Monday, June 4, 2012


The school previously known as tailback U could soon be known as QB U. 

Gundy declared a freshman the starting QB before the summer and that commitment to competition has shown its head again in recent weeks.

After his father was let go by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he subsequently transferred to a Christian school in Colorado, the son of the Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio, Luke, committed to Okie State.

The young quarterback passed for over 2,500 yards and 20 TDs in florida last year and hopes to terrorize the state of Colorado this season. 

Sims Dismissed From Team

Herschel Sims, considered the gem of last year's recruiting class, has been dismissed from the team.

He apparently borrowed $700 from teammate Jeremiah Tshimanga and failed to pay it back. While Herschel and his mother have both spoke with Coach Gundy he will reportedly not be reinstated.  This indicates issues existed beyond a few borrowed dollars. 

Regardless, the Cowboys enter this season with three backs in the rotation with superstar Joseph Randle being backed up by Jeremy Smith and reserve Desmond Roland prepared to chip in.  No true RB was signed in the incoming freshman class.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Does OSU Beat LSU for the National Title?

The scouting report is out on LSU.  They play great defense and special teams, shorten the field and play ball control with great field position with multiple backs and one great receiver. 
If I were to compare this team with anyone OSU has faced this year it would be, interestingly enough, future SEC member Texas A&M (Solid Defense, Gray and Michael at RB and Fuller at WR). 

LSU ranks first in turnover margin and OSU ranks second.  Clearly this will be a point of emphasis.  Jarrett Lee plays a conservative style, relying upon field position and a very solid running game while Heisman-Candidate Brandon Weeden opens up the offense and the running game feeds off the defensive sets created by the spread passing attack of the offense. 

Comparing Rueben Randle (LSU) and Jeff Fuller (A&M) is a fair comparison, both will be 3-5 round NFL picks.  Fuller had 6 catches for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Cowboys this season but the real story was the 105 yards produced by Ryan Swpoe to setup Fuller's touchdowns.  While Randle is producing nearly 70 yards per game in the conservative LSU passing game, the second highest total falls to Beckham with a mere 34 yards per game.  Beckham has not produced a touchdown in the last 8 games and I would love to take my chances with him lined up against our number 2 CB Justin Gilbert. 

The real issue comes with the three headed monster of Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Alfred Blue.  These three RBs have provided all the fireworks the LSU has needed to secure a 13-0 record.  Can OSU stop their rushing effort?  I was obviously very encouraged by the 3.3 yards per carry limited to OU in the Bedlam game and that number was much less in the first half when we were not playing so conservatively.  LSU would get 200 yards rushing against OSU but we all know the question becomes: would that be enough?

Much has been made of the defenses of the SEC.  Yet, as I have stated numerous times, this is against the 80's pro-style offenses.  This style of offense is not employed by the Patriots, Saints, Packers or Steelers anymore at the pro level.  The ability to spread out a defense and attack their weak link is very appreciated by teams who have a mature enough QB to dissect the defense.  OSU has such an individual. 

When Arkansas played LSU they did not have a receiver who caught more than 3 passes against them.  Justin Blackmon has not cought less than 6 passes in any game this year and has had double digit catches in half OSU's 12 games.  Somehow LSU never played South Carolina and Alshon Jeffrey this year which solidifies the fact they have not seen a receiver close to Blackmon's caliber.

Truly the MVP of a national championship game, should OSU be invited, could be Quinn Sharp.  He of the mullet is the best in the NCAA at kicking touchbacks and he ranks 14th in the country in net punting.  LSU, while unspectacular, plays great leverage football: holding position, taking advantage of mistakes and running the ball.  Winning the field position battle by great kicking and turnover-free offense will negate this advantage.

I believe this is the game that is meant to happen because Miles is Gundy in conservative clothing.  Both coaches (Miles was the head coach at OSU when Gundy was the OC) rely on turnovers and maintaining "leverage" on the opponent.  This game will be a close one with it coming down to a last possession.  A tired OSU defense playing with a lead against a run based LSU offense looking to score with just a minute or two left.  This would be classic.

Oklahoma Is The Top Football State in 2011

Teams in the Southest enjoy claiming they are the football section of the country, from peewee to the pros.  That is simply not true.  We all know Texas, California and Florida produce the most Division-1 prospects but that is partially due to their huge populations.  Who produces the most success on a per capita basis?  The Great State of Oklahoma.
Alabama does a fine job.  The University of Alabama has a great coach and an up and comer with a title in the Auburn coach.  They have solid high school football and rabid fans.  While they do not have a professional teams, their fan's passion for college athletics make up for it fine.  The only hindrance is their lack of a third team (Alabama-Birmingham is struggling) and their lack of competition at the highest high school levels.  Hoover and Pratteville dominate their highest classification but fail, with a few notable exceptions, to produce big time college talent.

Georgia is very similar.  On a per capita basis Georgia produces many division one prospects but many ultimately leave the state to pursue their collegiate careers. 

When one views high school football, no conversation is complete without mention of Tulsa Union, Jenks or Broken Arrow (Oklahoma).  These schools continuously show up the USA Today rankings and produce college talent.  In fact, 9-2 Kansas State has made a living by raiding these schools for OU and OSU leftovers recently.  The diffence in this and the great programs of the aforementioned states?  1) The talent is greater than Alabama's, 2) and stays in-state as opposed to Georgia's (partially due to no serious number three school). 

Oklahoma began the season ranked number one while OSU was also in the top 10.  Alabama and Georgia produced good preseason rankings but Georgia Tech and Auburn were nowhere to be found.  The same can be said in Texas where Texas A&M checking in high but proved to be a fluke while Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech were dominated in the standings by the Oklahoma Schools.  California had a solid showing with Stanford and the disqualified Southern California Trojans but ultimately came up short.  Florida struggled all the way around, from the Gators, Noles and Canes to the Bucs, Jags and Phins.

When you calculate in the continued success of the University of Tulsa, only one conclusion can be drawn: no state plays football in 2011 like the state of Oklahoma. 

How Good Are the SEC Defenses?

As Coach Gundy pointed out, "It's time to see how the SEC defenses would fair against a big time offense". 
I have stated before even NFL teams such the Packers, Patriots and Saints have evolved past the run-oriented, fullback, tight end, offenses run in the Southeastern Conference.  Is there really any question why the conference has, statistically, great defenses and truly horrendous offenses ( one ranked in the top 62)?

What if a team ran an offense like Arkansas but ran it better and also had a ball-hawking defense?

There is no doubt LSU has earned the right to he number 1.  But, could they stop the unstoppable force that is the OSU offense?  The only receiver in Justin Blackmon's area code in the SEC is Jeffrey from South Carolina.  Alabama conveniently didn't have to play South Caroline this year (or Georgia for that matter).

Let's see the unstoppable force play the immovable object.

The Power of the $

I am hearing from multiple sources that ESPN is upset CBS got to broadcast the "game of the decade" with LSU playing at Alabama earlier this year and this is why they want a rematch. ESPN I ask you now, think with your head.

Any AD in the country would root for OSU. If OSU wins a national title every AD will tell their biggest donors, "Look what T. Boone Pickens accomplished.  Be our T. Boone".

Large donations equal stories which equal advertising dollars. And then equals profiles of rich men which equals more dollars.

So promoting OSU is right because they are better than Alabama (strength of schedule) and it will make more money for schools and, in turn, for the network.

Seems like a no-brainer to me...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Coaching Carousel Turns

After just one season, which is not yet complete, Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken is being approached for a head coaching job.  The inquiring team: Tulane.

OSU has lost Larry Fedora (2007) and Dana Holgorsen (2010) to head coaching jobs and it seems the OSU offense has catapulted yet another OC to the conversation.  (side note: outstanding years for Southern Miss and West Virginia)

This is a testament to Coach Gundy and reminds us to be glad we have established ourselves as a school where you only leave for a higher position instead of a stepping stone school as we were as recently as Les Miles.

I congratulate Coach Monken on the opportunity and know OSU will be in good hands regardless of his decision this season.

What A Team Accomplishes Should Matter

Coach Gundy flying high with 5 wins over top 25 teams!
The biggest argument for Alabama is they ALMOST beat LSU at home.  Almost.  Sure they only defeated two teams in the BCS top 25.  Sure they only defeated three Bowl Subdivision (Division-1) teams with a winning record and one of those on the road.  Sure they only PLAYED one school with an offense ranked in the top half of the Bowl Subdivision (Arkansas) but that one loss at home was so close against LSU that must prove something.  So their major accomplishment was losing close at home.

Oklahoma State on the other hand has defeated five schools in the BCS top 25.  The Cowboys have defeated six schools with a winning record (three on the road) and they have obviously played many schools with high offensive ranks. 

In fact, when it mattered, in the de facto Big XII title game, the Cowboys defense held the number 4 total offense in the country (University of Oklahoma) to 10 points in a 44-10 blowout.  This is in fact much more impressive than holding LSU's 75th-ranked offense to 9. 

In summary, we know OSU has a better offense than Alabama.  Could they possibly have a better defense too?  Regardless they have a much better resume and have accomplished much more, even when you include what Alabama "almost" accomplished.