Not a great Holiday for the Big 12
December 31, 2008
Notes on a scorecard from Oklahoma State’s 42-31 loss to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl:
1. Suddenly, the Big 12′s reputation isn’t so great. Two bowl games, 1-1 record. An unimpressive victory and a discouraging loss. Kansas is up next, in the Insight Bowl against Minnesota.
In both games, the Big 12 got... Read More
Farewell to an impostor
December 30, 2008
The 2008 Missouri Tigers are in our rear-view mirror, and who will remember them fondly? The club is small.
Mizzou beat Northwestern 30-23 in overtime Monday night in the Alamo Bowl, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. With the reputation of the Big 12 on the line, Mizzou bumbled all night and flirted with defeat... Read More
Be kind to Shreveport
December 29, 2008
The Independence Bowl was played Sunday night in obscurity. The crowd was listed at 41,567, and maybe that’s accurate. I don’t know. I didn’t watch.
But has a college football bowl game ever had such little going for it in terms of national attention?
Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech, on a Sunday... Read More
Bowl Week Starts in Earnest
December 28, 2008
I love bowl games, and I don’t understand college football fans who don’t. Largely-equitable teams, on neutral fields, during the holidays when we often have plenty of time to watch. What’s not to love?
Anyway, the weekend kicked off a string of 20something bowl games in a week’s time. Observations from... Read More
Emails on Florida, Jimmy Harris & Pete Maravich
December 27, 2008
The new emails are in, and it’s a light week. No games, no Heisman, Christmas. But still, some interesting correspondence. Greg wrote, “Curious if you saw where Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong proclaimed that Big 12 teams don’t play defense. He went on to suggest that this was the reason for... Read More
Ben-Hur: the greatest sports scene in Hollywood history
December 26, 2008
Late Christmas afternoon, I flipped some channels and stumbled upon “Ben-Hur,” about halfway through its three-hour run. So I watched the rest of it.
And this time, I studied the chariot race scene. It’s the greatest sports scene in Hollywood history, and frankly, nothing else is really close, with the... Read More
Here’s what I got for Christmas
December 25, 2008
As usual, I cleaned up at Christmas. Truth is, I clean up on most things in life. I’ve got to be the luckiest bloke in the world, with the family I’ve got, the friends I’ve got, the co-workers I’ve got, the job I’ve got.
Anyway, I received two gifts that will help immensely on the work side.... Read More
Fired up for Christmas Eve
December 24, 2008
Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year. Even professionally.
Christmas Eve is the day I write my annual Christmas column, which always is a collection of Christmas stories from people in the sporting world. I talk to two or three locals, then I scour my books for two or three more. I also write it... Read More
So that’s who Tim Tebow plays like
December 23, 2008
I watched the Bears-Packers game Monday night, an interesting game played in the cold that again spotlighted Chicago’s quarterback futility. Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Cade McNown. Really doesn’t matter, does it, who the Bears use at quarterback? Going back to Sid Luckman, seems like, Chicago stinks at... Read More
A laboratory of overtimes
December 22, 2008
I covered the Thunder game Sunday night, then drove home while listening to Giants-Panthers on the radio. I got home just as regulation ended.
That means I got to watch the overtime, which was a doozy. Giants win the toss but punt. Carolina threatens but punts, and R.W. McQuarters drops the ball and almost gives... Read More
How Press Taylor got his name
December 21, 2008
Of all the Pete Maravich stories I’ve received the last couple of days, this was the best. It came from Julie Taylor, wife of former Sooner safety Sherwood Taylor and mother of former Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor.
In Friday’s Oklahoman, we ran a short story inside the section on Press Taylor, Zac’s... Read More
Emails on Maravich, the Big Bowl and Billy Sims
December 20, 2008
My column on Pete Maravich’s 1968 All-College performance drew uncommon response. Lots of memories were stirred. Let’s get to it. Bill wrote, “Really enjoyed your story about Pete. I remember driving from Tulsa to OKC to see the game and how bad the roads were.”
Several people referenced the icy roads.... Read More
The original Slingin’ Sammy
December 19, 2008
Sammy Baugh died this week at the age of 94. Not too many NFL stars left from the 1940s. I talked to Baugh once; called him down in Rotan, Texas, after the Big 12 formed, just to ask him about the demise of the Southwest Conference, a league he helped put on the map with his glory days at TCU. Seemed like a nice... Read More
Bradford finishes strong
December 18, 2008
Sam Bradford finished strong. Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, then first-team all-American status by The Associated Press and The Sporting News this week.
Which actually made for an interesting few days. The NCAA historically has certified certain all-American teams; the current five accredited teams are... Read More
Getting brain wires crossed on Travis Lewis
December 17, 2008
I confused a bunch of OU football fans today. I wrote that Tyrone Lewis is among the Sooners’ most valuable players.
I meant linebacker Travis Lewis, of course, but this is an excellent study of the human brain. For some reason, I always want to call Travis Lewis “Tyrone Lewis.”
Tyrone Lewis was an OSU... Read More
The dishonor code: Leaving with your team
December 16, 2008
Tis the season when football coaches who talk about honor and team and loyalty remind us that they don’t hold themselves to the same standard.
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard lashed out at departed coach Gene Chizik, who took the Auburn job after just two seasons in Ames, Iowa. Pollard said Chizik... Read More
AP mystery revealed
December 15, 2008
In this crazy season of OU losing the popular vote and still coming out on top — BCS, Heisman Trophy — add another. The Associated Press all-Big 12 team.
If you remember, the AP squad from about 10 days ago had Texas’ Colt McCoy the AP player of the year, but Sam Bradford was the AP all-Big 12 quarterback.... Read More
Emails on Heisman and Florida
December 14, 2008
The new emails are in, and no big surprise, Sam Bradford is the talk of the town.
Greg wrote, “If Sam does leave for NFL riches, and I believe he will (and should), most impressive beyond TD/interception ratio is he is a 3.95 student and is flush with real humility. Good parenting, good coaching and a kid with... Read More
Beware the Gator bait
December 12, 2008
Uh-oh. Our man Jake Trotter, in greater Orlando for the college football awards show Thursday night, reported that OU quarterback Sam Bradford was greeted with chants of “Gator bait” from Florida fans as he arrived at the gala.
Interesting. Perhaps LSU doesn’t have a corner on the worst fans in college... Read More
A visit to Mr. Heisman
December 11, 2008
Videographer Tim Money and myself stopped by Steve Owens’ office Wednesday for an interview, which is always appropriate in Heisman week and even more fitting when a Sooner is in contention.
Owens won the 1969 Heisman and has embraced the Heisman tradition — not to mention the Sooner tradition — as much as... Read More