Mike Sherman: Power Lunch Chat transcript, September 24, 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.
Mike Sherman, Sports Editor, msherman@opubco.com Modified: September 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012
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Can't see that happening. Lose one game and scrap the season? What kind of signal would that send to the paying customers? The problem for developing Blake Bell is this: It doesn't look like OU has many blow-out wins in its immediate future, so playing time could be rare beyond Belldozer package. I've really seen nothing that gives me a firm feeling that Bell is ready for his close up.

It was a great game! This exposed how over-rated the Sooners are and have been for a long time with Landry Jones at QB.

You're right. It was a great game. And there are more on the OU schedule this season. From a competitive standpoint, this will be an exciting season. But a lot of fans aren't interested in that. They want walkover wins. I see one of those remaining -- Kansas. Jones had definitely regressed. He has, however, quarterbacked the Sooners to a Fiesta Bowl victory and a Big 12 title. That's nothing to sneeze at. I'd rate him far behind the Bradford/Heupel/White Mt. Rushmore of OU QBs and a smidge ahead of Hybl. A smidge. (A Mike Baldwin word. Love it.)

Your thoughts about OSU vs TX. Do you think OSU's defense will stop TX offense?

The question to me is can the Cowboys beat one of the Big 12's top two defenses with a backup quarterback. I'm picking Texas in a close one. I think OSU's defense can be successful, but the turnover trend seems to have ended. Texas has the best defense in this game, and OSU's diminished downfield passing threat (and it will be even if Lunt plays) gives the Horns the edge.

Can you explain the OU home dominance? I don't think Owen Field is all that hostile but the results speak for themselves. It seems that the dominance is helped by playing Texas in Dallas and OU usually playing very well. It has never made much sense to me. Maybe with the last couple of losses OU is facing the dreaded "return to the mean."

Bob Stoops has fielded a team bolstered by all-conference players who usually don't beat themselves. That's what wins anywhere, especially at home. That's what betrayed them Saturday.

1) Name me one All Big 12 first-teamer on this OU roster right now. Ikard? That's all I've got right now.

2) Mistakes. A mound of them. The home winning streak was and has been overrated. Not playing your chief rival at home deserves an asterisk. But it's still impressive and an indicator of the quality of the program through Stoops' tenure.

Landry Jones shows no  leadership. He is 'just there'. I hope he doesn't try and rely on Whitney’s future in sports because he'll be sacking groceries at the nearest Homeland in Norman.

Is there a question in there? I'd give you the overstatement of the week award if you had an originality. He's not a rah-rah guy and right now his performance isn't leading. So yes, there's a leadership problem. The sacking groceries line? Come on.

Okay fine, he won't sack groceries. He is stocking the shelves. Where is the leadership in the offense? It hasn't shown since Bradford left.

Ryan Broyles was the leader. Landry Jones was supposed to fill it with his production, not his charisma. He hasn't produced so he hasn't led. Maybe Blake Bell will be that kind of leader. But he's going to need to produce to do it. Trey Millard is an offensive leader but he doesn't make a big enough imprint on the game from a production standpoint for it to register the way you'd like it to. Same for Gabe Ikard. Leadership or production? I'd say production is the bigger issue right now.

The NFL scouts are glad Landry Jones stayed at OU.

We've got folks on our staff who have been told Landry Jones was rated as a second-round pick in the NFL Draft and that's why he didn't come out. They got that from folks with strong NFL connnections.

What are these people smoking? OU and National Title game is in the past and distant future. They need to focus on playing respectably and commit fewer errors. Right on with the recruiting players who give a darn about where they are playing. Just look north and see the players Oklahoma State gets to turn out, who play four years and are solid. Not always super, but dependable. Mix in some very good players and you will not have a 7-6 team like this one will likely turn out to be.

Winning the Rivals rankings doesn't do it. Finishing in the top 10 in the Rivals rankings clearly doesn't do it. Stoops plays in national title games with a mixture of great players and a roster filled with players for whom playing at Oklahoma is the realization of a dream. You know you're in trouble when you're giving guys like Trey Franks and Jaz Reynolds third and fourth chances.

Do you agree with Presti that resigning Ibaka was more of a priority than resigning Harden? Not that he is the better player, but he fits a need and has a little bit cheaper contract and still has a lot of upside.

Me? I'd have resigned Harden because I like watching him play a lot more than I like watching Ibaka defend the basket. But Presti is trying to build a consistent contender, and he may have just chosen defense over offense. Can't argue with that from a contender building standpoint. The big three in San Antonio started with a guy who can defend the basket. The big three in Oklahoma City started with a once in a generation scorer. Considering where Presti came from and his influences, the signing of Ibaka should have surprised no one. I'm sure he thought he could do both. But Ibaka outplayed his draft slight by a loooooong shot.

Why does OU never run any formations from under center?

The offensive line probably has a lot to do with that. Not constructed with the kind of players who can lineup and blow the opposing team off the line. To thine ownself be true.

What will be the keys to the game this Saturday for OSU to be able to get the win?

OSU's defense has to get back in the business of creating turnovers. The Cowboys aren't built to get a ton of three-and-outs. They are still a bend-but-don't-break defense that last year depended on turnovers. Teams could put together 8-10 play drives, but that 10th play was going to be a pick. Need those. Depend on those. Without them this is the Longhorns' game, and it's even more important if Walsh is the starter, and I'm expecting him to be.

Why can't college football take the top 6 conferences and do like class 2A high school and have automatic playoff qualification? There could even be a relegation system where teams from the top 6 play teams from a conference close to, but not currently in the top 6 and if they perform well enough and a current top 6 doesn't they can be replaced like relegation in the EPL?

The other conferences can band together and have their own national championship among equally matched schools. What is wrong with that other than the crappy bowls go away? (Which I think would be a good thing.)

I think we may get there or somewhere like that, but it's going to take a while. Probably a long while.

When is Darnell or Rohde going to have a Thunder chat?

They'll be back in the mix starting next week. Thanks for asking.

Discounting last Saturday's game against K-State, how would you characterize the home crowd "advantage" for OU and OSU?

I'd give them B's. OU is bigger. OSU -- love the guys with the board -- has more of an edge. Neither of them have the same factor on a game that the Thunder crowd has.


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