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Berry Tramel: Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title hunt in 2013

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on
Oklahoman Modified: January 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on


Is Oklahoma State the front-runner in the Big 12 for 2013? What do they have to do to win championship?

I really like OSU. OSU and TCU. If the Cowboys can get some defensive stops — and find some tailback depth — then I think they will be in the title hunt, with a definite chance to win it. OSU gets two of the other three top teams in Stillwater. TCU and OU. OSU has to go to Texas. Texas has to go to TCU. TCU has to go to Norman and Stillwater.

How, exactly, did OSU determine that the seating capacity of renovated GIA would be 13,611? Seems like such a precise number. Why not 12,611, or even better 10,000? Looking back, I believe that 10,000 would be a good number.

I'm quite sure it was largely structural. If you raise the roof and build suites, etc., you have to go up a certain amount. I don't think there was anything magical about 13,611, but I think clearly OSU wanted to get north of 10,000. Much of it was financial. OSU basketball was helping pay the freight, at that time.

Interesting column on GIA in Stillwater. Not quite the "hit piece" that some commenters described it as, in my opinion. How does GIA attendance as a % of available seating compare to other Big 12 programs? I agree Thunder have a huge impact — but if the Thunder wane (I live in the Phoenix area and Suns are certainly in such a slump now), do you think interest will swing back to college in any circumstance? Finally — to boost the student energy, being back student seating along the sidelines like it was back in my time in Stillwater (mid-80s Paul Hansen era).

I don't know how OSU ranks in the Big 12, because you can't believe the numbers. Some schools give you both tickets sold and actual attendance. Some don't. I think if interest in the Thunder waned, that would help a little, but I wouldn't be betting on it. Durant and Westbrook aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Some have suggested free tickets for the students. That's an idea, at least.

How much longer until OK State finishes paying the debt service on the renovated GIA?

Long time. I asked Holder, and he didn't know for sure, but he thought the original was 30 years, so we're looking at almost 20 years. It's a long time.

So, what's the best solution to fill up GIA? OK State is a long way from being a Top 10 program, the Thunder show no signs of slowing down, gas prices are going down. Is the solution simply to put a black tarp on upper-level seats?

I would cut ticket prices. In a major way. Maybe let the students in for free. I would cut the upper level tickets to virtually nothing: $5-10, and OSU has done some of this. I would get rid of the donor program, such as it is. Sell those front row seats and those floor bleacher seats for a big price, but otherwise, make it affordable to everyone. Try to sell to more Stillwater people, since the OKC or Tulsa drive is a problem.

Any chance one of the many OSU QB's will transfer like OU's Drew Allen is wisely thinking to do? If so, which one?

It's possible one of OSU's trio will leave, but it's also possible they won't. The arrangement is set up for all to succeed. If Chelf wins the job, Lunt could redshirt and still have three years left. If Lunt wins the job, Chelf always has the stretch run of 2012, when he became a Cowboy cult hero forever. And Walsh will have a place as a situational QB and possible fill-in, like he did for several games.

How would you rank Mike Gundy among active college football coaches?

Hmm. Good question. Clearly top 15 and maybe top 10. I haven't put a pencil to it. Let's see, Big Ten, only Meyer goes ahead, right? Pac-12, Kelly is gone, so who goes ahead of Gundy? You might make a case for David Shaw, but who else? In the Big 12, Snyder, Stoops, Gundy, Patterson all deserve consideration. SEC is loaded with Saban, Miles, Spurrier. The guy at Vandy is good, too. I'll plan to do a blog on this soon.



Which asst. coach, if any, could OU afford to lose to make a place for Mangino, at some point?

Bruce Kittle, clearly. He joined the staff last year with virtually no experience. It was a terribly risky move by Bob Stoops, and it hasn't worked out, in my opinion.

Would you like to see Trey Millard run out of the I-back position more next season, and do you think Stoops will use him more there in 2013?

Not necessarily. I like Millard at fullback. What I would like to see is Millard at fullback — but used more to run and catch. You could do all kinds of things with a two-back set.

OU's offensive line looks pretty solid for next season. Your thoughts?

All depends on the QB. The line should be solid. The receivers are good. I think the running backs will be solid. But it all depends on the triggerman.

Do you know if Drew Allen is going to transfer? Should he?

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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