In the category of "keep your friends close and your bitter rival pinned under you after going Jimmy Super-fly Snuka off the top rope", there's some interesting news about our friends from the North. Some good, some bad, depending on which side of the Red River your allegiances reside.
First, the big news of the week is Austin Box seems to have a suffered a potentially season ending back injury. An MRI taken last week indicates the injury might even be career threatening. Tough break for a young man who's been bitten by the injury bug more than his fair share.
That would be a big blow to Sooner line-backing unit that rated to be one of the two or three best in the nation going into the season. Box was slated to man the Mike line-backing position and now former Texas Prep star Tom Wort is penciled in as the starter. Wort, who hasn't been nearly as impressive in camp as Box, will be flanked by the explosive Ronnell Lewis and everyone's all-American Travis Lewis.
Moving on to the Sooner receiving corps, while managing to carefully sidestep hyperbolic Sooner coaching pabulum, the trusted word out of Sooner camp is that freshman phenom Kenny Stills has grabbed the wide receiver spot opposite Ryan Broyles by the haunches and has humped it into submission.
Stills is like a water-bug in and out of his cuts and a blazer as far as straight line speed goes. He's also shown good hands and a toughness usually reserved for upperclassmen that have bled for the program. His looming matchup with Curtis Brown should be fun.
Speaking of Sooner Coaching hyperbole, part of Barking Carnival's continuing education program is to take three hours of Stoops-speak in an effort to, as David Lee Roth termed it, "roll with the punches and get to what's real".
Let's start with some typical OU coach-speak on the pair of new starters at the cornerback position going into the season Demontre Hurst and Jamel Fleming.
From NewsOk.com on the Sooner newcomers at the corner position.
The duo replaces NFL prospects Bryan Jackson and Dom Franks but it sounds like the Oklahoma backfield shouldn't miss a beat. Not so fast. I has training!!!
"Demontre helped us last year if for no other reason than he was fearless," Venables said. "He wasn't overwhelmed. He still thought he was playing West Mesquite (High School). He doesn't get real high or get real low which can be a really good quality at corner.
"Jamell is extremely talented, very naturally gifted with his skills... He's probably as talented as anyone we have on the defensive side. With his ability to run, jump and change direction, he's a very explosive athlete. He played really well in the spring."
Look, I really like Hurst and he should be one of the better DB's to come out of Norman in the last decade, but the stuff about Fleming is high comedy. Like roll a fattie and laugh non-stop as you watch a "Little House On the Prarie" marathon. I'm sure Fleming is a terrific afolete and a great kid, but come on Brett. He's not as good an athlete as you've ever coached.
In reality if the Horns are going to make hay on offense, it's going to be by picking on the inexperience of Hurst and Flemming as well as the Sooner's nickel corner Gabe Lynn. Hyperbole aside, these guys will be players, but they'll have their growing pains.
Speaking of growing pains, Justin Chaisson has left the Sooner program it seems. Insert garden variety Shop-class/construction worker jab here. This wasn't a really surprising turn of events if you were paying attention. Kid had a screw_ _ _ _ _. Sorry, couldn't resist.
As for the rest of the team, check out the best in the business - NateHuepel - over at Boomer Sooner. Tell him I sent you and that you cut your Scotch with water. Then tell him you really like Ryan Broyles returning kicks for the Sooners. Then quickly duck.