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Mike Sherman: Power Lunch Chat transcript, Oct. 15, 2012

The Oklahoman's Mike Sherman 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.
Oklahoman Modified: October 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm •  Published: October 15, 2012
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I'm going to defer to Mike Stoops on this one, especially after Saturday. The trends are pointing in his favor. Seems like Tom Wort's stock has improved in recent weeks. Competition is good.

I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. A hard loss to swallow. Did you see the game? if so, your thoughts?

I watched almost every minute of it. I'm from Maryland and have passed my attachment to Baltimore teams on to a 14-year-old son who is ate up with the Ravens. That said, the Cowboys were the better team yesterday. You wonder what would have happened if Demarco Murray hadn't been injured. The Ravens were very, very fortunate to win. They're also very fortunate to have John Harbaugh and not Jason Garrett as their coach. I was among those who scratched my head when Baltimore hired a former Eagles special teams coach as its head coach after Garrett turned them down to become the Cowboys' coach-in-waiting. Seems like the Ravens got the best end of that one.

Your pick for W. Virginia vs. K-State?

WVU, but without strong conviction.

Can OU keep up the pace and still win the Big 12, with a little help?

Can OU win the Big 12? Yes, most definitely. Will it win the Big 12? I think it's going to need more than a little help. Kansas State is going to need to lose twice, and after Texas' performance Saturday I don't think anyone should count on the Longhorns winning in a finale in Manhattan. Who else is going to beat the Wildcats? Maybe TCU at home. Maybe Baylor at home. Maybe. Kansas State will need to lose twice.

Does Tech's drubbing of WVU say more about the poor defensive unit of WVU or the great defensive performance of the Sooners a couple of weeks ago?

Can I say both? Here's how good Mike Stoops' defense is. It gains in stature even when it isn't playing. The outcome in Lubbock is another feather in the Sooners' defensive hat.

I assume you don't know, but if you had to guess, when will the suspended players for OU be back?

The 12th of never as far as Bob Stoops is concerned. When Stoops re-instated them to the roster Berry Tramel wrote something like "Jaz Reynolds must be Jerry Rice or OU must be in big trouble at receiver." Something like that. Now? Who needs those guys? Stoops has receivers coming out his ears, and there doesn't appear to be any dire need at DT either. I sent an email to our OU writers earlier today wondering whether questions about the suspended players would take a week off. The sense of urgency to that question is low.

Compare Damien Williams to recent stud RBs from OU. Most notably DeMarco and Peterson.

I was driving back from Dallas with Berry Tramel late Saturday night. I don't know if he brought this up just to liven things up and keep us both alert, but he said a better comparison is Marcus Dupree. 65 yards, 85 yards, 95 yards. That's the length of Williams' touchdown runs. Berry's point: That's the kind of home-run threat unseen in these parts since Marcus Dupree. What does that do for an offense and to a defense? Good story, one that we need to do this week. I'm not saying he's a better back than DeMarco or Adrian. But the home-run threat is what's different. Peterson had a couple of those long runs, but not so many in such a small sampling.

With Saunders looking like he is going to be an instant cotributor and Shepard showing he should be on the field, are we going to see less and less of Metoyer?

A good thing the Sooners and Metoyer -- not to mention Landry Jones: There's no pressure on him to produce. It's probably good that a true freshman isn't the go-to receiver. He never really was anyway, not with Kenny Stills. OU coaches did nothing to downplay the high expectations for Metoyer, but the way things have turned out leave him some room to learn and grow without that burden.

Alrdich a standout? Have you had a sitdown your man Darnell lately and check all of his faculties? I guess writers have to get in midseason form too. I will give Aldrich this, he hasn't been as awful as he was in summer league. So I guess he has that going for him

To clarify: I believe Darnell called him a preseason standout. I will see Darnell at 3:30 p.m. today for a planning meeting, and I'll will check on him if it makes you feel better.

Maybe the K-State loss was just what OU needed? They seem to have shaken out of whatever funk they were in.

Could be. The funk you speak of was primarily a Landry Jones funk. He stunk. OU didn't need him to be sensational in that game. It just needed him not to stink. I sensed on Saturday a re-focus on the run and getting the ball to the backs (Williams, Millard). Whether that was to take advantage of a Texas linebacking corps that wasn't strong before Jordan Hicks got injured, I don't know. I asked Trey Millard whether that was the game plan, and he just smiled and pointed to Josh Heupel and said, "You'd better ask the big guy about that." But the funk you talk of was really a Landry Jones funk.

A topic around the water cooler lately has been these OU coaches struggles with talent evaluation in the recruiting game. Chuck Long had to beg for Bradford, they didn't want Broyles until OSU offered, best running backs are a walk on and juco transfer. Anyone can recruit A.D. or Tommy Harris ... but lately, the All Americans have dried up. Is it just a perceived talent drop off or is it real?

I think all coaches struggle in the talent evalutation game, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. Ask Mack Brown. All those top five recruiting classes, all those 5-star recruits, got their doors blown off in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. The recruiting rankings are a sham. Who really knows whether these guys can play or not? Half of the rankings are tied to who they get offers from. In some cases, Texas recruits are assigned 5 stars because Mack Brown offered them. A couple of weeks ago I assigned a story on that very topic, and I'm not sure we got any answers that shed much light on the topic. If we assigned it today the story might be "what a find the Sooners got in Damien Williams." Or "how OU got Trey Millard because Missouri doesn't use fullbacks."

Why does Mike Sherman NOT wear a tie on the Friday 11 a.m. show with other writers?

I generally don't like ties, but if you want to buy me some nice ones I'll wear them.

Do you think McCoy will replace Ash?

Only if Ash is hurt.

Who goes to the Super Bowl this season?

Just a guess, but I'm going to say the Texans vs. Giants. Very impressed by the Giants' win at San Fran on Sunday. Would have said the Ravens had a shot before Sunday's performance/injuries against Dallas. Sad to say, but we may have seen the last of Ray Lewis. He's 37 years old and looking at four months rehab from a torn tricep.

Geneo Smith is human afterall.

Aren't we all.

Did you read Bill Simmons' piece on Harden? I thought he made some good points. What do you think are the chances that the Thunder "just pay him" and go into the cap. It is hard to put a price on a championship and paying a hefty tax might be worth it

Especially if you aren't the one writing the check. If Oklahoma City wants an NBA team 10 to 15 years from now it better hope the owners/Sam Presti stick to their guns and don't go all Mark Cuban. Not enough TV sets in this market to support that kind of spending. That said, someone forwarded me that Bill Simmons' piece late last week and I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Looking forward to it. "Paying " Harden doesn't guarantee a championship, and not paying him doesn't guarantee they won't win one either. Does Harden want to give as much as the team does, meet halfway somewhere? It's going to take something like that (or more) for him to remain in OKC in my opinion.

Who, overall, is OU's best receiver?

Kenny Stills.

If OU can get up quick on Kansas, when should Stoops take out Landry and let Bell get some experience, other than just in the Belldozer situation?

If OU gets up on Kansas, Bell will play -- but not until the fourth quarter. I'd bet on Stoops using that opportunity to build the confidence of a quarterback who played without much the last time at Owen Field.

Texas could quickly become a big mess. The fans and alums seem to appreciate what Mack has done for Texas, but they think that the time has come for him to move on. But Dodds seems to still be a Mack guy and has no plans to make any changes as long as Texas financials stay strong. This might get ugly

I saw an interesting piece today that said Mack intended to retire if Texas had beaten Alabama in the BCS title game. But when Colt got hurt, Gilbert came in and fell short, the future looked pretty bright. Gilbert proved to be a fraud -- his SMU team lost to Tulane Saturday -- and for the most part Texas has been reeling ever since. I was asked this question Saturday: What would things be like in Oklahoma if Bob Stoops had lost three in a row -- including two straight runaways -- to Texas? Talk about a mess. This may not be the end for Mack Brown in Texas, but we can see it from here. By the way, in our college football preview section my Big 12 Coach on the Way Out was .... Mack Brown.

That's all for now, folks. It's been fun.

by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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