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.

  • College football: Could this be the year Iowa finally takes the Heartland Trophy back from Wisconsin?

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Wisconsin has reached three of the four Big Ten title games since the league went to divisional play in 2011. The Badgers aren't a flashy team but generally show up — they've won nine straight trophy games, against Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. The Badgers have beaten Iowa three straight times for the Heartland Trophy. But the Hawkeyes seem to have a little more grit this season. They beat Iowa State 31-17 after being tied 17-17, then beat Pitt 27-24 on a 57-yard field goal as time expired. Wisconsin has been workmanlike after opening the year with a 35-17 loss to Alabama. The Badgers are a 6 1/2-point favorite, but let's go with Iowa in the upset. National upset special record: 2-2.

  • College football: Is Notre Dame poised to repeat 2012 run?

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Notre Dame's 2015 football season is starting to look a lot like 2012. Three years ago, the Fighting Irish weren't all that impressive but just kept winning, including a 30-13 victory at OU. Notre Dame ended up in the national championship game against Alabama. This Notre Dame team is 4-0, with victories of 38-3 over hapless Texas, 34-27 over Virginia, 30-22 over Georgia Tech and 62-27 over UMass. And Saturday night, the sixth-ranked Irish play at 12th-ranked Clemson. If Notre Dame wins, watch out. The Irish could be making a run at the national semifinals. Notre Dame hosts Southern Cal on Oct. 17 and plays at Stanford on Nov. 28. Of course, a Clemson win means the Tigers are national contenders, too.

  • College football: Loser of Alabama/Georgia coaching matchup between Nick Saban, Mark Richt will have some questions to answer

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Published: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Alabama and Georgia, the favorites in each of the SEC divisions, play Saturday in Athens, Ga. It's their first regular-season meeting since 2008. Georgia is unbeaten. And this isn't even the game of the day in college football. Alabama's loss to Ole Miss two weeks ago has cast the SEC, and Nick Saban, in a different light. Is the Crimson Tide's stranglehold on the sport slipping? If Bama loses to the eighth-ranked Bulldogs, all championship hopes are over for Bama, and Saban's excuse-making will shift into the spotlight. But if 13th-ranked Alabama wins, the critics of Richt will mount. Georgia has been an excellent, but still underachieving, program in Richt's 15 seasons. Starting with this game, this is a great

  • NBA changes should expedite replay review

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    The NBA has taken an excellent step toward improving the replay review for games. The league’s board of governors has unanimously approved modifications that include the staffing of current NBA referees to the Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J., making decisions on certain replay situations and facilitating the on-the-court review of others. According to an NBA press release, “all replay reviews will continue to be triggered by the referees on the court. Once triggered, though, the final determination of certain reviews will be made by the referees in the Replay Center and then communicated back to the on-court crew chief for administration of the call.” That’s a great development.

  • Will OU and OSU escape the upset bid?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    Four weeks into the college football season, and 24 teams in the Power-5 conferences remain undefeated. There won’t be that many come Saturday night. Five games match unbeatens from power conferences, and two of the five games are in our state: OU-West Virginia and OSU-Kansas State. They’re not on the level of Clemson-Notre Dame, or even Alabama-Georgia, which doesn’t fit the category since Bama has a loss, but they’re big games in the sprint toward the Big 12 race. The other two? Florida-Ole Miss and Ohio State-Indiana. Let’s get to the predictions: West Virginia at Oklahoma: Mountaineers 34-30. Big 12 upset special. West Virginia has played OU tough all three Big 12 meetings.

  • NFL predictions: Last quarterback standing wins

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Tony Romo, gone. Ben Roethlisberger, gone. Jay Cutler, gone. Drew Brees, gone but maybe coming back. It’s been a rough three weeks in the NFL, with four marquee quarterbacks already sidelined, and more, no doubt, to come. As much as we love Brandon Weeden, the NFL is not better off with Romo on the sidelines in street clothes. As much fun as Michael Vick can be, the NFL is a better product when Big Ben quarterbacks the Steelers. As exasperating as Cutler can be, his presence makes for better theater, and better football, in Chicago. NFL playoff berths will be determined by Weeden and Vick and whatever other journeyman goes from rumble seat to cockpit. Some say Weeden is overmatched in Dallas, to

  • Could 11 a.m. kickoffs make OU rethink the Big 12?

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    The frequency of 11 a.m. kickoffs has triggered emotions of OU merchants, fans and administrators ranging from curious to livid. Counting West Virginia, seven of the last 13 games at Owen Field will have kicked off in the morning.

  • College football: Former NEO coach Glen Wolfe dies

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Wolfe’s NEO teams went 109-19-3 from 1978-90. His 1980 and 1986 teams were undefeated and won juco national championships.

  • Larry Brown: No surprises at SMU

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    I've long said that the best basketball coach in the business is Larry Brown. College, pro, combination. Doesn't matter. I never meant that Brown was the guy you ought to hire. I didn't mean coach as in Mike Krzyzewski-run-a-program or Bill Snyder-build-a-program. I meant that if you had some guys on a basketball team, and you needed them coached up, to play together and take good shots and commit to defense, then Larry Brown's your man. I never said you should expect him to play by the rules or stick somewhere very long. We figured the former would get Brown at SMU, unless the latter did first. It was indeed the former.

  • Power Lunch: chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Join columnist Berry Tramel at 11 a.m. to talk college football, the NFL and NBA.

  • Billy Donovan "humbled" by reception in OKC

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Billy Donovan said it’s been a “very, very humbling” four months coaching the Thunder. Interesting choice of words. Donovan wasn’t talking basketball. He was talking personal.  “The community has been really remarkable in terms of helping myself, helping my kids, my wife adjust. Very very grateful for all the help that so many lended, reached out, to make this a smooth transition.” Donovan lauded the Thunder organization for being a great place to come to work, but he really stressed the reception by Oklahomans as impressive. “When you’ve been in a place for 19 years, you establish so many relationships,” Donovan said of Gainesville, Fla.

  • Big 12's Walt Anderson explains defensive holding on a running play

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    The officiating in the OSU-Texas game Saturday has been called into question. The Longhorns were penalized 16 times for 128 yards. In particular, the Longhorns were flagged for three straight penalties that put the Cowboys in range to kick a tying field goal in the final two minutes. One of those penalties was a rare defensive holding penalty on a running play. Walt Anderson, director of Big 12 officiating, hasn’t and won’t address any particular play in the OSU-Texas game. But Anderson said Tuesday that “in general we were very pleased with how the game was worked. We will take any mistakes that were made in the game and learn from them. This game was no different than any other game.

  • How good is West Virginia's defense?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    A mighty defense comes to Norman on Saturday in the form of the West Virginia Mountaineers. At least that’s the storyline. But here’s the real question. Does a mighty defense come to Norman? West Virginia leads the nation in scoring defense. The Mountaineers have given up 7.7 points a game. For all the hand-wringing over OU’s defense, the Sooners actually don’t rank terrible in that category, 49th in the nation out of 127 teams, 21.7 points a game. WVU also ranks 26th in total defense, with 307 yards allowed per game. That’s not even the best in the Big 12; OSU has given up 300 yards per game, and the Cowboys have at least played two road games against dangerous quarterbacks

  • Was Mason Rudolph better than what Gundy thought?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    Mike Gundy says OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph actually played better against Texas than what we thought. But Gundy is all mixed up. Rudolph actually played better than what Gundy thought. Rudolph had some struggles in the second half against the Longhorns, but his overall numbers were good, especially considering the Cowboy running game was mostly ineffective. Rudolph completed 22 of 34 passes for 290 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Rudolph also had an interception wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty and another throw that was close enough to an interception that it went to replay review. But Rudolph’s throws, on a variety of slants and crosses, were the primary way OSU moved the ball.

  • Nick Collison no stranger to coaching changes

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Nick Collison was the 12th pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, taken by Seattle SuperSonics. Collison was injured and missed all of that first season, but his coach was Nate McMillan. McMillan was Collison’s coach for his rookie season, 2004-05. The next year, Bob Weiss was Seattle’s coach, for 30 games. Then Weiss was fired, replaced by Bob Hill for the final 52 games. At that point, Collison had played two NBA seasons and gone through three coaches. That summer, Clay Bennett’s ownership group bought the Sonics. Hill coached the Sonics for the 2006-07 season, then was fired, along with general manager Rick Sund. Bennett hired Sam Presti, and Presti hired P.J. Carlesimo as coach.

  • Tramel: Billy Donovan an interesting mix of youth and experience

    By Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    “He’s got a lot of energy, I can sense that already,” veteran Nick Collison said Monday during Thunder Media Day, his 13th with the organization. “Haven’t spent a ton of time with him. Really won’t know until we get into the season, but I think he’s a real high-energy guy. And he’s also very experienced.”

  • Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant on free agency fan reaction: 'I'm not looking for people to lobby me'

    By Erik Horne, Anthony Slater and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    All season, through chants and signs and social media posts and random public run-ins, Durant is sure to face pleas from every angle of the country.

  • Can the Cowboys throw downfield with Brandon Weeden?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Dallas Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden played well in a 39-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but questions remain about Weeden’s ability to replace the injured Tony Romo. The Cowboys’ downfield passing game was non-existent, and though Weeden completed 22 of 26 passes, most were short tosses to tailbacks. Atlanta stacked the line, eventually stuffed the Cowboy running game and Dallas didn’t respond. Also missing was Cowboy flanker Dez Bryant, Weeden’s former OSU teammate, so questions remain about the Dallas offense in the coming weeks. I wrote about Weeden’s game for the Monday Oklahoman. You can read that column here.

  • Utah moves to No. 1 in a far superior poll

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Sep 27, 2015

      Time to rank college football’s top 10, and there’s quite a bit of movement. Exhibit this week: Ohio State. The Buckeyes were ranked third last week, beat Western Michigan 38-12 Saturday and now are out of my top 10. Madness? No. The Buckeyes’ resume’ took a hit. Ohio State had two quality wins last week. The Buckeyes won at Virginia Tech and beat Northern Illinois in a tight fit. But this week, Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina and Northern Illinois lost at Boston College. Neither is an awful loss, but those defeats suggest that those teams aren’t quite as potent as we thought. Thus Ohio State’s resume’ this week isn’t what it was last week. And we’ve

  • Brandon Weeden not to blame for Dallas defeat

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Sun, Sep 27, 2015

    Weeden was coolly efficient and extremely productive. The pride of OSU and Edmond Santa Fe completed 22 of 26 passes for 232 yards. The Cowboys had six first-half possessions; Weeden led touchdown drives of 80, 77, 56 and 80 yards.

Berry Tramel Today at 7:08 PM OU football: Beating Texas isn't what it used to be
Berry Tramel Today at 6:29 PM OSU isn't the football team we thought they were
Berry Tramel Today at 5:14 PM Ranking OU's routs of Texas in the Bob Stoops era
Berry Tramel Today at 3:36 PM Any OU fans buy tickets from the Texas allotment that went unsold? Email me at
Berry Tramel Today at 10:40 AM Power Lunch: chat with columnist Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel Today at 10:26 AM Anyone ever sit in OU section on Texas side in the Cotton Bowl? The group that makes up for the south ramp. Email at
Berry Tramel Today at 10:22 AM Anyone out there have a good OU-Texas ticket stub collection? Email me at
Berry Tramel Today at 9:16 AM Sooners have played poorly in the Cotton Bowl two straight years
Berry Tramel Mon, Oct. 05 2015 06:03:47 PM CST OU football notebook: Jordan Thomas earns game ball
Berry Tramel Mon, Oct. 05 2015 04:11:08 PM CST Bob Stoops on penalties: 'We earned 'em'
Berry Tramel Mon, Oct. 05 2015 03:59:10 PM CST OU fans, how do you feel about the Longhorns? Do you hate UT? Hate the state of Texas? Envy? Pity? Email me at
Berry Tramel Mon, Oct. 05 2015 12:15:22 PM CST West Virginia: a good team in need of a quarterback
Berry Tramel Mon, Oct. 05 2015 07:56:38 AM CST College football rankings: Florida moves to No. 2
Berry Tramel Sun, Oct. 04 2015 07:39:13 PM CST OU's arch-rival has turned a brighter shade of orange
Berry Tramel Sun, Oct. 04 2015 02:06:45 PM CST Big 12 rankings: TCU ranks ahead of OU, OSU
Berry Tramel Sun, Oct. 04 2015 12:21:43 PM CST OU Report Card: Berry Tramel's grades from the Sooners' win over West Virginia
Berry Tramel Sat, Oct. 03 2015 09:49:49 PM CST OU football: A look at the Sooners' win over West Virginia by the numbers
Berry Tramel Sat, Oct. 03 2015 09:49:48 PM CST OU football: Offensive aggression pays off for Sooners in 44-24 win over West Virginia
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 08:35:09 PM CST Tramel: Let's slow the Heisman talk on Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 03:06:13 PM CST Has Bill Snyder bridged the generation gap?