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.


  • John Heisman coached Akron football, but not for long

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 18 hr ago

    OU hosts Akron to open the 2015 football season. The Sooners and Zips never have played, so Oklahoma knowledge of Akron football is minimal. Here’s a quick primer on the history of the Zips: Classifications: NCAA College Division 1937-72, NCAA Division II 1973-79, NCAA Division I-AA 1980-86, NCAA Division I-A 1987-present. Conference affiliations: Mid-American 1992-present; independent 1987-91, 1966-77, 1937-45, 1891-1914; Ohio Valley 1980-86; Mid-Continent 1978-79; Ohio Athletic 1946-65, 1915-36. Stadium: InfoCision Stadium (2009), 30,000 capacity. Best player: Dwight Smith led the nation with 10 interceptions in 2000, then helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl 37 by returning two

  • Tramel: Central Michigan should provide different road path for Cowboys

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: 3 hr ago

    MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — OSU's football season opens 84 miles northeast of Grand Rapids, 70 miles north of Lansing and 157 miles northwest of Detroit. It's right in the middle of Michigan, hence the name of the Cowboys' foe, Central Michigan, a Mid-American Conference school that will be primed to host a Big 12 power Thursday night for an ESPNU telecast. Right in the middle of Michigan and right in the middle of Nowhere, as far as OSU is concerned. “Long way up there,” Mike Gundy said. “We're in a very remote location. There's not much around there.” The Cowboys never have been to Mount Pleasant, but they've been to Nowhere.

  • ICYMI: The Oklahoman's OSU coverage team's OSU-Central Michigan picks

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 3 hr ago

    Here's predictions on the Oklahoma State football season-opener at Central Michigan Thursday from The Oklahoman's OSU coverage team:   John Helsley, OSU beat writer OSU 42, Central Michigan 14 GETTIN' CHIPPY: Cowboys KO Chippewas behind Rudolph, attacking defense to carry on momentum.   Kyle Fredrickson, OSU beat writer OSU 35, Central Michigan 17 CENTRAL SMACKDOWN: Cowboys cruise to week-one victory with well-rounded effort.

  • The Oklahoman's 2015 OSU football predictions

    Berry Tramel,Jenni Carlson,john helsley,Kyle Fredrickson | Updated: 6 hr ago

    As Oklahoma State prepares to take on Central Michigan in the season opener, The Oklahoman’s college football coverage team shared its picks for the Cowboys' season. Who will be the Cowboys' MVP? * Kyle Fredrickson, OSU beat writer: QB Mason Rudolph – It’s no coincidence the Cowboys’ incredible turnaround last season took place just as Rudolph took over as the starting quarterback. * John Helsley, OSU beat writer: Rudolph – His impact on last year’s team was immediate and remarkable.

  • College football predictions: OU & OSU should roll

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 19 hr ago

    College football season arrives Thursday. Always an exciting day, but let’s temper the excitement. Of the 65 teams in the Power-5 Conferences, plus Notre Dame, 22 open against I-AA opponents. Twenty-one more open against lower-level foes from I-A, and that’s not counting Boise State (which plays Washington) and Brigham Young (Nebraska). It’s a virtual dead heat. One third of teams are playing real games, one third are playing squishy games and one third aren’t even trying. But that one third of real games will get us through after seven months with no football. Let’s get to the predictions. Oklahoma State at Central Michigan: Cowboys 42-20. This one figures to be closer than advertised.

  • Chicago travelblog: Wearing the Clemente shirt to Wrigley Field

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 9 hr ago

    The Dish told me not to wear the Roberto Clemente shirt. She said the Reds were playing the Cubs, so why would I invoke the Pirates into the mix? I usually do what the Dish says, but alas, I was otherwise out of short-sleeved shirts. Temperatures were forecast for the high 80s Wednesday. The Clemente shirt it was. So off to Wrigley Field we went Wednesday, me wearing the inspiration from our last trip to a ballgame. Last September, we went to a Pirate game at PNC Park, some dude was wearing a vintage Clemente shirt that I saw and said looked really cool, the Dish made a mental note, found it on-line and got it for me for Christmas. Besides, I told her, this was Wrigley Field. Not Soldier Field.

  • You won't believe who once coached at Central Michigan

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

      The college football season opens this week with an opponent we don’t know much about. Central Michigan hosts OSU on Thursday night, and outside of a general idea of where Central Michigan is — the middle part of Michigan — what do we know about Chippewa football? Never hurts to give fans a little tutorial on the history of the program. So here is some perspective on the Chippewas, courtesy in part from ESPN’s College Football Encyclopedia. Classifications: NCAA College Division 1937-72, NCAA Division II 1973-74, NCAA Division I 1975-77, NCAA Division I-A 1978-present. Conference affiliations: Mid-American 1975-present; independent 1970-74, 1931-49, 1896-1926; Interstate

  • Big 12 predictions: TCU to win the conference

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

    College football season starts Thursday, and I’ve made some predictions already. They were in our football preview section published Sunday, but they were general in nature — season records, bowl assignments, etc. Let’s see. I picked TCU to win the Big 12 and make the Football Four, OSU to make the Sugar Bowl, Baylor to make the Peach Bowl and OU to make the Alamo Bowl. I’ve got OSU going 11-2 and OU going 9-4. I think it’s a solid prediction, because I think the teams are relatively equal in strength. The difference is in the schedule. The way I see it, OU’s schedule is about three games tougher than OSU’s. Both get TCU at home, but the Sooners go to Waco and Stillwater.

  • Chicago travelblog: Reuniting with an old friend

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

    One of the cool things about a big city is the people who live there. Not the millions of people you don’t know. The few people that you do know. Think about it. New York, Chicago, LA, wherever. Most of us know somebody who lives in those Gothams, either through professional acquaintance or migration. Dallas and Houston are sort of givens, of course, but Oklahomans have moved out of state for a century. Sometimes I meet up with an Okie transplant. During Super Bowl week 19 months ago, we had lunch in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen with Ryan McNeill, a former Oklahoman staffer now working at Reuters. We’ve had dinner with television publicist John Solberg, an OU grad who worked in sports

  • Best NBA rule suggestion: Reduce timeouts

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Sports Illustrated has asked its six NBA writers a simple question. “If you were commissioner for a day, what rule changes would you make to the NBA?” Excellent question, and a good discussion. You can read the responses of the SI panel here. I’ll give you their answers, sans explanation, with my thoughts. And these are in order of how much I like them: Phil Taylor: Reduce timeouts. No. 1 answer. Each team gets six timeouts, plus TV timeouts. It kills the flow of the game in the final four minutes. In the final minute, there often are more timeouts than possession. A timeout is followed by a possession, which is followed by a timeout, which is followed by a possession, which is followed by a timeout.

  • Beware of the MAC: The Mid-American Conference teams play football with a chip on their shoulder

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    The MAC, the league with a chip on its shoulder, lives to knock off a team from one of the prestigious leagues with much more exposure and resources.

  • OSU vs. Central Michigan: Mid-American Conference schools get by with less

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    No Mid-American school ranks in the top 70 in athletic revenue among Division I-A schools. Here are the MAC athletic revenues, including school subsidies, from the USA Today's 2014 survey. As a gauge, OU ranked seventh nationally with revenues of $129.2 million, and OSU ranked 11th at $117.8 million: School — Revenues — Subsidy UMass — $33.8M — $26.4M Akron — $32.7M — $22.6M  Buffalo — $31.2M — $23.9M  Eastern Michigan — $30.1M — $25.1M  Miami-Ohio — $29.3M — $21.1M  Central Michigan — $29.2M — $21.6M  Western Michigan — $28.9M — $28.0M  Ohio U. — $27.7M — $18.4M  Northern Illinois — $27.0M — $18.3M  Kent State — $24.9M —

  • OSU vs. Central Michigan: With a chip on their shoulders, Mid-American teams have become known for pulling upsets.

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Upsetting an opponent from a big-money league has become a MAC calling card. In the 15 seasons of the 2000s, the MAC has 51 victories over power-conference foes. That's an average of 3.4 per season. Among their victims: Alabama, Penn State, Iowa and Michigan State: 2014: Central Michigan 38-17 at Purdue 2014: Akron 21-10 at Pitt 2014: Bowling Green 45-42 vs. Indiana 2014: Northern Illinois 23-15 at Northwestern 2013: Northern Illinois at Iowa 30-27 2013: Northern Illinois at Purdue 55-24 2013: Ball State 48-27 at Virginia 2012: Ball State 41-39 at Indiana 2012: Kent State 35-23 at Rutgers 2012: Ohio 24-14 at Penn State 2012: Central Michigan 32-31 at Iowa 2012:

  • OSU vs. Central Michigan: Mid-American Conference long has been a market for power-conference schools

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    The Mid-American Conference long has been a breeding ground for coaches wishing to jump to a more prestigious conference.

  • Berry Tramel chat recap: Predictions on the OU and Oklahoma State openers, College Football Playoff

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Berry Tramel jumps on the Power Lunch for his first chat of the football season at noon. Get your questions in now on the season openers for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the start of college football and more.

  • Chicago travelblog: Feeling small in the Museum of Science & Industry

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Scientists are smart. Really smart. Perhaps I’m not the first to make that proclamation. But just in case you weren’t sure, take a tour through one of Chicago’s greatest attractions, the Museum of Science & Industry. That’s what the Dish and I did Monday, hard by Lake Michigan, five miles south of downtown, in a massive building with architecture straight out of Rome. I had visited the Museum of Science & Industry 10 years ago, but the Dish had not, so away we went. GALILEO & FRIENDS As you walk into one of the galleries on the third floor of the museum, a robot methodically climbs a wire wall. The danged thing looks like something out of “Lost in Space,”

  • OU football notebook: How freshman Austin Seibert won the Sooners' kicking and punting job

    By JASON KERSEY, RYAN ABER AND BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

      True freshman Austin Seibert will handle field goal kicking and punting duties in Oklahoma's season opener against Akron this weekend, coach Bob Stoops announced at his Monday news conference. Seibert hit 13 field goals as a senior at Belleville West (Ill.) High School, with a long of 51 yards. He also averaged 44.89 yards per punt. “He has a great mentality about it all,” Stoops said of Seibert. “He's been confident about it. “The other day we were in the stadium for a simulated scrimmage. We had a two-minute drill in the middle of practice. To win it, he had to kick a 52-yard field goal and put it right through.” Stoops said that senior Nick Hodgson, who was competing with Seibert to kick

  • The real reason Illinois fired Tim Beckman

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Illinois fired football coach Tim Beckman last week, and maybe the reasons were multiple. But we know of one. Beckman didn’t win enough games. That was unstated, of course. Beckman was booted after a preliminary review of an external investigation following a Chicago Tribune project that interviewed 50 former Illinois players, some of whom alleged mistreatment from Beckman in terms of recovering from injuries. Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said the findings of the probe “does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes.” Maybe so. But Chicago media have asked why Thomas still has a job.

  • How Terry Bowden lost his big chance at Owen Field

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    I wrote about Terry Bowden for the Monday Oklahoman, a column which you can read here. Bowden is a fascinating story, going from a 20-0 start as the Auburn coach more than 20 years ago to now coaching at Akron, which plays on Owen Field to open the 2015 season. A few Oklahoma writers chatted with Bowden last week, and he gave us more material than we ever could use. Including some great stories. I’ll start with this one. * Bowden never has coached on Owen Field. But he’s played on Owen Field. Bowden was a West Virginia walk-on senior halfback in 1978. His dad, Bobby, already had left West Virginia for the Florida State job, but Terry stayed behind and on the football team, playing for Frank Cignetti.

  • Chicago travelblog: Following the trail of Eliot Ness

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    We love Chicago. I first came in 1994, returned in 1999, both times for only a few hours on the way to somewhere else, and determined I was going to bring the Trish the Dish back. And so I did. In 2000. And she brought me back for conferences in 2001, 2005 and 2008. Then we returned in 2010 for a trip built around a wedding and in 2013 around the OU-Notre Dame game. Our nephew moved to Chicago in 2007, so we had a great reason to get up here and did every chance we get. So we scheduled a trip this week, before we drive up to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for the OSU-Central Michigan game. Alas, in July, our nephew moved back to Moore, so we flew to Chicago on Sunday knowing we would be without local supervision. But it’s




Berry Tramel Today at 4:21 PM Tramel: Central Michigan should provide different road path for Cowboys http://t.co/H3wkiCHiCg
Berry Tramel Today at 3:10 PM ICYMI: The Oklahoman's OSU coverage team's OSU-Central Michigan picks http://t.co/qdOlXLgmld
Berry Tramel Today at 12:45 PM The Oklahoman's 2015 OSU football predictions http://t.co/bEmddG6sUa
Berry Tramel Today at 10:08 AM Chicago travelblog: Wearing the Clemente shirt to Wrigley Field http://t.co/7cJd8lVUT3
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 02 2015 03:41:25 PM CST You won't believe who once coached and Central Michigan http://t.co/reGwg169E7
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 02 2015 12:00:33 PM CST Beware of the MAC: The Mid-American Conference teams play football with a chip on their shoulder http://t.co/bx8DpEwPHY
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 02 2015 09:31:39 AM CST Chicago travelblog: Reuniting with an old friend http://t.co/10FGA0UvEJ
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 10:17:03 PM CST Best NBA rule suggestion: Reduce timeouts http://t.co/sX0XHaaL2C
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 06:10:06 PM CST OSU vs. Central Michigan: Mid-American Conference schools get by with less http://t.co/Kfm739rK5N
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 06:10:06 PM CST OSU vs. Central Michigan: With a chip on their shoulders, Mid-American teams have become known for pulling upsets. http://t.co/jrRE2cJUrx
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 06:10:06 PM CST OSU vs. Central Michigan: Mid-American Conference long has been a market for power-conference schools http://t.co/Gag6tFcQnT
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 03:54:56 PM CST Berry Tramel chat recap: Predictions on the OU and Oklahoma State openers, College Football Playoff http://t.co/zwkG3JHUvV
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 12:16:25 PM CST Power Lunch: Chat with Berry Tramel http://t.co/SM6fmYSEQm
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 01 2015 09:49:29 AM CST Chicago travelblog: Feeling small in the Museum of Science & Industry http://t.co/Jyi1cT5VfU
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 31 2015 09:14:57 PM CST OU football notebook: How freshman Austin Seibert won the Sooners' kicking and punting job http://t.co/qoBdNE2OAN
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 31 2015 04:51:35 PM CST The real reason Illinois fired Tim Beckman http://t.co/CSOgx6YrPt
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 31 2015 01:14:06 PM CST How Terry Bowden lost his big chance at Owen Field http://t.co/ohSsGNT66A
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 31 2015 10:42:12 AM CST Chicago travelblog: Following the trail of Eliot Ness http://t.co/ioHAQ2e5fH
Berry Tramel Sun, Aug. 30 2015 12:06:27 PM CST OSU offensive linemen rally around new coach http://t.co/FikXIpRVj9
Berry Tramel Fri, Aug. 28 2015 09:16:13 PM CST OU's Orlando Brown recovering from the loss of his father http://t.co/Kjjgsqk3aH

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