Berry Tramel
Sports 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, the Oklahoma City Times, the Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma Journal — and entered the newspaper business at the age of 17, with the Transcript in 1978. His first game assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game, and he has enjoyed the journey ever since, from high school wrestling duals and regional track meets to Orange Bowls and the NBA playoffs.

Tramel was born and raised in Norman, Okla. He and his wife, Tricia, were married in 1980 and live in Norman near their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.

  • With Henry Iba's help, Jumpin' Jack McCracken became a giant in the game

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    Jumpin’ Jack died 57 years ago. But the man who rarely talked about himself still is being talked about. McCracken, a 1929 Classen High School graduate and Henry Iba’s first basketball star, next week will be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Tramel: Diminished Big 12 scrambles to regain its status

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jul 25, 2015

    Ten years ago, the college football season ended with Mighty Vince Young standing on the Rose Bowl floor showered by confetti and Mack Brown holding aloft the crystal trophy. Not only the Texas Longhorns ruled the sport, so did the Big 12 Conference. With Texas’ stirring 41-38 victory over Southern Cal — the Longhorns scored 38 points in the final 35 minutes that night — the Big 12 had won three of the most recent nine national titles, each by a different school. Nebraska, OU and Texas. The Big 12 had a team in six of those nine national title games. No other conference could match the Big 12’s accomplishments. In those nine years, the SEC had won two titles (Tennessee 1998, LSU 2003) and played for no others.

  • Ten causes of the Big 12's fall

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jul 25, 2015

    1. TALENT DIP Everything starts with ballplayers. The Big 12 doesn’t have the quality of players it once had. In each of the last two NFL Drafts, the Big 12 has produced just three first- or second-round selections. In 2014, the Big 12 had just 17 players selected overall. As recently as 2010 and 2011, the Big 12 had 30 players selected each year, with eight first-rounders in 2011 and nine first-rounders in 2010. In 2005, the calendar year in which OU played for a national championship and in which Texas qualified for the title game that it would win, the Big 12 had 34 draftees. That’s twice as many as were drafted in 2013. Even accounting for two fewer teams, that’s a huge dip.

  • Is Central Michigan a landmine for OSU?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Mike Gundy never has been to Mount Pleasant, Mich. That changes the first week of September, when his Cowboys open the 2015 season with a game against Central Michigan. Does that conjure shades of Troy? The 2007 OSU team played at Troy, in Troy, Ala., and lost 41-23 on a Friday night game. The OSU-Central Michigan game is a Thursday night game, Sept. 3. “I’ve been to a lot of places in Michigan, and I've been there quite a bit since my family's from there, but I have not been to Mt. Pleasant,” Gundy said. Central Michigan is like Troy was: solid mid-major program, out-of-the-way spot. Mount Pleasant is in northern Michigan, about an hour north of Lansing.

  • OSU football: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy explains why he named Mason Rudolph starting QB

    BY BERRY TRAMEL Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    DALLAS — Mike Gundy was quick to name Mason Rudolph the Oklahoma State starting quarterback going into the 2015 season. Even before spring practice, Rudolph was crowned. Gundy says the way the 2014 season ended made the decision easy. “Each situation is different,” Gundy said Tuesday during Big 12 Football Media Days at the Omni Hotel. “We felt like it was best for our football team to name him the starter. His ability to lead, the toughness. Obviously, we had success at the latter part of the season with him.” Rudolph played solid in a 49-28 loss at Baylor, then quarterbacked OSU to a 38-35 overtime upset win at OU, followed by a 30-22 Cactus Bowl victory over Washington. That made Gundy convinced to name

  • Who will win the Big 12's undecided vote?

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    Like the school marm in a mining town, the Big 12 is quite popular these days. At least among a certain segment of college athletics. Not among fellow power conference schools. Not among the cool kids. But the programs trying to step up in class, the programs trying to get a seat at the grown-up table, clamor for an invitation to join a conference that consistently has stated it has no desire to expand.

  • If the pattern holds, Cowboys should contend in 2015

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jul 11, 2015

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma State joined the Big Eight Conference in 1960 and spent the next half century rarely contending for a football championship. Only five times in 50 years did OSU finish less than two games from first place. Only in 1976, with a tri-championship shared with OU and Colorado, did the Cowboys finish at the top. That has changed. Three times in the last five seasons OSU has finished in first place or one game out. And 2015 looks like another contending season for the Cowboys. “That’s what we want to do every year around here,” said senior flanker David Glidden. “Be a contender. Put ourselves in position at the end of the year to have a chance to win to it. If you’re right there, that’s

  • Oklahoma State football making history with 'I'm A-OK' autism initiative at Boone Pickens Stadium

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    OSU UPDATE -- Oklahoma State is working to make football gameday experiences more comfortable for families with autistic children. Berry Tramel and Kyle Fredrickson discuss the changes OSU is implementing.

  • Tramel: Please explain why a 10-team Big 12 won't work?

    berry tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Why can’t the Big 12 thrive with 10 schools? What would two schools add, especially two imperfect-fit schools, which are the only kind available at the moment? Again, dead-serious question. What would 12 provide that 10 doesn’t?

  • Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Big 12 expansion candidates

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jul 4, 2015

    BOISE STATE Athletic budget: $45.7 million Enrollment: 22,259 Market: Greater Boise population of 650,288; Idaho population 1.63 million. Football stadium: Albertsons Stadium, opened in 1970 and frequently renovated since. Current capacity 36,387. Fan base: Squishy. Boise State has averaged 34,366 and 32,503 per home game the last two seasons. Television attraction: Strong. Boise State’s brand has gone national. Television clickers will stop on the Broncos, and in the Mountain Time Zone, a late-night window is created. Geography: Problematic. It’s 2,212 miles from Boise to Morgantown, W.Va. Heck, it’s 1,500 miles from Boise to Oklahoma City. Academic standing: Not ranked among the top

  • Bob Barry Jr. stories will help a hurting state

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    It’s been a rough week. We lost Bob Barry Jr., someone we all knew and seemed like always was part of our lives. The memorial service Friday at Crossings Community Church was historic. The biggest funeral most of us could remember. More dignitaries than empty seats. The Barry family designed a service dedicated to laughter and good memories. Mission accomplished. It’s just what Oklahomans needed. The tonic for BBJ’s family is not so simple, but hopefully the stories helped. High school teammate Greg Blackburn told of BBJ streaking story through Norman’s Central Junior High in 1973, and if you don’t know what streaking is, ask your parents. Don’t google it.

  • Tramel: After 49 years, Channel 4 will never be the same

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    In 1966, the Braves were in Milwaukee, the Marines were in Vietnam and the Beatles were in mop-tops. In 1966, Jim Mackenzie coached the Sooners. Phil Cutchin coached the Cowboys. Eddie Sutton coached Southern Idaho Junior College. In 1966, Channel 4 hired Bob Barry. And for 49 years, a Bob Barry, Senior or Junior, delivered the nightly sports into Oklahoma homes. Until last weekend, when Bob Barry Jr. was killed in a motor scooter crash. Gone too young, at age 58. News changes. Television changes. Viewers change. But some things stayed the same. For half a century, Channel 4 had an iconic Bob Barry reporting sports. Channel 4 has changed call letters more often (twice) than it’s changed sports directors

  • Tramel: Big 12, Bedlam rivals could be helped by backloaded football schedule

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    College football’s roving capital settled in the Magnolia State last October. Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 the week of Oct. 21; Ole Miss was ranked No. 3. Both were unbeaten and untied, and dreams of an Egg Bowl showdown for national supremacy spread from Biloxi to Tupelo. It was a mirage, of course. By season’s end, neither Mississippi squad was in the top 10; Mississippi State was a 15-point loser to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, and Ole Miss was a 39-point loser to TCU in the Peach Bowl. They combined for seven defeats. But for a precious few weeks, the autumn cathedrals of Mississippi shone brightest. The same could happen in Oklahoma this October. The Big 12 schedule has been backloaded. All the

  • Big 12 football traditions rounding into shape

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    After the chaos caused by conference realignment, the annual Big 12 football schedule is starting to take shape. I wrote about the 2015 conference schedule for the Wednesday Oklahoman, which you can read here. But part of the '15 schedule is some games that have taken root in various spots on the calendar. Bedlam, for example. For many years, Bedlam was not an end-of-season staple. But as the OU-Nebraska series died, and OSU improved, and Bedlam got so much more important, the Bedlam has migrated to the end of the season. Bedlam this season will be played Nov. 28, which is Thanksgiving Saturday. It's the 11th straight year Bedlam will be played on Thanksgiving Saturday or the first Saturday of December.

  • Vegas believes OU will win more than OSU

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Do you think the Sooners will go at least 9-3? Or do you think 8-4 is their upside? Do you think the Cowboys will go 7-5, or can they get to at least 8-4? Those are the kinds of decisions to be made if you want to bet in Las Vegas on the win totals of college football teams this season. CG Technology this week became the first Nevada sportsbook to release college football win totals, based purely on the regular season (no championship games count). Now remember, remember the truth about Vegas: Oddsmakers are not predicting anything about the teams listed. They are predicting how the American betting public will react. In other words, they are guessing how fans think. Which explains why OU has a higher over/under

  • Fans came to know the real Bob Barry Jr.

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Condolences flooded me Sunday. A man at church, wanting to give me a hug. Texts from family and friends, saying they were thinking of me. A minister from California, saying he was praying for me in my time of loss. Sort of stunned me. I first came across Bob Barry Jr. 40 years ago and knew him well the last 25, until his death Saturday night in a horrific motorcycle crash. But the sadness we feel in the sports fraternity can’t compare to the anguish his family feels. Or even his Channel 4 colleagues feel, considering he’s been at KFOR-TV for 33 years and worked alongside many of them for decades. But I think I understand the outpouring of sympathy even to those of us working in the same field as BBJ. The condolences from

  • Tramel: Ranking the 75 Big 12 football games of 2015

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Mon, Jun 15, 2015

    Ranking all 75 Big 12 games in 2015, based on projected importance: 1. Baylor at TCU, Nov. 27: Step aside, Nebraska-Colorado and Texas A&M-Texas. This game harkens back to OU-Nebraska as a Thanksgiving Friday showdown. 2. TCU at OSU, Nov. 7: Switching home game years with Texas A&M in 2011 still paying off for Cowboys, who otherwise would be in Fort Worth this season. 3. Baylor at OSU, Nov. 21: Bears haven’t come within 27 points of victory in Stillwater since 1998. 4. TCU at OU, Nov. 21: Sooners’ best hope for a statement game, but Horned Frogs always play well in Norman. I repeat. Always. 5. Texas at Notre Dame, Sept. 5: Wow, what an opener. Would be a great win for the Big 12. 6. OU at OSU, Nov.

  • Is OSU's Mason Rudolph the next Brandon Weeden or the next Wes Lunt?

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph could be the next Brandon Weeden or the next West Lunt. Time will tell.

  • TCU, Oklahoma State rank 1-2 in Big 12 quarterbacking

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    The Big 12 once was a quarterback-heavy league. Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell, Chase Daniel, Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Josh Freeman. All were Big 12 quarterbacks in a four-year span from 2008 through 2011. Since then, Big 12 quarterbacking has slacked, and teams with green but promising QBs, like […]

  • Why the (underrated) Warriors will win the NBA Finals

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    WE PICK'EM -- Jenni Carlson and Berry Tramel make their picks for everything from the NBA Finals to the next Iowa State coach. And even figure out who's the best coach in college football.

Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 29 2015 08:49:57 AM CST Why Nebraska never will leave the Big Ten
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 28 2015 09:45:09 AM CST Would two five-team divisions work in the Big 12?
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:36:04 AM CST Northwest Oklahoma travelblog: How I made it to Longdale
Berry Tramel Sun, Jul. 26 2015 06:48:41 PM CST With Henry Iba's help, Jumpin' Jack McCracken became a giant in the game
Berry Tramel Sat, Jul. 25 2015 05:16:45 PM CST Tramel: Diminished Big 12 scrambles to regain its status
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 09:25:07 PM CST Could Kendrick Perkins be an NBA assistant coach?
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 06:43:39 PM CST Will Tyrone Swoopes keep the quarterback job at Texas?
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 24 2015 12:34:31 PM CST SoonerVision and all video boards make life better for the fans
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 08:13:08 PM CST An L.A. story that shows the Thunder's culture survived the storm
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 12:36:32 PM CST Bad luck part of Big 12 playoff omission
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 23 2015 10:26:52 AM CST Retaining divisional scheduling will help the Thunder
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 04:35:41 PM CST Dallas travelblog: Surviving the Arbuckles
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 02:46:38 PM CST Is Ty Lawson trade good for the Rockets?
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 22 2015 10:37:12 AM CST Baylor remains a holdout on a quality football schedule
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 06:49:31 PM CST OU football: Knight talks to Clemson cheerleader
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 06:49:30 PM CST Why did Bob Stoops ever leave his first love?
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 02:52:22 PM CST Is Central Michigan a landmine for OSU?
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 01:54:24 PM CST Does cold weather impede Iowa State football?
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 01:32:38 PM CST OSU football: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy explains why he named Mason Rudolph starting QB
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 21 2015 12:55:46 PM CST Bob Stoops says Baker Mayfield has to know his own shoulder