Mike Sherman: Power Lunch Chat transcript, August 7, 2012

Mike Sherman answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports.
by Mike Sherman Modified: August 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm •  Published: August 7, 2012
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Hi folks: Jason Kersey ran into some technical problems (there's no wireless in the interview room at OU's football facility) so I'm pinch-hitting.

So what is going on with John Michael McGee?

Homesickness is the stated cause. We don't know much else. They gave him a day off to allow him to decide, and it wasn't too long after Stoops said he had been given Monday off that McGee tweeted he was leaving the team.

Can you explain how Will Latu failed to qualify academically at OU, only to receive a scholarship from Arkansas State a few days later? Are the academic standards between the two schools really that different?

Jason tells me Arkansas State likely applied for a waiver for Latu and is waiting to find out whether it was granted. Jason's impression is that OU wasn't willing to apply for a waiver and wait.

Should it be necessary, will back up OL Ty Darlington, Derrick Farniok, and Kyle Marrs be ready to contribute at a high level this season?

Based on what OU coaches have been saying, Ty Darlington has had a great summer and played well and impressed everyone. He should have a shot. Farniok impressed teammates in the spring with how much he had improved and matured. Marrs will be forced to play a little bit. He's the most likely tackle to move inside for interior needs.

I forget, where's the linemen tree?

What's a lineman tree? Are you talking about the depth chart?

The linemen tree is the tree that grows linemen. You know, the place you go when you're running out of linemen.

Ah. Yes. Not sure they have one and not a good time to be planting anything around here. Jason has a blog set to post this afternoon on the silver lining (if there is one) from the O-Line injuries. Check back on the OU Blog after lunch.

With everything going on this and last week on the offensive side, how has the new defense under Mike looked?

Hard to say. We don't get to watch practice. From what people are saying he's made some subtle changes and maybe made things a little easier to understand. You can expect it to be better. How much better? We'll see when K-State comes to Norman.

I've just wanted to say this aloud: West Virginia is going to struggle, they lost games in the Big East, they're not ready to step up this much in competition, what am I missing?

Possible things you're missing. Last year's Orange Bowl against Clemson (got their coordinator fired). The first half of the LSU game last year. The realistic expectation that WVU improves with a full year of Holgorsen as head coach and his second season running the offense. The fact that the OU-WVU game is in Morgantown and OU doesn't do so well lately in true road games.

Could you discuss the options on the offensive line that "aren't options." In other words, who do we have that we could use, that we don't want to use.

Jason says that's a really good question. "I don't think they have that luxury to think that way anymore. I don't think they can rule anyone out. I think they'd prefer not to use Marrs. He's a guy they weren't counting on that they're going to have to. They had that luxury two weeks ago and don't have anymore."

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by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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