The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. The complete transcript is available here.
Any news on Big 12 expansion?
Yes. The news is, they're not going to expand. At least not for a few years. The Big 12 will sit back and see how the new playoff system works before it considers expansion. That's not good news for Louisville, but that's just the way it is.
What is the deal with Roy Finch? Is he in Stoops’ dog house? I don't understand why OU doesn't use him more.
I think Finch is in the doghouse, to some degree, but even if he wasn't, would he be higher than third team? I mean, he didn't beat out Whaley last season, and now OU has recruited over both of them with Damien Williams. Now, playing Clay over Finch is a clear sign that Finch is in the doghouse. But it's also possible that he's just not that good.
I think the Thunder should keep Harden for the last year of his contract and then let somebody else overpay him. If the Thunder could bring in a JJ Redick or an OJ Mayo, or even Reggie Jackson if he improves, the Thunder will be alright. I mean KD, Westbrook and Serge will still be on the team, right?
The Thunder would take a step back if tries to replace Harden with someone like Mayo, Redick or Reggie Jackson. Now, you might take steps forward in other areas, but one of the few flaws on this team is imbalanced scoring. Three guys carry the load. Lose one of those guys, and who's stepping up? I don't know that I see someone on the roster capable of scoring 13-14 points a game. Serge, maybe, but it's risky.
I say the best coach in the Big 12 is Bill Snyder, second best is Art Bryles, third is Gundy, and fourth is Patterson. Stoops and Mac are obviously good, but have far more to work with. What say you?
Snyder is the best. In this league or any other league. Everyone else, you can make a good case for in a lot of different ways. Paul Rhoads is excellent. Stoops and Brown have won big for a long time, which is not easy to do. Gundy and Patterson have built something special out of not great tradition. Briles is working toward that, though it's early.
With AEG now for sale, what does that do the NFL to L.A. movement?
There's no way it can help. No way. Do you realize we're coming up on 20 years without Los Angeles having the NFL? That's crazy. With all that said, I still think there is enough momentum in L.A. for the movement to continue. But you've got to have two things come together: a stadium plan — a real plan, with the money on the table and the land secured — and a franchise that wants to move.
Are the Oklahoma City Barons affected by the NHL lockout?
Yes. A bunch of young NHL players have been sent down to the AHL and are eligible to play. I'm told that anyone on their rookie contract is eligible to be sent down, so you'll see a bunch of young stars in the AHL this year, if the work stoppage continues.
Your thoughts on the Dallas/Seattle game? And what do you foresee for the Cowboys the rest of the season?
Bad spot for Dallas. Seattle has two good cornerbacks, which negate a Cowboy strength. Tough place in the schedule, too, with the Seahawks playing their home opener, after a tough Week 1 defeat that Seattle easily could have won. Plus Dallas coming off a statement game. This is the NFL. Wins are hard to come by. I expect Dallas to rebound nicely. I still think the Cowboys are a playoff team.