Jenni Carlson
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: Oklahoma's exit from the College Football Playoff sealed with a kick

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    COMMENTARY — Even the reliable Michael Hunnicutt faltered in Oklahoma’s 31-30 loss to Kansas State, exposing many reasons why the Sooners aren’t Football Four worthy.

  • OU football by the numbers: Sooners lose second straight home game to Kansas State

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com | Published: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    Kansas State 31, OU 30: Samaje Perine and Sterling Shepard continued their moves in the OU record books, despite the loss. Shepard set a school record for receptions in a game and Perine joined a small club of OU freshmen to score 10 or more touchdowns.

  • OU football report card: Mistakes in 3rd-down defense, special teams result in low grades for Sooners

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com | Published: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    Mistakes on the offense, the defense and yes, even the special teams cost Oklahoma in a 31-30 loss to Kansas State. The grades reflect it. THIRD-DOWN DEFENSE: D Even though the K-State offense converted less than half of its third-down plays — 5 of 11 — four of the conversions were game-changing. The first was on third-and-long in the second quarter, setting up first and goal and leading to another third-and-long conversion, a touchdown pass from Jake Waters to Tyler Lockett. Then late in the third quarter, the Wildcats converted on third and 6 when the Sooners had them pinned deep in their own territory. That K-State drive ultimately stalled, but instead of punting and giving OU good field position, the Wildcats were

  • Sooners need an exclamation mark win vs. K-State to get back into playoff race

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    The Sooners need help elsewhere, too. Teams with better resumes than the Sooners are going to need to lose. Teams that OU beats are going to need to win as many other games as possible.

  • Courtney Dike celebrates World Cup appearance with a proud brother

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    A photographic moment with her brother Bright captured in late summer was something special for Dike. It was a celebration not only for her but also for her brother; one of the soccer-playing siblings from Edmond got to play in a World Cup.

  • OSU football: Now comes the tough part of the schedule for the Cowboys

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — There was some celebrating on Saturday. A win on the road in the Big 12 is a win on the road in the Big 12, right. But the biggest challenge lies ahead for these Cowboys.

  • OSU football report card: Cowboys' offensive line has to be better

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com | Updated: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    Tyreek Hill and Josh Furman were the obvious stars for Oklahoma State in the Cowboys’ 27-20 win over Kansas. But the Cowboys have plenty to improve on, and the grades show it: TYREEK HILL: A Even when he wasn’t returning a kickoff 99 yards for a game-winning touchdown, the Oklahoma State speedster was still affecting the game. Kansas repeatedly pooched kickoffs to keep the ball away from Hill, and while that tactic achieved its purpose, it also gave the Cowboys some great field position. One instance came after the Jayhawks took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter; Blake Jarwin fielded the deep onsides with a full head of steam and wasn’t tackled until he was 2 yards across midfield. With the short field, the Cowboys scored

  • OSU football: Cowboys score more than 20 points for 58th straight game

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    Here is a look at Oklahoma State’s 27-20 win over Kansas by the numbers: 4: Consecutive Big 12 road victories for OSU, the program’s second-longest road winning streak since the league formed. 58: Consecutive games in which the Cowboys have scored 20 points or more, dating back to the start of the 2010 season. That is the second-longest streak in major-college football history and is now only five games shy of tying the record set by USC. 60: Yards of offense for the Cowboys in the second half 170: All-purpose yards for OSU speedster Tyreek Hill, including 99 yards on kickoff returns, 19 yards on punt returns and 52 yards receiving. 275: Yards of offense for the Cowboys, the first time that they had less

  • Oklahoma State football: How Mike Gundy-era quarterbacks have done in first road start

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    As Daxx Garman prepares to make the first road start of his career Saturday at Kansas, here’s a look back what other Oklahoma State quarterbacks during the Mike Gundy era did in their first road starts.

  • OSU football: Daxx Garman and the Cowboys taking their show on the road

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — Who better to talk about Daxx Garman’s first road game than the guy the preceded him? Former Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf says Garman’s demanor is perfect for playing on the road. Chelf describes Garman as “quiet” and “calm”, but he says Garman knows what he’s doing.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    Ready to talk OU-Texas? How about OSU-Kansas? We can even talk Thunder basketball. Bring your questions at 11 a.m. and chat live with columnist Jenni Carlson.

  • Oklahoma football: How the Sooners help one family fight cancer

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    COMMENTARY — William McClendon is waging the fight of his life at OU Children’s Hospital. The school that his family loves is now trying to save his life, while its football team brings them even closer together.

  • Oklahoma State football: Hold on Cowboy fans, it could be like this all season

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    COMMENTARY — By its coach’s own testimony, Oklahoma State was bad in the kind of first half that emboldens underdogs like Iowa State and scares young teams like the Cowboys. But winning when you don’t play well can’t be so bad.

  • OSU football report card: Weather, special teams get high marks; game management grades out poorly

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    Oklahoma State 37, Iowa State 20 — The Cowboys offensive line turned in another average peformance on Saturday vs. Iowa State and graded out at C. OSU’s inexperienced secondary, however, got an A for its performance.

  • OSU football: Cowboys have scores 20 points or more in 57 straight games

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    OSU 37, Iowa State 20 — A majority of the Cowboys’ points came in a flurry on Saturday. In a span of just over three minutes, OSU put 20 points on the board.

  • Collected wisdom: Former Texas coach Mack Brown talks about his past, and the Red River Rivalry

    By Jenni Carlson | Updated: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    Former Texas coach says he thought about taking the OU job, but pulled out because his brother, Watson, was up for it.

  • Commentary: Easy to pull for a guy like Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — Paul Rhoads and his Iowa State Cyclones are in Stillwater on Saturday to take on Oklahoma State. While it’s easy to understand any hard feelings OSU fans have towards Rhoads and the Cyclones (see 2011), it’s still hard to root against Rhoads.

  • OSU football: Paddle People becoming a fixture at Cowboys football games

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    OSU PADDLE PEOPLE — The group started informally in the 1990s but really took off in the early 2000s. Now, the OSU Paddle People are nearly 200 strong. If you’ve ever been to a game in Stillwater or watched one on TV, you’ve surely heard their work.

  • UCO football: Why no one is happier about the Bronchos' turnaround than Leon Franklin

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    No. 1 Northwest Missouri State comes to Edmond at 1 p.m. Saturday. This matchup brought dread these past couple seasons — UCO lost both games by more than 60 points — but this season, apprehension has been replaced by anticipation. UCO is undefeated with wins against Fort Hays State, Missouri Western and Emporia State.

  • OSU football: What they're saying about the Cowboys' 45-35 win over Texas Tech

    By Jenni Carlson and Kyle Fredrickson | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    Quotes from both sides of Oklahoma State’s 45-35 victory against Texas Tech. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury “I’ve never seen a team shoot itself in the foot as many times as we did tonight. It was embarrassing football, honestly. That’s the only way to put it — 158 yards on penalties, three turnovers, one going in the red zone and then you give them the ball twice in the red zone. It’s just bad football, and it’s on me. I have to get it fixed.” OSU coach Mike Gundy “I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but every game is going to be like this for us with so many young players. We’ve got a lot of areas to work on … We started out slow but for the most part played pretty well. Early in the




Jenni Carlson Today at 2:46 PM Brain freeze: Kevin White beat Ramon RICHARDS like a drum, not Ramon Richardson. My bad.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:45 PM @rwillie11 Aw, geez, I did type Richardson. I've been fighting that ever since he started playing ...
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:44 PM 10:29 left in the 1Q, West Virginia leads 7-0.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:43 PM Pretty sure Ramon Richardson is not gonna be able to hang with Kevin White. Paging, Kevin Peterson.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:33 PM RT @kylefredrickson: #OKstate CB Ashton Lampkin runs out of the tunnel with the team wearing his jersey, but no pads.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:30 PM We are nearing kickoff here in Stillwater. So, who you got, #OKState or WVU?
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:13 PM A little context to the K-State vs OU/UT tidbit via @BerryTramel: K-State has only played the two in the same season SEVEN times.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:12 PM @carriejacobs Thank you, friend! And thank you for the nice text. The ladies are cool as cool can be.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:11 PM @Jake_Trotter Sending you a little context via @BerryTramel: K-State has only played those two in the same season SEVEN times.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:01 PM RT @kylefredrickson: With 30 min. to kickoff, here are 5 must-read stories from the @NewsOKSports team to get ready for #OKstate vs WVU: ht…
Jenni Carlson Fri, Oct. 24 2014 10:40:47 AM CST Meet two sisters who make Friday nights special. (And check out the great vid from my buddy Nate Billings) LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Oct. 23 2014 03:18:39 PM CST RT @NewsOKSports: Plan accordingly RT @anthonyVslater: New Thunder podcast dropping shortly.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Oct. 23 2014 01:33:04 PM CST @grid_king I take questions from anyone. You ask it, and if I get to it, I'll answer it. (Sometimes, I don't get to every question.)
Jenni Carlson Thu, Oct. 23 2014 10:44:11 AM CST You won't want to miss today's Power Lunch live chat. Lots to discuss. Football. Basketball. Baseball. Join me! LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Oct. 23 2014 10:43:28 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: Ready to talk #sooners #okstate #okcthunder? Ask @JenniCarlson_OK your questions on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.: http…
Jenni Carlson Thu, Oct. 23 2014 10:26:35 AM CST @jmonies Indeed! We loved hanging out with you, especially when @ryanreaves cooks! ;)
Jenni Carlson Wed, Oct. 22 2014 11:00:09 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: LIVE NOW: Join @berrytramel on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m. from @HHShootingSport: LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, Oct. 22 2014 10:16:51 AM CST @johnbohnenkamp I totally get it. We have the dreaded late games almost exclusively during NBA Playoffs. It's the worst.
Jenni Carlson Wed, Oct. 22 2014 09:03:12 AM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Five observations from the Thunder's preseason finals vs Utah last night - LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, Oct. 22 2014 08:53:44 AM CST @johnbohnenkamp Well, my streak was broken and your column was safe. :)