Emails in on Sooners, Cowboys, Jordan & Peterson
The new emails are in, and we’re talking all sorts of cool stuff. Adrian Peterson and Michael Jordan. Coaching shortcomings in Stillwater and Norman. Quarterbacks and strategy. Let’s get right to it.
Corby: “Hey, Berry, you looked great with that funny mustache in the video the other day. I think you should try that thing on for size full-time.”
It would take me 16 years to grow something like that.
Bill: “I am prompted to write by your blog nominating Jimmy Brown as the greatest all time NFL running back and your opinion/hope that Adrian might equal or surpass him. I agree with all you said. However, what really moved me was the realization that I may be one of the few (possibly only) people who personally witnessed Jimmy and Adrian’s first college football games. In the fall of 1954, I was a freshman at Cornell when we played Syracuse in an early season game. Syracuse’s regular starting halfback up until that game had been a guy named Mickey Rich (a two or three year starter, as I recall). I can’t remember if he got hurt (I think he did) or if Jimmy just beat him out, but Jimmy started and played and was sensational. He was a sophomore (no freshman on varsity in those days) and my recollection is that he was never out of the starting lineup again. My wife and I have had season tickets for OU continuously since 1980. Adrian came in with lots of advance pub, and Gail and I were in the stands when he played his first game (and for every other game he played). We hope that Adrian gets to fulfill his promise. By the by, did you know that Jimmy was a four-letter man at Syracuse (football, basketball, track and lacrosse). He used to never come out for basketball until football season was over, but one year I remember that even with the short season he led the team (Syracuse) in rebounds. He was very good.”
Jimmy Brown played basketball? Jimmy Brown played basketball at Syracuse? The lacrosse, I knew about. But basketball? Let’s see Barry Sanders or Adrian Peterson top that.
Keesee wrote about OSU-Houston: “The Houston people are rejoicing after their win in Stillwater. Acknowledge they were lucky, but really feel that it was a breakout win. Now, they want a statement game. And that is Texas Tech on the 26th in 32,000-seat Robertson Stadium on the east side of downtown Houston. Cougars have an off date this weekend. Tech plays Texas in Austin this Saturday. I look for a very physical loss for the Red Raiders. Going in injured and badly beaten to Houston the next week could, as hoped in Houston, be a very decided loss for Tech. If so, the loss by the Cowboys won’t look as bad.”
Houston certainly could run the table. The trouble with the OSU-Houston result was not how bad the loss looks. It doesn’t look all that bad. It was the opportunity that was lost for OSU. A chance to spend most of September and October in the top five?
Todd wrote about my OSU-Houston column: “Biased much? Can’t you give OSU any credit? OK, so they lost one game, so what? The way you write, their season is down the tubes. To remind you; OU did lose a game last week, too. Does that mean their season is over? Every bit of your article in Sunday’s paper read as if to put OSU back in their place; they must be second to OU. Give me a break! I do my best to support both schools in this state, but it is OU fans like you that make that extremely difficult. Next time, why don’t you just keep your worthless drivel to yourself!”
You mean like the final score?
Meanwhile, Paul is an OSU fan who does what most fans do. Try to figure out what went wrong: “In the harsh light of the next morning and a little research it becomes clear that the OSU-Houston game was just a repeat of last year, at least on Houston’s part. They scored almost exactly the same amount of points, (taking away the interception return for TD), they had almost the same yards (little less passing, a little more rushing). OSU’s defense played essentially the same game as last year. It was the OSU offense that kept Houston in the game. I have seen basketball teams come out flat and lay an egg, but usually in football out of 11-plus players, someone steps up. As a fan I hope they improve offensively, but until Zac Robinson returns to himself they will not. This defense was better against Georgia but the same, almost to the yard, as last season against Houston. It was the offense that was 200 plus yards short of last season. Go figure.”
It was an offensive letdown, no doubt about it. Four offensive touchdowns is enough against some teams. Against others, not so much.
Wayne: “I have had time to further reflect on yesterday’s game (and the last couple of seasons) and offer the following. I keep thinking every year that something will be different. Our defense will improve, our play selection will be less than predictable and Gundy will be less than arrogant. If you analyze our performance from yesterday, I believe that we’ve missed on all three counts. OSU football fans dream of a Big 12 title, deep down a national championship, without a doubt we could be as close as we’ll ever be, but all the money in the world (or at least a good chunk, thank you T. Boone!) cannot buy you a championship without: 1. tremendous athletes (I think we have this covered); 2. preparation, practice, conditioning (both mental and physical), and scouting of the opponent. I don’t believe in luck. Hard work on and off the field creates opportunities; it appears that we focus on this as well; 3. rock-solid fundamental coaching (we’ve made improvements, but Gundy’s play calling system is too complex and time consuming. And it doesn’t matter how we get the plays in, if we repeatedly run the ball with less than two minutes to go, fail to compute that it’s a two-possession game … I can go on and on. Have we ever heard of the two-minute drill? Can we call more than one play at a time? Or provide an audible or two? I follow Texas 5A football. I’m a season ticket holder for the Katy Tigers and attend all of the games. They are the current defending state champions (two consecutive years). This football program is built on fundamentals where excellence is a tradition and championships are an outcome. They continue to win because they are balanced. Offense, defense and special teams all contribute to their success, in contrast to OSU’s performance yesterday. Some way say it’s the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. I may not know a lot about college or high school football, but I believe that there is something that our OSU football program and coaches could learn about winning championships by looking outside of their own experience and arrogance to other very successful programs in college and 5A football. I’m afraid that OSU will continue to sputter, spin, and blunder. Yes, we’ll have winning seasons, but I’m not confident that championships will ever be in reach. I believe that we should be searching for a coach that believes in the KISS principle, that can as a minimum follow the fundamentals of football mathematics, one that can learn from season to season, and one that has the potential to deliver championships. I can arrange an extra ticket to a Katy game for Mike Holder or designate, if they are interested.”
I know, I know. It sounds goofy. But you know what? This is exactly what OSU needs. Passionate fans. Not fans like the joker above who wants the media to give OSU credit when it loses to Houston and squanders a top-five ranking. It needs fans who get mad when the Cowboys close.
Dan: “I noticed watching the game yesterday, twice, Robinson between plays shook his head. The kind of shake like trying to shake out cobwebs or shake off dizziness. The thought occurred that maybe something from last week’s run-in with the wall?”
How about last season’s run-in with Oregon? Robinson hasn’t been the same since.
Josh: “Did you think Gary Gibbs was run out of town way too early? His record was a fairly solid from where he brought the team from. And do you think Bob Stoops could have won a national title with any of the Sooner teams in the ’90s? The ’94 team was stacked with talent. Or the ’99 team if DeMond Parker had been a senior?”
Let me get this straight. You’re saying the 1994 OU team, which finished 6-6, had national championship talent, then you’re asking if Gary Gibbs was run out of town too early. The answer to your questions are these. Stoops could not have won a national title with any of those ’90s teams, and the fans fired Gibbs. No one was buying tickets.
Shlomo wrote about my list of great OU backup quarterbacks: “Landry Jones may well have what it takes. But remember, the others on the list had a supporting cast; they were not out there on their own. Jones has a O-Line that will be suspect until it shows that it can do the job against a real contender. Further, there is a serious question about his receiving corp. The scrimmage against Idaho State featured a number of early catches by Broyles and a bunch by the backs. I know that the weather was bad, but if Jones is going to try to make a living throwing to his backs all day, then he may be in trouble. Good teams are going to see that and defense that. And if the running game gets bottled up… So this may not be so much about Landry Jones as it is about the people around him. And that goes for the D, as well. Charles Thompson managed that game, but the D held Nebraska to one touchdown. Had we needed to score in bunches, Charles Thompson may not have gone down in OU lore; he may just have gone down. This week will tell more.”
I don’t disagree with much of anything Shlomo wrote, other than to point out that beating Nebraska 17-7 in 1987 required a lot more than managing a game from the quarterback. But maybe we should hold off on the Landry Jones bandwagon. He’s played one mediocre half and a full game against Idaho State. Which means we know nothing.
Ralph: “I enjoyed your article on QB backups, but I think that Frank Reich belongs in the story. Did he not win the greatest comeback victories in both the NCAA (with Maryland vs. Miami as Boomer Esiason’s backup) and the NFL (with Buffalo vs. Houston in the playoffs as Jim Kelly’s back-up)? I’m going on memory, not research, so I could be wrong.”
No, Ralph, you’re exactly right. I don’t think Frank Reich fit my story – one-game wonders really isn’t the theme of Landry Jones – but the Reich story is remarkable. The greatest comeback in college and the greatest comeback in the pros both engineered by the same quarterback, and he was a backup in both games? Amazing.
Don: “Good story on the backups today. So how many sports guys do you think are going to know about John Milton?”
Oh, probably more than you think. Al Pacino’s “The Devil’s Advocate” gave Uncle Milton a little shelf life.
Mark: “In your column, you say, ‘God rest his football soul,’ speaking of Eric Mitchel. When did Eric Mitchel pass away? How?”
Eric Mitchel didn’t die. Not so far as I know. His football career died when he got stuck behind Jamelle Holieway.
Kent: “What’s up with Stoops and no comment on Bradford? ‘I’m not going there.’ That sounds like Bill Snyder How many losses will make this a disappointing season?”
I would say one more defeat makes this a disappointing season. I think Stoops just wants to stop all the questions. I don’t much believe in tea leaves.
Bill: “What bothers me and many others is that OU has been placed in the championship game at least once, after losing to KSU in the Big 12 Championship game 35-7, and last year, when Texas beat them head to head and should have been in the game, when they have been undeserving. It’s frustrating. When OU clearly deserves to be in the big game, even I will pull for them to win.”
This quite possibly will become the most tired argument that I have ever had to deal with. Did you read what Bill wrote? That Texas OU clearly deserves to be in the big game… No one from the Big 12 clearly deserved to be in the big game. That’s what happens in a three-way tie. There is no clarity. And using the BCS as the tiebreaker is imminently reasonable. In fact, it’s unreasonable NOT to use the BCS.
Larry, our resident Tech fan: “Was wondering when and where Big 12 officiating assignments are announced. No particular reason, just idle curiosity.”
They aren’t announced in advance. You have to show up at the stadium to find out. Either that or park outside Mack Brown’s house and see who comes over for a steak dinner.
Jim: “Here’s an idea for a question to ask or article to write about: what is the state of the audible in college football or OU in particular? Seems like an experienced and intelligent guy like Sam Bradford (when healthy) could be trusted to audible a lot of plays at the line. If true, that could cut down on all the times when OU lines up, then has to step back to look at the sideline to see the hand signals. Seems like that lets the defense off the hook and negates the advantage of the no-huddle offense. Maybe nobody audibles anymore. It might not work in today’s game, for some reason. Maybe coaches don’t want to surrender that power/privilege. Might not be practical. But it seems like in the past OU quarterbacks have had that option and I don’t know why an elite QB like Sam doesn’t have the green light to call the play at the line. Just curious.”
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 90847Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 47098Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 38051Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 30921Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 13823Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 11468How to help tornado victims
- 10724Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 8728Bounty hunters look for bail jumpers, fugitives on the streets of Oklahoma City
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients