Jenni Carlson
Sports Reporter and Columnist

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football games. Her mom kept the scorebook during baseball games and yelled her head off no matter the sport. They passed along that passion to Carlson and her two younger brothers.

Carlson played golf in high school and planned to play in college, but when she started at the University of Kansas, she decided to focus her attention on journalism. It’s a decision that she’s never regretted.

Her first big story was a profile on Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams for the yearbook, and Carlson has enjoyed interviewing sports figures and sharing their stories every since.
Carlson is a 1997 graduate of Kansas. She and her husband, Ryan, were married in 2009 and live in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first child, Millie, in June 2012. Carlson was the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media from 2008-10 and chair of the board from 2010-12.

  • OU football: Zack Sanchez wouldn't be starring for the Sooners without the high school buddy he calls Kev

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Kevin Scott Washington II is the reason Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez wears No. 15.

  • Baker Mayfield and Baillie Burmaster: Love Bedlam style

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    The OU quarterback and former OSU soccer player say their relationship works for several reasons -- despite devotion to their respective schools.

  • OSU football: Baylor loss exposes OSU’s flaws

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    On a night that Oklahoma State’s magical season came to an abrupt end with a 45-35 loss to Baylor, we were left to accept a reality that likely gnawed at many. This is a good but not great OSU team. This is a flawed bunch that somehow kept finding ways to overcome those shortcomings.

  • OSU football report card: The Cowboys ran out of late-game magic against Baylor

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    It was a rough night all the way around in Oklahoma State's 45-35 loss to Baylor. The grades reflect it. [pagebreak] THIRD- AND FOURTH-DOWN DEFENSE: D The Cowboys simply couldn't get off the field on third and fourth downs. The Bears were 14 of 22 on third down, and after three of those unconverted third downs, they went for it on fourth down and made it twice. OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer believes a 33 percent conversion rate is stellar. His Cowboys were far, far from that Saturday.

  • OSU football: A look at the Cowboys' 45-35 loss to Baylor by the numbers

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Sat, Nov 21, 2015

    Here is a look at Baylor's 45-35 loss to Baylor by the numbers: 0: Seasons in which Oklahoma State has started 11-0. 2: Undefeated teams remaining in college football, Clemson and Iowa, after OSU, Houston and Ohio State lost Saturday. 0.3: Rushing yards per carry for OSU. The Cowboys managed only 8 yards on 32 carries. 4.2: Rushing yards per carry for Baylor. The Bears went for 304 yards on 73 carries. 5: Three-and-outs for the Cowboy offense in the first half. OSU had none in the first half, but that first-half ineffectiveness allowed Baylor to build an insurmountable lead. +30: Play difference, in favor of Baylor. The Bears ran 104 plays from scrimmage, the Cowboys 74. 76: Years between

  • OU Sooners, OSU Cowboys take playoff hopes to prime time

    By Jenni Carlson Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    The approach of Bedlam always piques the interest of OU and OSU football fans. But this year regardless of their team, they've got bonus fun because there are no bigger games in all of college football Saturday than the two happening in Oklahoma.

  • OSU football: If you love Cowboy football, chances are you love Joel Klatt, too

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    STILLWATER — The red-headed quarterback has quite the backstory. Picked in the baseball draft. Decided to give college football a try when pro ball didn't work out. Walked on to the team right down the road. Became the starter and led his team to great heights. Now, he loves Oklahoma State. And lots of other Big 12 teams. No, we're not talking about Brandon Weeden. The former walk-on quarterback turned Cowboy lover in question is Joel Klatt. Before this season, Klatt was an up-and-coming analyst for Fox. Now, he's the guy taking dead aim at the College Football Playoff selection committee. He's claimed bias against high-scoring, pass-happy offenses. He's pointed out stats that favor SEC and Big Ten teams.

  • The reason Kevin Durant is an Oklahoma Hall of Famer: No one has raised our state’s profile higher

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    On Thursday night, the Thunder superstar will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Not the state's sports hall of fame. The state's hall of fame. Being in the hall of fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive.

  • 2015 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Inductees

    Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    2015 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Induction Class Kevin Durant: Thunder superstar and 2014 NBA MVP Jim Halsey: Longtime manager of Roy Clark and Oak Ridge Boys Bill Hancock: Executive director of College Football Playoff Mike Larsen: Chickasaw painter and sculptor William Ross: Chairman of Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Sharen Jester Turney: President and CEO of Victoria's Secret *Francis Tuttle: Pioneer of Oklahoma Career Tech system Steadman Upham: President of University of Tulsa *Posthumous inductee

  • Press Row Podcast: Will this be the Bedlam of Oklahoma's dreams?

    Updated: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    The Press Row podcast is back, with The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, Jenni Carlson and Mike Sherman discussing what could be the Bedlam football game of Oklahoma's dreams. Premature? Yes, by at least a week. Oklahoma still has TCU in Norman and Oklahoma State has Baylor in Stillwater this Saturday. But the College Football Playoff race, Mike Gundy Unbeaten and Baker Mayfield's out-of-the-blue Heisman Trophy candidacy have the potential to add even more compelling storylines to the state's biggest annual sporting event. Listen in... 

  • Raising Sterling: Cheri Shepard brought up an amazing young man — and did it on her own

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    Cheri Shepard has thought quite a bit about Senior Day. Topping her mental checklist — what should she wear? Since she's going to be on the field for the pregame ceremony, she figures she should go with something crimson. What about crimson jeans? Would that look good on the big screen? She laughs at her frivolity. After all, her only son, an Oklahoma legacy, is about to play his final game on home turf. Sterling Shepard followed in his parents' footsteps by becoming a Sooner and his father's footsteps by becoming a receiver who wears No. 3. But Cheri insisted she won't be overcome by emotion Saturday night. "I'm not real sentimental," she said. Those who know her best say pffft. They

  • Jenni Carlson: Emmanuel Ogbah, OSU defense come to the Cowboys rescue

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Sun, Nov 15, 2015

    AMES, Iowa — His arms flung around teammates' shoulders as the alma mater washed over the once-again victorious Cowboys, Emmanuel Ogbah looked a head taller and a body wider than the rest. Maybe he was. Or maybe he simply loomed that large Saturday. On a day when Oklahoma State went to Iowa State undefeated and with budding national title aspirations, the Cowboys faced another Ames-astrophy. Just like four years ago, they let the Cyclones hang around. Just like four years ago, they found themselves in a surely-this-isn't-happening-again dogfight in the fourth quarter. But this time, the script flipped. OSU 35, Iowa State 31. And it somersaulted because of the OSU defense. Yes, the offense converted

  • OSU football report card: The Cowboys were clutch again and this time exorcised their demons in Ames

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Sun, Nov 15, 2015

    Cardiac Cowboys. Drama Kings. Call them what you will. But after another come-from-behind victory, we're still calling Oklahoma State undefeated.

  • OSU football: A look at the Cowboys' 35-31 win over Iowa State by the numbers

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Sat, Nov 14, 2015

    Here is a look at Oklahoma State's 35-31 win over Iowa State by the numbers: 4: Seasons during the Mike Gundy era in which the Cowboys have won at least 10 games (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015). 5: Come-from-behind victories for the Cowboys this season (Central Michigan, Texas, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Iowa State). 6: Consecutive road wins for the Cowboys, the third-longest streak in program history.  7:10: Time elapsed on OSU's second touchdown drive, its longest scoring drive of the season by more than two minutes at that point. 10: Wins to start the season for OSU, only the second time in school history that the Cowboys have started 10-0.

  • Live Coverage: OSU at Iowa State

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Sat, Nov 14, 2015

    Follow up-to-the-minute updates from our college football coverage team and more from around the web as the Cowboys take on Iowa State.

  • OSU football: Cowboys' defense thriving thanks to extra scholarships

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    AMES, Iowa — Mike Gundy made a decision four years ago that changed the future of Oklahoma State football. At the time, his program was in the midst of its most successful stretch. His Cowboys had followed up a pair of nine-win season with 11 wins in 2010 and 12 wins in 2011. They had gone to a pass-happy, up-tempo offense like many teams in the Big 12, but in watching those teams, Gundy realized something. "If we are going to be a contender in this conference," he thought, "we need to play more consistent defensively." His solution? Give the defense more scholarships each year.  "You might think it's something little," Cowboy defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said, "but it's big." This

  • Veterans Day: Army veteran Ted Perry is leaving his footprint on Heritage Hall

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Heritage Hall offensive line coach Ted Perry graduated from West Point and spent six years in the Army.

  • Like it or not, we have witnessed the power of the college athlete

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    Monday will forever be known as the day that a college football team took down a school president.

  • In their words

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    The boycott by Missouri football players made national headlines the past few days. Football players at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma took notice.

  • OU football report card: Sooners cruise to victory for second straight week

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist | Updated: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    Lots to like about Oklahoma’s 52-16 victory against Iowa State.

Jenni Carlson Wed, Nov. 25 2015 04:57:59 PM CST Wow. An amazing gesture. #OKState #StillwaterStrong
Jenni Carlson Wed, Nov. 25 2015 04:54:23 PM CST @ginamizell Don't you have a private jet yet?!?
Jenni Carlson Wed, Nov. 25 2015 04:48:21 PM CST READ THIS.
Jenni Carlson Wed, Nov. 25 2015 12:57:46 PM CST LISTEN TO THIS.
Jenni Carlson Wed, Nov. 25 2015 12:43:02 PM CST RT @NewsOKSports: ICYMI: Baker Mayfield and Baillie Burmaster: Love Bedlam style (via @JenniCarlson_OK) - https://t
Jenni Carlson Tue, Nov. 24 2015 10:24:21 AM CST The OU quarterback dating a lifelong OSU fan? Better believe it. Here's a little fun for your Bedlam week:
Jenni Carlson Tue, Nov. 24 2015 06:39:35 AM CST RT @jasonkersey: Fun Bedlam week story from @JenniCarlson_OK on Baker Mayfield and his girlfriend -- a former #OKState soccer player: https
Jenni Carlson Mon, Nov. 23 2015 09:43:20 PM CST @rob_backus81 I think it happened a week or so ago. This is the initial broadcast, though.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:25:18 PM CST Still all kinds of time for #OKState, but now, Cowboys must go 99 yards after punt downed at their 1-yard line.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:22:13 PM CST Dude? Uh, no. Dud. Duh!
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:22:00 PM CST @JenniCarlson_OK That'd be a dud! Ha!!!
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:21:41 PM CST @squeek08 Thing is, offense was going too many three-and-out. Put almost impossible amount of pressure on defense.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:20:08 PM CST #OKState offense finally realizes the run game is a dude and marches down the field for a TD. Feels like it might be too late.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:09:26 PM CST Meanwhile in Norman ... Geez, what is going on here?
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:07:58 PM CST Welp, another big play from Baylor third-string QB Chris Johnson. 70 yard TD pas. #OKState now facing its largest deficit of the season.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 08:55:06 PM CST And the Bears just keep throwing ... and scoring. Johnson 39-yard touchdown pass. Baylor about to be up 31-14 on #OKState.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 08:52:34 PM CST @iamnotkathy Both still on the sideline in pads. Guess we'll see.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 08:51:30 PM CST Baylor pitch-and-catch still in effect.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 08:50:34 PM CST And we know what K-State's FIFTH-STRING QB did in Stillwater. #OKState
Jenni Carlson Sat, Nov. 21 2015 08:49:44 PM CST @iamnotkathy The running back? Fine as far as I know. Seems they've been running RBs in and out. But I'll check.