Sooner Tragic

In 2004, Oklahoma put together what many amongst their fanbase and the media believed to be was one of the finest college football teams ever assembled. They worked Texas in embarrassing fashion with a 12-0 showing in the RRR, much to our chagrin. They survived the occasional scare, but more or less waltzed to 12-0 before playing USC. USC then proceeded to play banjo on the collective sooner ass to the tune of 55-19 and what appeared to be a magical season immediately fell apart.

Along with that collapse came the departures of various important pieces in the overall sooner puzzle, most of the departures coming on the offensive side of the ball. Consider them:

3 OL – Wes Sims, Jamaal Brown, Vince Carter
1 QB – Heisman Winner Jason White
4 WR – Will Peoples, Mark Bradley, Mark Clayton, Brandon Jones
1 TB – Kejaun Jones
1 TE – James Moses

Defensively, they also lost a few guys, but the majority of the losses occurred on offense, and they were considerable.

Few people going into 2005 really, really believed that the Sooners would struggle to overcome these losses. "Hey, it’s Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, they reload, right?" Well, as it turned out, no, they don’t always reload. Some folks were skeptical before that 2005 season and they were justified in the aftermath. That Oklahoma team went on to an 8-4 record with a win in the Holiday Bowl over Oregon, but suffering losses to TCU, UCLA, Texas, and Texas Tech. For a national power/player, they were mediocre.

Outside of their Heisman Trophy-winning QB actually being dumb enough to return this year, along with their stud TE being that stupid as well (more on them later), the similarities between the 2005 and 2009 season were not difficult to see ahead of the game this past Saturday.

What is amazing is how willing people are to not learn lessons the first time they’re given the opportunity.

-Don’t fight land wars in Southeast Asia,

-Never trust a gypsy or a stripper.

-Never root for OU.

-If Bob Stoops or his staff members are talking, they are lying.

-If you are going to be a top 3 pick in the NFL draft, you don’t need to return for another year of college athletics.

I will leave the first 2 items as discussions for other times or never. The last 3 items stun me in their continued pervasiveness.

Never Root for OU

I posted on this last season before they played Tech, and there was this concept among the UT fanbase that they should root for OU because if OU won, Texas would then be lined up for the title. Um, no. You would have to be dumber than Sam Bradford’s cross-eyed, 1000-yard stare to ever do this not once, but twice. Only bad things happen when OU wins. That has never not been true.

Yet somehow, fast forwarding to less than a year later, here we are. OU has a loss to open the season and they’ve got a great shot at having another mediocre year. Bradford and Gresham are down with long term injuries, even if they’ll be back for Texas (it looks unlikely for either of them at this moment, otherwise the Sooner program would be giving much rosier takes on their injuries than they are now). And then, lo and behold, within 24 hours of the loss and the updated forecast on the possibilities of misery that their fanbase might be exposed to, we’ve got our own set of mouthbreathing troglodytes running around on the net and the call-in shows, COMPLAINING about the sooner loss.

"I think this taints the Red River Rivalry."

"I worry that this will harm our strength of schedule."

"We won’t get as much credit for the win as we should."

Those are rough quotes from threads I’ve seen on 3 boards since Saturday and then I heard a guy call in on a national show and whine similarly. We must have the most emotional, simpering, insecure fanbase in all of sports outside of Boston for this to be happening already.

Do us all a public service and beat these ignorant buffoons into a coma if you encounter anyone in your physical vicinity anytime soon that is complaining or whining about a) Sooner losses or b) wishing they’d be at full strength when we play them.

If OU never won another game, we’d be better for it. We’d find other enemies, and those other enemies would happily find us. We won’t be at full strength when we play them, them being hurt is just fine. It is football. It happens. Stop rubbing yourself in concern over it.


Bob Stoops is the Kryptonite of Truth

I consider it amusing every season when the media laps up what Stoops and his staff tells them about their team. It is hilarious to watch the Sooner boards revel in the staff’s platitudes as truths. I find it amazing when our fanbase also buys into it.

This offseason, they claimed this would be the best OL they’ve ever had, that Eldridge was the best OL in their history, and they expected to be competing for a national title again. They’ll probably be repeating these things after they pummel Idaho State this weekend.

If you bet on OU Saturday, you deserve to have your money taken. The OU fans deserve to feel betrayed and disturbed. The pundits within the media preaching their strength deserve to look like idiots.

Any recruit that has the choice of OU and UT and leaves the state to go to OU deserves to have an L hung on their forehead every damn time they come back across the border.

Now the guy is lying as sure as he is breathing in regard to the status of both Bradford and Gresham. They have no idea when Bradford will be back, or they know he won’t be back for some time. The only guy known to have ever returned from a grade 3 sprain is Joel Klatt, and the merits of that return and his injury diagnosis remain iffy. Now we’re hearing that Gresham could be done for the year, and then Stoops quickly denies it, even though surgery hasn’t even occurred. Outside of the ACL field test, which usually is pretty accurate in terms of diagnosing an ACL tear, there is no way to understand the depths of the guy’s knee damage until the surgery is finished.

It certainly behooves Stoops to lie, however. What truth does he have to build on? His OL is weak. His bowl record is weak. He did talk to these guys about coming back. Fooling fans, the voters, and his opponents works in his favor. Sun Tzu was right about deception, but only if one has a plan in place to take advantage of it. This time around, Stoops doesn’t. He has Tulsa, Miami, Baylor, and Texas coming up as 4 of the next 5 games. All of those are formidable opponents for the Sooner team at this point, especially without Gresham and Bradford. What good does it do Stoops, right now, to speak honestly about those injuries with these games coming up?


Projected NFL 1st Rounders Should Go Pro

When UT’s Roy Williams came back after his Junior year, and before that, when Ricky did the same, I was certainly excited as a fan. At the same time, I was nervous for those guys and their decision to return. When Vince Young decided to go pro, I was happy for him and understood.

What I can’t figure out is what in the world the Big 4 at OU were thinking. Specifically, Bradford’s decision to return could go down as one of the most idiotic decisions in CFB since Virginia decided to retain Al Groh for one more year.

Bradford knew with certainty the following:

1) His offense was losing 4 OLs and 3 of the top 5 receiving targets.
2) He was going to be a top 3 pick in the draft.

I’m sorry, but what else did he need to know? Please spare the considerations for enjoying school life and such. Right. My guess is that the guy has difficulty counting and failed to understand that the numbers in a draft don’t get any "higher" than 1. The decision making process then went sideways from there.

Gresham, McCoy and Williams cannot be regarded much better. Gresham had to know he was going to be the primary passing target. That may sound great, until one considers that his stock was already established within the NFL ranks and he was going to be subjecting himself to a number of hits this year. There is word out there right now that Gresham might be done for the year himself. Whatever is going on with him, the Sooner program is staying awfully closed mouth about it.

Someone failed to let Trent Williams know that he was not going to look nearly as good when he wasn’t playing with 4 other experienced OL starters. He looked overweight, slow, and stupid. Kevin Wilson can extol his virtues as a 4.7 40 yard warlock, but "that’s all". I suppose so.

Gerald McCoy comes out of the BYU game as the standalone returnee that is healthy and unblemished. He was a monster on the field and that surprised no one. The guy was going to be a top 10 pick in the last draft. Not much has changed. If I am Gerald McCoy, however, I am a little nervous about the remainder of the season. He’s one of the only OU DL’s that I can remember during the Stoops era that hasn’t had some sort of issue that impacted his ability to play. Dan Cody literally went insane. Dusty Dvoracek beat someone into a coma. Justin Chaisson didn’t even get to school before he was in trouble. Demarcus Granger got suspended for stealing HenryJames’ mink coat at the Fiesta Bowl. Tommie Harris battled injuries regularly. Auston English has been hurt plenty. The list goes on. I honestly can’t think of a guy besides McCoy that came out unscathed. Good luck with all that.

One has to wonder what it is that Stoops possesses within his sales skill set that enables him to do what he does with players and recruits. Even after disaster after disaster, such as Malcolm Kelly or Chad Roark, he continues to bring in top talent. They’re then set up to be bamboozled in a similar manner. Even after guys like Ryan Reynolds and Jason White are told to stay on the field, only to wind up injured worse, guys like Gresham and Bradford appear to be willing to sacrifice millions of dollars in an effort to come back prematurely from injury in a season that is likely already toast. Guys like Leinart make obvious, horrible mistakes financially in returning for another year, yet all of 4 of the aforementioned players decide to return to a decidedly weaker team this season. None of it makes any sense. It isn’t like a degree from OU has value, so it isn’t about the education. It also can’t be about the location – Norman is worse than a gulag. It makes me scratch my head.

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