Crunch time…

As Taylor said, there may be only one team in America that can hold the Sooners to one touchdown and that team is OU. On another hot, sweltering day we were witness to two things…an offense that is not clicking on all cylinders and a bunch of fans, not conditioned for that kind of heat that should not have been anywhere near that stadium on Saturday.  Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about either one. 

As for the football side of this dilemma, it may be time to stop saying that our opponent is better than people think and face the reality of the situation.  We may not be as good as we thought.   We’re three games into the season and our offensive line is not any better than it was going in.  Granted, Spencer Rattler has his own set of problems, but he nor Caleb Williams can block and throw at the same time. 

On Saturday, he spent most of the day running for his life.  At the same time, when he did have time, he threw into double and triple coverage.   He is also not a running quarterback and even if he were, he needs to get down before taking a hit…seriously…

The good news is that the defense continues to improve at warp speed.  In reality, we held Nebraska to nine (9) points on Saturday.  That late score would never have happened if DJ Graham had batted his interception away instead of hauling it in at the three.  Then again, if he had batted the ball away, we would not have witnessed one of the greatest interceptions of all time. 

Long story short is that we still have a lot of work to do and secondly each game is going to be a grind this year…those traditional blowouts may be few and far between.   Here’s your good news…if our defense can continue to play at this clip throughout the season, we’ll be okay, maybe not great, but possibly good enough. 

Here’s more good news…parity to college football may have finally arrived, and the top dogs may be beatable this year.  We also have two thirds of the season left to work out the kinks so don’t give up the ship just yet…

Boomer Sooner…

Bragging rights…

Back in the day my Edmond North Huskies could not score a touchdown much less beat Edmond Memorial in football.   For someone as competitive as me, this was like being sentenced to the world down under.  With the help of an equally competitive staff of teachers, we took it upon ourselves to create a paradigm shift.   If not football, possibly academics held the key. 

With information from College Board (AP) and US News and World Report we did just that.   Almost immediately, we used players recruited via the academic route to beat Memorial again, and again and again.  Under my watch, we never lost to the Bulldogs after that.   

To this day, I love examining the high school rankings to see how my former high schools are doing.  I also love comparing local high schools to their district counterparts.  Comparing football powerhouses on the east to those on the west side of the state can be equally satisfying.  It is my belief that high schools can and should aspire to be the best in both areas. 

I have highlighted some of this information below.   For a more in-depth view you can go to usnewsandworldreport/rankings/highschools/Oklahoma

US News and World Report High School rankings…

Edmond North (4)

Edmond Memorial (5)

Edmond Santa fe (7)


Westmoore (11)

Moore High School (27)

Southmoore (54)


Mustang (24)

Yukon (36)


Norman North (8)

Norman High (13)


Jenks (14)

Owasso (22)

Union (39)

Broken Arrow (41)

Note: As you will see from the master list, the top three Oklahoma high schools on the academic list are magnet or charter schools.  Those guys play by a different set of enrollment rules…sort like Tulsa schools in football. 

A win is a win is a win

In 2018 OU played Army and ended up beating the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime.   That was an ugly win, but a win none the less.  I remember thinking when that game was tied at 21-21 that we simply needed to win the game and move on.  We won the game and we moved on…

Things can always be worse…remember how we felt after losses to Kansas State over the past few years.  Those were ugly losses that we never fully recovered from.   A win is always better.  

It is also important to put the Tulane game in perspective.   Tulane was a well-coached team that hung around just long enough to make things interesting. The game setting resembled a spring game with no band, no student section and only a smattering of fans played in 100-degree heat.  This was an upset in the making.     

We won the game and as a result, we still have all our goals ahead of us.  The good news is that the defense will be better this year.   We still have Spencer Rattler who threw for over 300 yards on Saturday.   We also have the greatest backup quarterback (Caleb Williams) in America to back up Rattler. 

Granted the loss of wide receiver Theo Weese will hurt, but maybe he will be back sooner than expected.  Regardless, we still have a bunch of topflight receivers to turn to.  We also have a reborn Kennedy Brooks and stud transfer Eric Gray as running backs.     

The truth of the matter is that by the end of the season, this ugly loss will be forgotten.  The players and the coaches will get wake up calls that will help prepare the team for tough outings down the road.  This learning curve will help us immensely as we prepare for games in Manhattan and Dallas in weeks five and six.   

Like I said.  A win is a win is a win…we’ll take it.  Time to move on.  

Boomer Sooner…

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…

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…