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Power Lunch Chat with Jenni Carlson transcript, Jan. 31, 2013

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 Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: January 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

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 Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.

Jenni Carlson 10:14 a.m. Hey, everyone! Feel free to send in your questions early, and I'll start answering at 11 a.m. Talk to you then!
Jenni Carlson 10:48 a.m. About 10 more minutes to get your questions in early! Be one of the first. :)
Jenni Carlson 11:00 a.m. All right, folks, it's time to get going. Are we going to talk Thunder, Sooners, Cowboys or something else entirely? You get to decide by sending in your questions, so keep 'em coming.
Jay 11:01 a.m. Big 12 seeking a title game? What do you think the coaches think about that, specifcally Gundy and Stoops? It would have given OU a chance to win it outright this past year in a rematch vs KSU. Given the schedule we have now, when would the game be held? Eliminate a bye week and play it at the same time as the other conferences?
Jenni Carlson 11:02 a.m. First of all, I'm not surprised that the Big 12 wants a football championship game. Those things are a total cash cow. The networks pay handsomely for the broadcast rights. The only surprise is that the Big 12 didn't push for an exemption to get a title game earlier. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:03 a.m. As for what the coaches will think, I don't pretend to have any great insight into their thinking. But I believe Bob Stoops has said in the past that he doesn't mind a title game as long as other conferences have them. Most conferences do now. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:04 a.m. Your questions, Jay, about how this game would fit into the schedule is a good one. Clearly, the Big 12 wants the game on the same weekend as every other conferences title game. That would mean an elimination of a bye week, I imagine. But as near as I know, the conference ADs and coaches like the round-robin schedule, so it would still mean nine regular-season conference games plus a title game in the last week. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. Again, though, this all depends on the Big 12 getting an exemption to even have the game. With only 10 teams in the league, I'm not sure if it will get that allowance. Stay tuned.
Jenni Carlson 11:06 a.m. Hey, I know that you guys usually get to ask the questions, but I've got one for you: Super Bowl pick. Who you got?
Jenni Carlson 11:09 a.m. Sorry for the delay, folks. I'm having a bit of a slow internet connection!
Mike 11:09 a.m. What do you think of Osby's chances of playing in the NBA?
Jenni Carlson 11:10 a.m. I'd say slim. He strikes me a s guy who would go to the D-League first. Who knows? He might work on his game and develop into a guy who an NBA team would pick up. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:11 a.m. But right now, his all-around game doesn't look good enough to translate to the NBA, and he doesn't do any one thing well enough to jump off the page. Like if he was a lock-down defender, that might sway a team. But right now, he hasn't shown to be a specialist either.
Alum in AZ 11:11 a.m. What's your prediction about how the OKC Thunder fan base will handle the transition when this great ride near the pinnacle of the NBA is over? Hopefully the ride is very long-lasting and the overall franchise strength remains in the "upper half" even during the down cycles, but most NBA teams go through such cycles (just ask Phoenix).
Jenni Carlson 11:12 a.m. No doubt the cycle will turn downward at some point. It happens everywhere. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:13 a.m. But I do think that the Thunder has a franchise model that is akin to the Spurs. They might not be a title contender every year, but they are set up to be a playoff team every year. That keeps people in San Antonio very, very happy. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. I could see that being the case in OKC. The Thunder contends every now and then but gets to the playoffs almost all the time. But even if that doesn't happen, people here seem very invested in the team. They won't stomach a bottom-of-the-standings team for years, but I don't see them straying much if there's a year or two that's not great.
Larry 11:14 a.m. Your thoughts on Tom Wort's chanches of making it in the NFL? Will he even be drafted?
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. Seems unlikely to me that he'll be drafted. Frankly, I'm not even sure he'll be signed as an undrafted free agent. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't think he's big enough or fast enough to play in the NFL. It strikes me that he might be a guy who has a long career in the Canadian Football League. I'm not trying to be mean, but I just don't see him as an NFL-caliber guy.
Mike 11:16 a.m. I've got the Ravens by 21-20. If Flacco is playing good, they are tough to beat. I think they have to personnel to slow down the zone read with Kaepernick.
Jenni Carlson 11:16 a.m. See, I think Kaepernick will be the difference maker. The Ravens have a bunch of veterans on the defense. That means they're a bit older. And slower. I think Kaepernick will exploit that. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. I'm going 49ers, 27-23.
Larry 11:17 a.m. San Francisco by 10.
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. I agree with the winner, but I think the game will be closer than that. Just my two cents, though.
Mike 11:17 a.m. With a win over Baylor wouldn't it take a mounmental collapse for the Sooners not to reach the tourney? They could go 4-6 the rest of the way and still have a decent tourney resume.
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. That win last night was huge. Huge. It moves OU to 5-2 in league play and gives them some wiggle room. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. But I will say this -- lose at home Saturday to Kansas State, and OU erases some of that wiggle room in NCAA Tournament consideration. The Sooners have set themselves up well, but part of maintaining that is winning games that you're supposed to win. And K-State at home is one the Sooners should win.
Larry 11:20 a.m. Where do you think Rob Ryan might wind up?
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. Well, he thought he was only going to be out of work five minutes ... and it seems like it's been a bit longer than that! ...
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. I'm not sure. He can clearly coach, but it's interesting that he went from hired in St. Louis to not hired after a second meeting. He's got a unique personality, so he might not be a fit everywhere. He'll get a job, but I couldn't guess where because I don't know where that behind-the-scenes fit will be best.
Larry 11:22 a.m. Who returns punts and kickoffs for OU in 2013?
Jenni Carlson 11:22 a.m. A great question, Larry. Justin Brown became a very reliable hand on punt return. He will be missed there. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. I say Sterling Shepard might be an option. He's got good hands, and I could see him being a little like Ryan Broyles on punt return. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. On kicks, Brennan Clay is already an experienced guy there. I look for him to continue in that role and probably improve. He had some decent time there this past season.
Alum in AZ 11:23 a.m. No preference in the Super Bowl - these days, I generally watch the NFL to follow former OSU players. Wish Kendall Hunter was not hurt!
Jenni Carlson 11:24 a.m. I'm sure Kendall wishes that as well! He was the Niners' No. 2 back when he got hurt. Now, it looks like his job might be in jeopardy.
Larry 11:24 a.m. OSU's starting QB next year?
Jenni Carlson 11:25 a.m. The million dollar question! ...
Jenni Carlson 11:26 a.m. My head says Chelf, but my gut says Lunt. I guess I'll go with my gut. Ultimately, I suspect the promise of Lunt will win out. Plus, I suspect the coaches will worry that Lunt might transfer if he isn't the starter. And that would put them behind the eight ball. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Chelf is the guy instead. He has just plugged away. Don't see that changing. Consistency is something that could end up being really appealing to the coaches.
KB 11:27 a.m. What a big win by the Sooners last night! Estimated their percentage of getting to the NCAA tourny as well as the Cowboys chances.
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. I'd say the Sooners are at about 85 percent chance of getting to the tourney while the Cowboys are at about 75 percent. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. If OU holds serve on home court on Saturday, their chances skyrocket. Maybe going to 95 percent or so. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. The Cowboys would have a higher percentage if they'd just win a stinkin' road game. Geez. Don't they have to get over that hurdle at some point?
Larry 11:29 a.m. How bad did Landry get kicked down in the draft after the Senior Bowl?
Jenni Carlson 11:30 a.m. Actually, I don't know if the game had a huge impact. It obviously wasn't good, but for NFL teams, the Senior Bowl is as much about the practices during the week as the game. And according to people who were there, Landry was good in practice and interviews and the like. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:31 a.m. But his performance in the game continues to perpetuate the feeling that Landry struggles in big games. That's something he's fighting, and to have not played well in front of so many scouts and NFL types did nothing to help him.
Graig 11:31 a.m. Sup Jenni? How's the OKC-MEM game gonna be tonight? Less fun without Rudy Gay?
Jenni Carlson 11:32 a.m. Is this my brother Graig? If it's not, you have the same name spelling as my brother, whose name was inspired by former Yankee Graig Nettles. :) ...
Jenni Carlson 11:33 a.m. Anyway, Memphis is always a great game for the Thunder. These two teams really get after it. The Grizzlies not having Rudy Gay will definitely change things, but I still see this being a really intense game. In fact, Memphis might turn it up a notch because Gay is gone. I suspect we're in for a treat of a game.
Larry 11:33 a.m. Who will be better in the pros, T. Jefferson or D. Hurst?
Jenni Carlson 11:34 a.m. I give Jefferson the nod. Hurst strikes me as undersized, and at his position, you have to be really, really talented when you're on the small size. Jefferson is more prototypical, so he gets the nod from me.
harry man 11:34 a.m. So OKC aubrey mcclendon is gone from chesapeake energy... will the thunder up lose some of that energy MONEY? go GRIZZs
Jenni Carlson 11:35 a.m. It's too early to know. Those sponsorship deals are usually multi-year contracts, so I don't see a huge change right away. But down the road, we'll have to wait and see.
Graig 11:35 a.m. What's up sis? Its your brother. I know how I got my name.
Jenni Carlson 11:35 a.m. Hey, everyone, it is my brother! Yay! :)
Jenni Carlson 11:36 a.m. OK, I got time for three more questions ...
harry man 11:36 a.m. so yourboss is a ravens fan and you pick 49ers...I pick the Memphis GRIZZS..go fight win
Jenni Carlson 11:37 a.m. Of course Harry Man picks Memphis. You always pick against the Thunder. Don't you ever get tired of being wrong about that, oh, about 75 or 80 percent of the time?
Larry 11:37 a.m. Emmit Smith said he didn't think that Jerry Jones or J. Garrett were the problem in Dallas. Do you agree or disagree?
Jenni Carlson 11:37 a.m. So, who is the problem then? ...
Jenni Carlson 11:38 a.m. You have to start with Jerry Jones. He needs to turn over the decision-making to someone else, but I just don't think he's gonna do it. Until that changes, I'm not sure how much difference it makes to change coaches and all that.
Mike 11:38 a.m. What about Saunders returning punts? He was pretty good.
Jenni Carlson 11:39 a.m. Mike, I forgot about Saunders. (I've slept since footballs season.) Yep. I like him in that role, too.
Jerry 11:39 a.m. Why not add Tulsa to the mix for league expansion. Wake Forrest and Vanderbuilt are usually cupcakes and a league needs some of those.
Jenni Carlson 11:40 a.m. That's not how Big 12 leaders are looking at expansion. They want to add teams that make the league stronger, especially in football. That means good programs with big TV markets. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:40 a.m. The two teams at the top of the wish list: Florida State and Clemson. That tells you a lot about the kind of programs that the Big 12 wants to add. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:41 a.m. That means no cupcakes, but it means better long-term viability for the league, bigger TV contracts, etc. That's what conference leaders want, not easy Ws for their football teams.
Jenni Carlson 11:41 a.m. All right, folks, that's all the time I have today. Thanks for all the great questions. Be sure to join Berry Tramel for tomorrow's Power Lunch. He'll be here at 11 a.m. to answer all your questions!
by Jenni Carlson
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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