The Oklahoman's Mike Sherman took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chats. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A:
Has OSU's Bill Young ever put a consistently good defense on the field against quality opponents since he has been in Stillwater? This year was supposed to be the year he had the best players he has had during his tenure. OSU doesn't seem to be able to stop anyone good when it counts.
I love this question. We have such short memories. Didn't the Cowboys stop Stanford and Andrew Luck enough to win the Fiesta Bowl? Oklahoma State's first BCS bowl appearance and victory. Is that a quality enough opponent for you? Do the 2011 Oklahoma Sooners count as a quality opponent? It was Bill Young's defense that absolutely devastated the Sooners in Stillwater last December. The amount of pressure OSU put on Landry Jones was overwhelming and gave OSU the Big 12 championship. Bill Young is not the OSU special team's coach. That was the unit that couldn't stop Kansas State when it counted. And those four interceptions and five turnovers? That wasn't an OSU defensive problem. I'm not saying he oversees the Steel Curtain, but defense wasn't the reason OSU lost Saturday in Manhattan.
Why is Kansas State still before Oregon in the BCS? If anyone is going to end the SEC championship hopes it is Oregon, not K-State.
This may be hard to believe, but Oregon's nonconference schedule is way worse than Kansas State's. Oregon: Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Kansas State: Missouri State, Miami, North Texas. Miami is the best opponent among those six by a long shot. That stuff counts. Miami isn't The U anymore, but it's sure better than Arkansas State. Plus, Oregon has the Colorado albatross. The Buffs get beat by four touchdowns every week, unless they're losing to Sacramento State. Computers are penalizing Oregon for that. Now, which can beat Alabama? Probably neither, but I'd probably go with the team with the better defense.
Something is missing from the Thunder. I know Kevin Martin had a big game, but it seems like the James Harden intangibles are what's missing.
The Thunder offense was capable of stagnating with James Harden, and often did. Is effort an intangible? I didn't see a lot of it on defense last night. Saw a lot of guys on the perimeter standing around, and I'll mention one of them here in a minute in response to a question. I'm going to go out on a limb and say from what I've seen I think OKC would be 1-2 with Harden. Seems early to panic, though.
A lot of OSU fans are pretty fired up about Clint Chelf's performance, and he did play well under the circumstances. Not to take anything away from him, but do you think he benefitted from some softer coverage since they were down like 3 TDs when he came into the game?
Great point. Unless the Wildcats were trying to set a single-game interception record — not Bill Snyder's style — there was nothing to be gained from playing press coverage up multiple scores late. I'd attribute most of the optimism I sense about Chelf's performance as fans being happy for a guy who hung in there and didn't quit. It's a nice story. There may be people saying he can rally the Cowboys and lead them to a Bedlam win in Norman, but I haven't heard them. What Chelf proved is that he can manage the offense capably. We don't know if he can win.
Is it true that on the missed chip shot field goal by Pitt, that Notre Dame had 2 players with the same jersey on, and should have penalized — thus Pitt should have had another chance at the field goal? If so, ND is the luckiest #4 ranked team I have ever seen.
Galileo, you are correct. The Irish had two guys out wearing No. 2 while trying to block Pittsburgh's field goal attempt. If officials catch that, Pittsburgh gets a first down at the Notre Dame 11. That was lucky. That's also the kind of thing that would be easy for officials to miss. The duplicate number thing is a quagmire. It's a wonder it doesn't happen more often, but it's not a wonder it goes undetected.
Indications seem to be that OSU's Wes Lunt suffered a concussion. If he sits this week, and considering the injuries he's had this season, do you think there is a chance OSU will just sit him the rest of the season and go with Chelf? He's had a tough go and had some erratic play as you would expect for a true FR. On the other hand, he obviously needs as much experience as he can get.
The concussion certainly gives you pause. The way he was reacting on the sidelines was scary in light of what we now know about concussions. Previously we might have thought nothing of it, but this is serious stuff and Oklahoma State will handle it as such. That said, if Lunt passes the post-concussion tests and emerges with no symptoms I expect him to play again. As for his erratic play, good programs find ways to confuse inexperienced players.
It's no one's fault, but with so much tumult at quarterback for Oklahoma State, wouldn't this be a good time for Gundy to just go with Chelf the rest of the season?
I kind of addressed this earlier. I'd answer that this way: Clint Chelf and the Cowboys are fortunate he didn't quit after he lost the offseason quarterback derby to a couple freshman. There had been reports that Chelf considered quitting and didn't. I'm sure he's glad now that he didn't because the Cowboys would be probably starting a walk-on (Jace Chilcoat) against West Virginia.
What's wrong with Russell Westbrook? He's been awful.
Westbrook got off to a rough start last season, and the wait/weight of a contract extension delayed by the NBA lockout was clearly impacting him. I seem him alternately pressing (on offense) and not pressing (on defense). Not a great combination. I thought his defensive effort last night was bad until the shot went up. His rebounding is a hidden asset. He hasn't played well.
Do you see OU losing any more games?
I thought OU at West Virginia was going to be the game of the year in the Big 12, but the Mountaineers clearly don't have the kind of talent it takes to compete defensively in the Big 12. Still, the Sooners could lose in Morgantown. They'll be favored, but they could lose. OU should be favored in it's remaining games. I'd say 80 percent chance the Sooners win out, with the improved secondary play being the most convincing factor to me.
How good/bad is Baylor?
On defense, really bad. I don't know about historically bad. Remember those 616 yards Baylor rolled up last season against Oklahoma. The Sooners could return the favor.
Trading Harden was Sam Presti's riskiest move, but to me it's the other new guys who are more questionable. What is the Thunder going to do for a backup center? And has anyone noticed that the starter has looked bad through three games? What if OKC ends up amnestying Kendrick Perkins anyway? Will make the loss of Harden even more galling.
Darnell Mayberry wrote about the Thunder's center predicament today. Here's that story. He thinks OKC's title hopes depend on Kendrick Perkins and keeping him healthy. My problem with Hasheem Thabeet is I just don't see him doing anything out there past throwing the ball inbounds after an opponent's basket. Is that the other new guy(s) you referred to? Dumping Perk makes no sense to me if you think the Thunder will have to face Memphis, the Lakers, Clippers or Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs. All these folks who want to amnesty Perkins should go back might want to consider those likely matchups. The James Harden question will hang over this season, but let me propose this possibility: What if James Harden sought the opportunity as much as the money? Houston has given him a responsibility he would never have gotten in OKC, even if Sam Presti had lost his mind and amnestied Perk.
Will Mike Stoops ever be a head coach again?
My buddy Todd Schoenthaler, son of Iowa and part-timer in The Oklahoman Sports department for two decades, wants him to replace Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. Intriguing.
Is Josh Heupel doing a good job as OC at Oklahoma, in your opinion?
Not bad, considering the offensive line injuries. I think he and Jay Norvell should get bonus points for stirring in so many new wide receivers and turning a question mark into a positive. I'd give him a solid B.
Is Danzel Williams still on the OU roster?
Still on there.
I'll go with 52-27.