet man is a rock star in Stillwater with a Mount Rushmore size ego.  It would be easy for anyone to rest on their laurels at this point.

 

  • The arms race… Boone hit the start button on this one some ten years ago and it worked. OSU recruiting took off and this fact produced several ten win seasons.  Unfortunately for the guys in the ugly helmets, the rest of the league has caught up.
    • Every Big 12 team with the exception of Kansas has made major facilities improvements since that time.  While the evidence can be seen everywhere, Iowa State may be the best example.  Iowa State made major improvements at the beginning of the Matt Campbell era and the Cyclones are currently ranked 3rd in the Big 12 and #25 nationally in recruiting.  I really thought hell would freeze over first…facilities and fan support does matter.

 

  • Conference realignment…conference realignment appears to be cutting two ways for OSU, both of which are bad. First, competing in Texas, the primary recruiting ground for OSU means competing with the SEC.  SEC teams have basically set up shop in Texas to entice players to leave the state for the SEC.  It is hard enough for OU to overcome the mystique of the SEC; it is next to impossible for OSU to do it.

 

  • Since Texas A&M’s  move from the Big 12 to SEC, the Aggies have dominated Texas recruiting.  Texas will always get its share of Texas high school talent due to its proximity to this talent..  Same goes for the other Texas Big 12 teams and OU.  TCU is doing really well in the Dallas metro-plex area.   Baylor with its location smack dab between the fertile Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston recruiting fields is cleaning up as well.   Even Texas Tech and Houston are out recruiting OSU in Texas this year.  This is not a good sign for Cowboy fans.
  • According to Rivals here are the conferences and teams with commitments from the 37 five and/or four star recruits from Texas that have committed to teams so far.
    • SEC (17) A&M (12), LSU (2), Arkansas (1), Ole Miss. (1), Vanderbilt (1).
    • Big 12 (13) OU (6), Texas (4), Tech (1), Baylor (1), TCU (1).
    • Other Texas teams – Houston (1).
    • Other national programs (6) Ohio State, Arizona, Notre Dame (2), Illinois, and Stanford.

 

  • National exposure…ESPN runs college football these days. While the Big 12 competes for fan attention during the day, SEC teams dominate prime time.

 

  • Oklahoma high school talent…This one may be missed by many observers, but it is huge. Oklahoma does not produce a lot of big league talent.  As a result, OU with its brand name focuses it attention nationally.  In the past OSU has taken advantage of this situation by picking up its share of in-state talent.   It appears that at least for this year that Arkansas with new coach Chad Morris may filling this void.  This is the latest 2018 Oklahoma high school recruiting results.
    • Five-star player – Daxon Hill – Michigan or Alabama.
    • Four-star players – Arkansas (1) Texas (1)
    • Three-star players – OU (1) Nebraska (1) TCU (1), OSU (1)

As I said before, Mike Gundy needs Hawaii transfer Dru Brown to become eligible to play this week.  Gundy must then turn in his best coaching performance in years.   Otherwise, next year’s recruiting class may end up looking like this one which will make Gundy really glad he signed a lifetime contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The pressure is on in Stillwater…

Mike Gundy parlayed his flirtation with Tennessee to a life time contact that now earns him almost $5 million a year.  That’s the good news for OSU fans.

The bad news is that OSU fans will inherit a team minus the best of set of triplets since Gundy was the quarterback back in ’88.  More importantly, the Rudoloph/Washington combo that was good for at least one long bomb every game is gone.  Those bombs allowed the Cowboys to win the close games against good teams.

In the latest ESPN preseason poll, college coaches have pegged the 2018 team as the 25th best in country.   Give Gundy credit, his teams have a history of overachieving which is due in larger measure to his swagger.  The problem with bravado is that the lack of success can create doubt that will become contagious with the fan base and with the players.   Subsequently, I believe 2018 will be the biggest year in the Mullet man’s OSU career.

Apparently, recruits have missed the top 25 OSU ranking.   According to the latest Rivals rankings OSU ranks #7 out of the ten teams in the Big 12.  OSU is ranked #50 nationally by Rivals.  Not even Robert Allen, the ultimate OSU homer can make that picture look good.

A Christmas in September may be the key for OSU.  If the Cowboys can beat a very good Boise State team and secure the commitment of five star recruit Dax Hill, the Teflon man will dodge the bullet once again.

We will know a lot about this OSU team and the future of the program by the end of September.

Stay tuned…I’ll keep you advised.

Pray for Sooner Magic on defense…

A blog reader had a great question that caused me to wonder about Lincoln Riley’s play calling before and after Bob Stoops…here’s my take.

For the most part Bob has struck it rich when it comes to offensive coordinators over the years. His list of Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, Chuck Long, and Kevin Wilson is a who’s who of play callers.  His only fumble was his Josh Heupel hire.  In that case, he had little choice in the matter as Heupel was his co-offensive coordinator and was the favorite son of OU fans…this pretty much sealed the deal. He salvaged that move later by replacing Josh with a Lincoln.  Bob knew what he needed to do; he just had to wait for the right time.  The Outback Bowl beat down by Clemson provided that time.

As for Lincoln’s play calling over the past two years, I suspect that Lincoln may have been a bit more conservative his year under Bob. Coming from East Carolina, he was learning the ropes in big boy football while getting to better understand his supporting staff of both players and coaches.    I also assume that he came to understand early on that each series was critical due to the porous nature of a Mike Stoops defense.  In his year under Bob, shortening the game seemed to be the best way to go.

With a year under his belt, Lincoln began to open up his offense as he took a chance at creating more possessions than the other guy. He decided to throw caution against the win by hoping that the Mike Stoops defense could slow down the other side more often than in the previous year.  It worked…OU went from #6 in the country offensively that year to #1 in the country last year.

Head coaches who also call plays must be adept at both managing the game and calling plays. They must be the hands on, side line guy who has confidence in his eyes in the press box.  Last year’s Texas game provided a perfect example of this fact.  Cale Gundy saw that the Texas defense was set up for the Mark Andrews delay route down the sideline late in the game.  Gundy calls the play down to Lincoln and as they say, the rest is history.  This move may not have happened in Lincoln’s first year.

Losing Baker will test Lincoln’s mettle this year, so we shall see how confident he will be in his new offensive playmakers and the Mike Stoops defense.   I believe that OU has upgraded the players on the defensive side of the ball and according to Lincoln he has made staff changes meant to help Mike out.   We shall see how this works out in about in five weeks.  In the meantime…

Pray for Sooner Magic on defense…

Boomer Sooner…

 

Fun year…

For many OU fans a fun year means hanging 50 on everybody, going 15-0 and winning a National Championship.  Of course this is not my first rodeo so I suggest that we look for other answers to make us happy.   For me, a fun year is having a team with unlimited potential and a schedule loaded with meaningful games.  OU’s first three games will provide just that.

First we have the FAU opener which when scheduled ten years ago was seen as a preseason scrimmage that would allow the Sooners to work out the kinks before hitting the meat of their schedule.   No one had ever heard of FAU back in those days.  Lane Kiffin will bring a boat load of south Florida athletes, not to mention a former four star OU quarterback to Norman this year.   On the other side of the field, OU will be breaking in a new quarterback.  Makes for an interesting opener.

Then we have UCLA and a road game at Ames.   As we know from watching Mike Stoops’ defenses over the years that no game can be considered a given for OU these days.   If Lincoln comes through with his promised improvements on defense and Kyler Murray can be as good as advertised, we can still get off to a good start.  Regardless these games will be fun to watch.

I know that we are a year away from competing against Alabama/and or Clemson, but I believe that this season could provide the impetus for this to happen next year.  If we can win two of three from Texas, TCU and West Virginia, we should be back in Arlington again this year.  Win that game and we will be back in the playoffs again.  More importantly, another Big 12 Championship and another CFP game will allow us to close in on a top five recruiting class.   If we can manage all of this in a year that many experts are considering a rebuilding year for OU football then OU should have a real shot at a National Championship in coming years.  .

Keep all of this in mind as we enjoy another fun year of Sooner football. 

Boomer Sooner…

 

The Boren legacy…

 

An increase in student enrollment on the Norman campus of 11,000 since 2000.

From an endowment fund of $384 million in 2000 to $1.6 billion today.   This ranks OU as #69 among all universities and #16 among public universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

 From $26 million in gifts in 1998 to $199 million this year. From 18,000 donors to 108 million donors last year. 

OU is now ranked in the top 100 by US News and World Report  for the first time ever…this is a big deal.

OU is ranked #1 in the country among all universities for National Merit Scholars… NationalMerit.org

OU is ranked #3 by the Princeton Review as the campus with happiest students.

OU is ranked #11 for quality of life. Princeton Review

OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library has been named among the 18 most stunning university libraries around the world, according to Architectural Digest.

OU is the only Big 12 University to be selected as having one of America’s 25 most beautiful campuses.

US News and World ReportOU has an average ACT score for all OU students of 26.8.  Compare this to the State rate of 21.5.

The last two years OU has added Harry Potter style Residential Colleges patterned after those at Yale, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge in England.   I have toured these buildings and they are very impressive.

OU has a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of over 92 percent.  Ranked as one of the best in America.

OU has produced 29 Rhodes Scholars…10 times as many as all other Oklahoma universities combined.

In athletics, OU has earned 18 National championships during the Boren era.   The other 12 OU Presidents won 19 national championships combined during their collective years.

Boren transitioned the move from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley thereby laying the ground work for an 8th National Championship.

Boomer Sooner…

 

 

New Guy…

New guys should be seen and not heard…I learned this lesson years ago as a school administrator. There’s always time later to become a legend in your own right.  Apparently, new OU President Mr. Gallogly missed the memo.  Pointing out the flaws of your predecessor in a public forum is not a good move, particularly one of David Boren’s reputation.   Don’t get me wrong OU has to pay its bills like everyone else but suggesting that OU was in dire financial straits was over the top.

It looks like the new guy may not be from around these parts…if he’d spent any time in Oklahoma, he would know that Oklahoma public colleges are funded by the Oklahoma State Legislature. Our legislature is made up of some of the dumbest humans on Planet Earth.  You have to fail an IQ test to get into the place.  Making matters worse is the fact that a vast majority of these nimrods are Aggies who hate spending money on public education.

Oklahoma legislators believe that OU should take a page from the OSU playbook and find their own sugar daddy. Instead OU under Boren has taken a different path for school funding.  Boren has used university bonds to support the OU cause.  This is the same method used by the big boys back east to create great universities according to World Finance.

Granted, OU must pay the interest on these bonds, but this has not been a problem over the past twenty years. Additionally, with each new structure that includes athletic facilities that this bond money creates, it is matched by private donors.  It appears to be working as OU donors contributed $2 Billion dollars for OU projects over the past two years.

Finally, I do want to cut the new guy some slack…after all I am hopeful he will address the sucky Big 12 t.v. contract…I am also hopeful that the new guy will stop obsessing over little brother and allow OU to make its own way.  I also appreciate the fact that the new guy must feel a bit overwhelmed competing with the Boren Legacy.  This must be akin to what Gomer Jones found after taking over for Bud Wilkinson.  Then again, this is why the new guy will be making big bucks.

Let’s hope the new guy has the moves of a Joe Washington. We need the new guy to do well…

Boomer Sooner…

New Guy…

New guys should be seen and not heard…I learned this lesson years ago as a school administrator. There’s always time later to become a legend in your own right.  Apparently, new OU President Mr. Gallogly missed the memo.  Pointing out the flaws of your predecessor in a public forum is not a good move, particularly one of David Boren’s reputation.   Don’t get me wrong OU has to pay its bills like everyone else, but suggesting that OU was in dire financial straits was over the top.

It looks like the new guy may not be from around these parts…if he’d spent any time in Oklahoma, he would know that Oklahoma public colleges are funded by the Oklahoma State Legislature. Our legislature is made up of some of the dumbest humans on Planet Earth.  You have to fail an IQ test to get into the place.  Making matters worse is the fact that a vast majority of these nimrods are Aggies who hate spending money on public education.

Oklahoma legislators believe that OU should take a page from the OSU playbook and find their own sugar daddy. Instead OU under Boren has taken a different path for school funding.  Boren has used university bonds to support the OU cause.  This is the same method used by the big boys back east to create great universities according to World Finance.

Granted, OU must pay the interest on these bonds, but this has not been a problem over the past twenty years. Additionally, with each new structure that includes athletic facilities that this bond money creates, it is matched by private donors.  It appears to be working as OU donors contributed $2 Billion dollars for OU projects over the past two years.

Finally, I do want to cut the new guy some slack…after all I am hopeful he will address the sucky Big 12 t.v. contract…I am also hopeful that the new guy will stop obsessing over little brother and allow OU to make its own way.  I also appreciate the fact that the new guy must feel a bit overwhelmed competing with the Boren Legacy.  This must be akin to what Gomer Jones found after taking over for Bud Wilkinson.  Then again, this is why the new guy will be making big bucks.

Let’s hope the new guy has the moves of a Joe Washington. We need the new guy to do well…

Boomer Sooner…