The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat covering college basketball, football, the Oklahoma City Thunder and more. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here’s a look at today’s Q&A.
ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
What would be the Big 12 tournament finals matchup you would most like to see in Kansas City?
Easiest question in the history of the world. OU-OSU. A Bedlam championship game. We've never had one. Sooners and Cowboys have both won a ton, but never against each other in the title game. Sign me up. And it's not crazy talk this year.
What's the ceiling for both state schools this year in regards to the NCAA Tourney? I could realistically see OU putting a Sweet 16 run together if seeding is right and could see Oklahoma State in the Final Four. What do you think?
Oh, sure. You're right. But they also could be first-round upset victims. The parity is so great, it's mostly about matchups. Not how good of a team you draw, but what kind of a team you draw. That's the key.
ON OU FOOTBALL:
Strange that Mike Stoops took responsibility for the 2012 disaster. His brother never did that.
That's typically Mike's personality. He doesn't have much of a filter. Bob has a filter. But Mike Stoops says what's on his mind.
Over/under on OU football wins next year?
If I was setting the number, I would set 10 ½. Then I would take the under. I think OU will go 10-3.
Other than quarterback, what do you think we will learn from OU's spring practice? I'm looking for real insight, not the normal predictable stuff.
I don't think you're going to learn much of anything. No one gets to watch practice, and Stoops as much said that he doesn't want to give away anything at the spring game. So maybe we'll see how the quarterbacks rank. But I doubt we get a good feel for the offense or even the defense, in terms of alignments.
Any initial impressions of the new OU football coaches?
No. I was not able to attend the impromptu press conference with Boulware and Montgomery on Wednesday. I sort of like their resumes, but otherwise, I don't know much.
Is Bob Stoops getting more and more isolated as each year goes by? He seems to be under a lot more stress these days. Do you think he will resign any time soon, if things don't improve?
Isolated doesn't seem like exactly the right word, but I know what you mean. He does seem more defensive. I don't think he'll resign any time soon. He strikes me as ready to fight out of this.
I really like that Stoops finally hired a special teams coach. Seems to have done a good job at his other teams. Seems confident.
Depends. Bobby Jack Wright was actually the designated special teams coach the last couple of years. This might be a designation, too, rather than a full commitment. I would like to see OU or OSU hire a guy who was totally committed to special teams. The way the NFL does.
Does Bob's hiring of his brother, Mike, essentially paint Bob into a corner long term? Meaning, if the Mike experiment fails, does Bob's tenure end? In that scenario, unlike in 2002, no one will hire Mike away and I can't see Bob firing or "demoting" Mike the way he did Venables. If Mike fails does Bob have to go down with the ship? As a huge Stoops supporter I can't believe I'm writing this, but the thought has crossed my mind whether someday they may really regret the deal if things don’t work out.
It's an excellent point. I think the answer is yes. They'll either succeed or fail together. Now, I think the reasons to believe that they'll succeed are many. I'm generally optimistic about the long-term future of OU football under Stoops. But you're right. It's going to be interesting with the brother situation.