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Power Lunch Chat with Jenni Carlson transcript, Dec. 21, 2012

The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: December 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012

The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

NewsOK 10:31 a.m. Jenni will be logging in at 11 a.m., but you can start submitting your questions and comments now.
Jenni Carlson 10:32 a.m. Hey, everyone! Send in those questions now. Can't wait to get chatting in half an hour. :)
Jenni Carlson 11:00 a.m. All right, folks, let's get going!
Larry 11:00 a.m. Who is the most exciting running back you have ever seen play for OU? I have to go with Joe Washington. Not saying he is the best, just that, for me, he was the most exciting.
Jenni Carlson 11:01 a.m. I have to admit, Larry, I wasn't around for Joe Washington's time, but the film I've seen of him clearly puts him in the running for most exciting. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:02 a.m. Of the ones I've see myself, I'd have to go with Adrian Peterson. I know he's best known for his punishing style, but he also had the ability to take just about any run to the house. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:02 a.m. That made him so exciting to watch. And he's continued to run that way in the NFL. He's really a remarkable player. (Shameless plug -- be sure to check out Berry Tramel's column on Adrian in Sunday's paper.)
Larry 11:02 a.m. If Mike Gundy were at some point asked by the Longhorns to be their head coach, do you think he would accept?
Jenni Carlson 11:03 a.m. This is actually a question that Berry and I debated on our Press Row video this week! It's a good one, too. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:04 a.m. First of all, when Mack Brown retires, I think Texas will shoot as high as possible. Nick Saban. Brian Kelly. Les Miles. Whatever coach has just won a national title, he'll probably be their first call. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:04 a.m. Texas has enough going for it to shoot as high as it wants. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. Now, if they get to the point where they offer Mike Gundy, I assume they'd throw a lot of money and influence at him. Everything that he wants, he'd likely get from them. I suspect if that were to happen, he'd go. But that seems a long ways away.
Jay 11:05 a.m. What's the over/under on the attendance for the Heart of Dallas bowl? I'm going with 21,000 and I think that might be high...
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. That's a really good questions, Jay. I do like your over-under number, though. That's about what I'd go with. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:06 a.m. That said, I'd pick the under. I truly believe that OSU fans will show up well, but the bowl isn't going to get any help from Purdue fans. It's far away. The program just fired its head coach. There's no mojo behind the Boilermakers. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. So that basically leaves the attendance total up to OSU fans. Even though it's an easy trip for Cowboy fans in Oklahoma, the lack of juice in the matchup is likely to keep a good number of fans away. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. That's why I think it'll be less than your over-under. It will definitely be interesting to see, though. We'll know more at 11 a.m. on New Year's Day. :)
Larry 11:07 a.m. Do you know much about OU's Trevor Knight? If so, does he have a shot at taking over the QB slot, over Bell, next season?
Jenni Carlson 11:08 a.m. I don't know much about Knight, but it sure seems to me that Blake Bell is in the driver's seat to take over as starting quarterback next year. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:09 a.m. I have to admit, though, Larry, that it makes me laugh to think about anyone wondering if someone could replace Bell, considering Bell was the guy that many OU fans were clamoring for to replace Landry this year. Just ironic! :) Anyway ...
Jenni Carlson 11:10 a.m. Blake Bell has a chance to be a great quarterback for the Sooners. Remember, he was known as a passer in high school. This running thing is a new wrinkle added to his game. So, if he's able to meld the two together next year, we have a chance to see a great, great quarterback.
Galileo 11:10 a.m. Jenni, Bob Stoops just predicted JUCO DT signee Quincy Russell to be "a huge difference maker." It's great that the Sooner coaching staff is able to successfully draw on the JC ranks to fill glaring empty spots on the roster when needed, but could you explain why they don't do it more often as a regular recruiting strategy? OU has had great success in the past with junior college players. E.g., Damien Williams, Phil Loadholdt, Lynn McGruder, CJ AhYou, Lance Mitchell, Josh Heupel and many more under Stoops. Going back even further in the past, OU had all time greats like Scott Case and others that were Juco transfers. Given this, if OU had just foreseen the depth problem at DT a year ago, they might have an experienced DT ready to take over the for the 3 departing seniors. Maybe you could discuss the reasons the program might not recuit more Jucos. The advantages seem obvious (players ready to play immediately, thus delivery max value scholarship-limit wise).
Jenni Carlson 11:10 a.m. You're right about the junior college players that have had an impact, and honestly, they SHOULD have an impact. They're older, more developed, more vetted having played junior college ball. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:11 a.m. But as a recruiting tactic, I think many coaches are hesitant to have more than one or two juco players a year. They want to build around high school players because you have them for longer and, by extension, have more stability. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:13 a.m. But as you said, OU has had success with JCs, and honestly, I think that's because they're selective with the junior-college players that they choose. That's probably one of the reasons that they've had the high success rate. They don't do something like go out and get 10 and only have two who can play.
Larry 11:13 a.m. Bama or Notre Dame? I say Bama.
Jenni Carlson 11:13 a.m. I picked ND. I might be the only one on the planet, but I truly believe that the Irish can win. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. If you look at the number of tough games they played this season, they won't be intimidated by this game or by Alabama. Also, they played a bunch of close games. That means they won't panic regardless of what happens. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. Plus, ND has a defense that can play with Alabama's defense. Heck, it can play better. There aren't many times you can say that about a 'Bama opponent.
Galileo 11:14 a.m. Thanks for the heads up about Berry's upcoming column on AD. Been wondering why the paper hasn't featured him more, given that he is knocking on the door of all-time greatness. Thanks for giving the fans what we want!
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. We've had at least two AD stories that I remember this season. Mike Baldwin wrote both of them. They were Sunday stories, so hopefully that got them high circulation. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. But Berry will add his voice to the AD chatter that's out there. You won't want to miss it.
Larry 11:15 a.m. Good point, Jenni, on the Bell vs. Knight question I posed.
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. Thanks, Larry!
Larry 11:16 a.m. Do you know what teams might be interested in Landry for the 2013 NFL draft?
Jenni Carlson 11:16 a.m. Seems like there are plenty of NFL teams in need of a quarterback. Kansas City and Phoenix immediately pop to mind. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. Since both are likely to have very high picks, they might look at trading down to get some other pieces from another team. But it seems like to me that any team that needs a quarterback would clearly look at Landry. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. There might be one or two more pro-ready quarterbacks in this draft class. Matt Barkley from USC comes to mind. But past him, there aren't obvious quarterbacks who you'd pick above Landry.
Larry 11:17 a.m. Trey Millard, Kenny Stills, Tony Jefferson. Who stays and who goes after the bowl game?
Jenni Carlson 11:18 a.m. Great question, Larry. My gut feeling is that Jefferson and Stills are gone. Just seems like to me that they play positions where they're sure to be drafted in the first two days of the draft. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. Millard, to me, is a guy who could have a great NFL career. If a team just decides to give him the ball like a running back, he could be a thousand-yard rusher easily in the league. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. But since that isn't how OU has used him, I wonder if NFL teams will be hesitant to draft him on the potential that he could be used that way. Because of that, I suspect he'll probably return to school.
Galileo 11:20 a.m. I for one agree with you on ND over Bama. Bama is overrated this year. If not for the long layoff, I'd pick ND confidently. Given the 5 week layoff, anything can happen. Plus, the Saban factor might be the deciding factor in favor of the Tide (he always finds a way to break down an offense). Bottom line, I will stay with my ND pick, but whoever has the most success in the passing game will win.
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. You and me, Galileo! I think we might be it picking ND. :) ...
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. I agree about the layoff and how well Saban will have Alabama prepared. He is a master in situations like this. We saw it last year with the national championship game. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. But like you, I'm still sticking with Notre Dame.
Larry 11:21 a.m. Jalen Saunders in the bowl game?
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. I'm gonna say no. Again, this is just a gut feeling, but it's a gut feeling based on history. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:22 a.m. Bob Stoops has a solid track record of suspending guys for arrests. They don't have to be charged or found guilty or anything. Basically, if a player gets arrested, Stoops will suspend them. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:22 a.m. That's why I believe Saunders will serve some sort of suspension for this game. Maybe it's for a half instead of the whole game, but it seems like history would indicate that he'll be suspended in some way.
Galileo 11:22 a.m. How does Damien Williams stack up in the draft? RBs have more to lose by staying in college.
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. Running backs only have so many carries in their knees and legs, that much is true. That's why leaving is a popular course of action for RBs. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:24 a.m. That said, I think he would benefit from another year in college. He wasn't as effective late in the season as early. It would be good for him to come back next year and be better from start to finish. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:25 a.m. After all, the NFL season is a long one. They need guys who play as well in Week 16 as they do in Week 1.
Jerry 11:25 a.m. Any good reason by OU has such a bad record in NC and BCS games unless they play a cupcake, even with AD and Sam?
Jenni Carlson 11:25 a.m. The easy answer? They just haven't been as good as those teams that they've played. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:26 a.m. And truthfully, I believe that. Maybe that fact wasn't obvious during the regular season. It might've been because the Big 12 wasn't as strong, or it might've been because we chose to overlook some weaknesses. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. But my feeling is that with the layoff that you have before the BCS bowls, the better team generally wins. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is schemed up. And because of that, you tend to have legit winners more often.
Larry 11:27 a.m. Do you have a prediction yet for the OU/Aggie bowl game?
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. We did picks the other day, and as bad as this sounds, I can't remember who I picked! ...
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. I think I picked Texas A&M, though. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. Here's why. I'm just not sold on OU's defense vs. Johnny Manziel. He can throw and pass, and OU's defense has shown itself vulnerable against offenses that have the ability to do both. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:29 a.m. Perhaps the OU defense will rise up and play better, but until the Sooners prove it, I have to go with the Ags.
Larry 11:29 a.m. Great Job, Jenni. Have a good one!....P.S., How's that little one doing?
Jenni Carlson 11:29 a.m. The bambino is great, Larry! She saw Santa yesterday and sat on his lap without crying. Total victory!
Guest 11:30 a.m. I looked at new DT Quincy Russell in Rivals and Scout when he first came out of HS and was committed to texas and they had him listed as the # 11 and # 15 DT in the nation, hope he's that good.
Jenni Carlson 11:30 a.m. Getting a difference-making defensive tackle would be huge for OU. They haven't had a dominator since Gerald McCoy left. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:31 a.m. Granted, McCoy was here not all that long ago, but they had such a string there for awhile with Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek and McCoy that it seems like they've always had one. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:32 a.m. If Russell can be McCoy Light, even that would be transformative for this defense. It would make so many things so much easier for so many guys.
Jenni Carlson 11:32 a.m. All right, I've still got lots of great questions left, but I'm out of time! Sorry to run, but I hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas!
by 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...
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