The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
Will Malcolm Brown be ready for Texas?
I assume so. But the bigger question is, will Texas use him? The 'Horns have seemingly gone with Jonathan Gray and Joe Bergeron at the expense of Brown. I would expect Brown to see few carries.
In your opinion, what single part of the OU/Texas game does a victory for OU hinge upon?
Turnovers. If I have to pick one priority, it's turnovers. If OU protects the ball, I think the Sooners win. Turn it over twice or more, Texas wins. One? Tossup.
Give me some advice, Mr. Trammel. This will be my first OU/Texas game. What do I need to know?
Oh, you need to know lots of things. Go early. Real early. Or stay off the interstates at least. If you're in North Dallas, go 635 East and follow it all the way down to I-30 West and come to Fair Park from the backside. You'll thank me later. Don't engage in heckling, pregame or postgame. Some day, someone will get shot in an OU-Texas argument in the shadow of the Cotton Bowl. I don't want it to be you. If you're going to partake in the fair, as far as food or rides, takes lot of money. Or your ATM card. But if you want to just look around, there's lots to see.
Hey Berry, in your 'expert' opinion, what is OU and UT's biggest weakness that each will try and take advantage of Saturday? As improved as Texas 'seems' to be I still feel OU should win this game if they can counter UT's beast of a defensive line. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Why the quotation marks around expert? You'll give me a complex. I agree that OU should win. UT's defensive ends are great, but UT's defensive tackles are all that good. I think OU will throw on Texas, too. OSU and WVU have both run and passed on the 'Horns. The Sooners will try to do the same.
What is your opinion of the new college football rule where the ball comes out to the 25 yard line when the kickoff goes in or out of the end zone?
I don't like it. Five extra yards that the offense doesn't need. Why wouldn't we go the other way? Make it the 15-yard line. But the truth is, rule makers don't want kick returners to bring the ball out of the end zone. They want to limit kickoff returns.
If the Thunder are going to lose James Harden, what about figuring out a way to bring in Monta Ellis? He is due to make $11 million this year and next.
No way. First all, he's not the kind of ballplayer the Thunder needs. And if you're going to lose Harden, don't retool with someone who would cost just as much as what you were offering Harden. Signing Harden at $11-12 million would be severe hardship on OKC. If you're going to lose Harden, why take on the hardship, too. Get a veteran who just wants to win and will play for less.
Landry Jones looked pretty darn good to me last week against Texas Tech. Do you think he will continue on a better path?
I think Landry the rest of the year will play about six good games and one or two clunkers. The problem is, you don't know when the clunker will come.
IMO, if Lazar Hayward's option is picked up then the Thunder can no longer use money as an excuse to not bring back Harden. If they keep Hayward they might as well just take $2 million and light it on fire.
I don't know. You've got to pay somebody down at the bottom of the roster, and most anyone would cost $1 million. You're probably right, they won't re-up Hayward, but I don't think keeping him is a sign that money doesn't matter.
Do you see West Virginia going undefeated in the Big 12? Can OU still pull it out?
OU can still pull it out. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible. No, I don't think West Virginia will win out. Stillwater, Lubbock, Ames, not easy places to play. Home games against KSU and OU. Tough games.
Please explain the rule in college football — last OU game, Brown catches a ball in the end zone lying on the ground with firm possession. Play over. TD, right? Defender strips the ball. No catch. If defense tries to strip it for 5 minutes, does the play last 5 minutes? Stupid rule.
I don't know that the refs called the play right. It's possible the call would have been overruled, if it had gone to replay. I think it was a touchdown. You have to control the ball as you go to the ground, if you go to the ground.
I kind of like what I saw from Frank Shannon and A. Franklin. Will we see more of them?
Yes, absolutely. I think Shannon will play a ton. Franklin quite a bit. I think Shannon is ready to take over at MLB, but OU will use Wort some still, because of experience.
What about bringing in JJ Reddick when James Harden leaves?
I guess that would be OK, so long as he doesn't cost too much. Redick is not replacement for Harden. Redick is more like Daequan Cook than James Harden.
Will we ever see Kendal Thompson this season?
No. Not at all. He's fourth-string QB. Although, I've told Josh Heupel to supplement the Belldozer with a speed option run by Thompson.
What did you think of Charlie Weis practicing without seniors on Sunday? The hire becomes odder as we go on.
Weis says he does that often, as a way to give younger guys more reps. It made me think. Why don't football teams just practice every day? But give certain guys the time off they're supposed to have. In other words, The top 40-50 players take off Sunday, but the scrubs practice on Sunday. Then the scrubs take off Monday, when the top players practice. It's a little like Howard Schnelleberger's old Toilet Bowl — he had a scrimmage every Monday evening for the guys who weren't getting to play.
Do you think the refs blew some calls against Texas Tech?
Refs blow calls in every game, but nothing really stood out. Oh, I guess that interference call against Colvin was bogus. But refs weren't a factor in that game.
Do you like the 11:00 time for OU/Texas?
I like it, personally, because it means I can get home at a decent hour Saturday night. It also gives us plenty of time to write on Saturday afternoon. I know it's a downer for some fans. If it means you can't enjoy the fair before the game, I feel for you. If it means you can't drink as much on Friday night, tough toenails.
Your score prediction for OU/Texas?
I went OU 34-24.
Your thoughts on how OU's d backs have done so far?
Excellent. UTEP and K-State have not been a big test, but Tech was. And OU's secondary has played very well. Texas will be another test. But Colvin and Tony Jefferson and Demontre Hurst have played very well.
Have you seen much of Notre Dame this season? If so, what do you think about them?
I like Notre Dame. The Irish is playing tough defense and not beating itself. Notre Dame has beaten all kinds of different teams. I think Stanford will be a tough out for Notre Dame, but if the Irish win, they'll come to Norman unbeaten and untied.
Sandusky gets life in prison. I'm extremely glad. Any thoughts?
To me, it's a non-story. Did someone think he was going to get five years? I'm a little surprised it's as low as 30 years, but if he was 40 years old, I'll bet he would have gotten a lot more. "Glad" is not the term that comes to mind. The whole story is tragic.
What are the keys for OU to take down the Longhorns?
1. Limit turnovers, as I 've said. 2. Win the kicking game. I blogged this morning that OU has a kicker edge, but UT is capable of a big return, which I'm not sure the Sooners are. 3. Pressure David Ash. I think Texas will run some on OU, but the 'Horns need to hit some throws, and if Ash is comfortable back in the pocket, he can do that.
Who takes Nila's place in the offensive line?
I doubt anyone does. I think OU will just use its lead backups even more. Darryl Williams and Lane Johnson and Tyrus Thompson will still play a bunch of tackle, Ikard and Irwin and Shead in the middle. Ty Darlington might get to play a little more.
Let's say Les Miles is still coaching OK State ... Would the Cowboys be having the same (or better) success that they have had under Gundy? Would Gundy still be a Div. head coach?
Interesting question. Miles stays at OSU in 2004 and is still coaching today. Here's what I would say. If Boone still gives the money, then yes, OSU football is thriving. And Gundy probably is coaching elsewhere, at a lower level. North Texas or somewhere. Not that he couldn't have gotten a better job from there. If Boone doesn't give the money, then OSU is down near the bottom of the Big 12.
Will Metoyer improve as the season progresses? I really like what I’ve seen from Shepard so far.
Metoyer is a puzzle. He doesn't seem to be progressing the way other receivers have. He's a guy to keep an eye on. He certainly has the chance to make an impact. But he has been passed by Brown, Shepard, all kinds of people.
The Thunder aren't going to get a Harden for Harden unless it is a lottery pick the Thunder acquire in a trade. I think the Thunder need a good offensive player off the bench to take Harden's 6th man role. I don't think you have to worry about finding a playmaker like Harden do since in this scenario Maynor will be re signed.
Good point. If you lose Harden, you get to keep Maynor, and I love Maynor. All this talk about Reggie Jackson and Maynor battling for backup point guard? That's nonsense, unless Maynor has knee problems. You're right. You won't be able to replace Harden for Harden.
Too bad about Alex Karras. I always liked him.
Too bad for us all. Karras was 77. He lived a full life.
Any memories from first OU/Texas game you went to? Mine was 1965, student ticket — easy to get and cost $1.00
My first OU-Texas was 1990. I spent the entire 1980s working the desk in the office of the Norman Transcript. I was stunned by the atmosphere on the floor of the Cotton Bowl, the incredible frenzy. And the game was fantastic. That was Cale Gundy's freshman year, and R.D. Lashar's missed field goal. Texas won 14-13.
Did you get to wish Barry Switzer an in person happy birthday?
Nope. Didn’t see him. He sent me a text thanking us for the special project we did.
OK, great. Good questions. Talk to you next week.