Berry Tramel: Stoops' reasons for allowing Jalen Saunders to play in the Cotton Bowl not apparent

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. Here's a recap of today's chat, which covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Oklahoma City Thunder and more.
Oklahoman Modified: January 2, 2013 at 11:56 am •  Published: January 2, 2013

I might go with Lincoln Riley. He's a Leach/Tech protege'. Sort of like Holgorsen. Riley's now at East Carolina, and the Pirates have done well offensively.

Is the former Mizzou OC still a candidate for OSU OC? Any news at all on this opening?

No news that I know of. I don't know about Dave Yost. I thought that was strange. The guy quit Missouri citing burnout. His offenses have QBs standing nine yards deep. I don't like Missouri's offense at all, compared to OSU's. I'd say no to Yost.

Do you think Smart is one and done at OSU?

I'm going to guess no, but I could be wrong. He's got a lot to work on. On the other hand, it's a weak year for the NBA draft, and Smart could move up the ladder quickly.

 

ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL AROUND THE COUNTRY:

Which team is most likely to win the Big 12 next season?

Clearly, there are four teams in contention. OU, OSU, TCU and Texas. You never want to count out K-State, but when Bill Snyder doesn't have a good quarterback, he always has a mediocre team. So I wouldn't put KSU in there right now. Texas' defense still worried me, and as for OU, OSU and TCU, I don't know who is going to quarterback any of those teams. But if you made me pick right now, I might go 1. OSU; 2. OU; 3. TCU; 4. Texas.

With conference realignment slowing down, do you think we'll see the Big 12 getting back to 12 teams? If so, your best bets on which schools would join? I hear BYU and Air Force, but I think those two are happy with where they are.

Slowing down? Conference realignment is slowing down? Seems to me to be speeding up. The Big Ten just expanded, so the ACC did, too, and now the Big East is falling apart. I think the Big 12 will sit pat unless forced to expand. That could happen but I don't anticipate it. BYU, I think, is a possibility. Air Force expressed no interest in the Big 12.

With an eye toward next season, which team has impressed you the most this bowl season? I would nominate Baylor, Texas and Clemson.

I like all three of those. Let's see. I liked Vanderbilt dominating NC State. I thought Syracuse looked good. And Michigan State played tough vs. TCU and should rebound next season.

Is the SEC down this year? South Carolina, Mississippi State and Georgia all gave up over 400 yards to average Big 10 teams. LSU was held to under 200 yards by Venables who routinely gave up over 500 to Big 12 offenses.

The SEC is down a little from its normally-high standard. Still the best conference, but down. There's a huge gulf between the SEC's six really good teams and the rest. Those top six teams went 30-0 against the rest of the league. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vandy, those were programs that feasted off the SEC dregs.

Think Tulsa has a chance to end up in the Mountain West?

Yes. I think TU could end up in the Mountain West. The Mountain West is pondering bringing back San Diego State. That would give the Mountain West 12 schools. Does it want to go back to 16? Bring back Tulsa, SMU, Houston and UTEP? The Mountain West was born in the late '90s when the WAC went to 16 schools, and the traditional WAC schools found the conference to their disliking. So they bolted and formed the Mountain West. But now it's 15 years later, and bigger conferences are all the rage.

Do you know if the Florida Gators make money from the sales of Gatorade? I think it was developed on their campus. If so it just looks funny with orange Gatorade buckets sitting on the Florida St. sidelines. Thanks!

I assume not, but I don't claim to know anything about business trademarks and the such.

 

ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AND THE NBA:

What NBA player, past or present, best represents Reggie Jackson's upside?

Oh, man. I have no idea. Hadn't thought of it. Let's see. Really athletic, some shooting skills, a little shaky with the ball. Who does that describe? I'd have to think about it. Sort of a point guard Desmond Mason, maybe.

Do you think the Thunder will try and trade Maynor before the deadline? A perimeter defender and/or a big man that can rebound would be nice.

They would be nice. But who wants Maynor? He's got no trade value. He's got an expiring contract, but it's not a big contract. I don't see any trade value in Maynor.

Someone brought up Gortat and O'Neil (Phoenix) for Maynor and Perkins. Your thoughts? I like it for the Miami match up but not sure about the West.

Why would Phoenix do that? I like Gortat a lot. But what would that do for Phoenix? I don't get it. What the Thunder needs for Miami is a big perimeter defender.

How much longer does Perk have left on his contract? Would he be available for a trade with Maynor/Jackson or a draft pick? I think Perk has become more of a liability since teams have discovered his weaknesses dating back to the playoff run last season. Perk was really brought in to battle L.A. and Bynum and now he's gone to the East.

Perk has two years left on his contract, after this season. Perkins is valuable against more than the Lakers. The Grizzlies. The Clippers. The Spurs. The Jazz. In other words, most of the West teams OKC is likely to play against. Atlanta and Miami and the Knicks, no. Perkins has no value. But the Thunder has to have him or someone like him against many of the West teams they will have to beat.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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