Old Man Football ruled Saturday night on Owen Field, and by now you know I don't mean Landry Jones.
Bill Snyder, the Ancient of Daze, turns 73 in two weeks, and that's about the age of his offense, too, with an old-school quarterback who plays like a Weeble — his passes wobble, but he won't fall down.
Collin Klein directed Kansas State to a 24-19 upset of the Sooners with what I call a down-set-hike offense. Straight out of the sandlot. Snap the ball to the quarterback and let him run.
In truth, K-State stung the Sooners with a slick tailback (John Hubert gained 130 yards on 23 carries) and some timely Klein passes, and even those Klein keepers have about 4,000 wrinkles, designed by Snyder, that drive defensive coaches batty.
But in a league that's been known for 21st-century passing schemes and video-game scores and sending quarterbacks straight to NFL huddles, Old Man Football will take what it can get.
Look at Texas. Mack Brown has admitted it. He's trying to turn the Longhorns into an SEC team. Run the ball, play defense and pass if you have to. So far, the results are encouraging for the Longhorns, with the Bevos unbeaten coming into Stillwater this Saturday.
Look at the SEC itself. Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson famously said watching Georgia play was like watching “old-man football.” Then Georgia popped Mizzou 41-20, and South Carolina, which is more old man than Georgia, beat the Tigers 31-10 Saturday.
Look at some of the scores around the nation over the weekend. Notre Dame beat Michigan 13-6. LSU beat Auburn 12-10. Boise State beat BYU 7-6. OU-Kansas State.
I'm not saying we're in the middle of revolution. Especially in the Big 12, where OSU won the conference a year ago throwing it around, and West Virginia could do the same in 2012.
I'm also not saying we're not. OU's offense clearly has slipped; who knows what direction Bob Stoops could go when Landry Jones is gone. Even OSU will go more old-man Saturday, since Wes Lunt is injured. With J.W. Walsh, the Cowboys will try to run the ball and pick its spots in the air.
Old-man benefits are many. We always talk about pace and tempo of these no-huddle offenses. Well, pace and tempo goes both ways. K-State controlled the clock Saturday night. OU ran just 70 plays. It likes to run 90.
“They played the game at their tempo most of the night,” said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “They know how to play and we just couldn't get control of the game the way we wanted to.”
That's a great description of Old Man Football. Control. Control the line of scrimmage. Control the clock. Control the ball.
Old Man Football keeps you tough. You can be tough playing Star Wars football. But you can't not be tough playing Old Man Football. It's a prerequisite for success.
Old Man Football runs the ball. That's not all that popular in this day and age, but when you know how to do it, it's wildly successful.
Old Man Snyder figured out how to win with a roller derby quarterback. “He runs the ball hard,” said K-State lineman Cody Whitehair. “That's just how Collin is. He puts his nose down in the ground and he's going to get that first down.”
Klein and Snyder have helped make Big 12 football once against a country for old men. Beware the revolution.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.