Very rarely in the State of Oklahoma does a game in Stillwater mean more than a game in Norman if we’re talking about the Big 12 Championship. But that’s definitely the case true this week. It is also the biggest home conference football game in the history of OSU. I am fired up to go to Stillwater Saturday night and watch the Cowboys vs. Longhorns! The atmosphere in the new stadium will be unbelievable. And what better place to spend Halloween night than a stadium filled with black and orange.
OSU has had a horrible time with Texas; at least figuring out a way to play an entire football game. I always say that if OSU wants to get to the next level these are the kind of games they have to win – A small under dog at home. Unfortunately, there is no Kendall Hunter and there is no Dez Bryant. Although, I’ve heard that Hunter may play. But the pathetic NCAA has said nothing about Bryant and probably won’t. I got a great text message from a friend of mine yesterday that said “Who is worse – The NCAA or the Obama Administration?” I don’t know if I can answer that one; they’re both disturbing.
Back to the game, Texas is better than people around here give them credit for. They may not be as good as they have been in the past, but clearly they are the best team in the Big 12. If you go back to some of my earlier blogs you will see that I was concerned that something was wrong with Zac Robinson earlier in the season. Mike Gundy all but agreed when he said in a press conference that Zac had lost weight and was moving much better. He got bigger this off season to avoid injury, but it also made him slower and more sluggish. However, he has played some big time football the last three games and he will need to be even better this coming Saturday. The no–name receivers are catching the ball and making plays. It has been remarkable what Gundy and his coaching staff and the players have done under adverse conditions.
Let’s talk about the defense: There is no doubt that they are better both physically and mentally. It’s been a long time since an OSU defense will hit you in the mouth. Bill Young has brought a great attitude to this defense. Although I think Baylor stinks – especially without Robert Griffin – and Missouri is not as good as last year, this defense still went almost six straight quarters without giving up a point. In 2009 that’s impressive I don’t care who you’re playing.
Last year OSU went down to Austin and played the Longhorns off their feet. Two years ago, they led into the fourth quarter, but then let Colt McCoy run wild. I don’t have to remind you of the history; sorry, but I have to give the edge to Texas. If Hunter and Bryant were playing I would pick OSU, I just don’t think they have enough weapons without them. I will tell you this though, if OSU wins this game it will be the biggest win in a long time for the Cowboy program.
Now to Norman: We certainly didn’t think that OU or Kansas State would be where they are right now. But don’t let their records fool you. This is a mis-match of epic proportion. I give it up to Bill Snyder for pulling this team together (I still think he’s the greatest coach to ever coach in NCAA football) but the North is horrible! Kevin Wilson and Brent Venables have really picked up their game planning in recent weeks. Wilson has all but admitted that they can’t run the ball – a far cry from the beginning of the season. It’s great to see a football coach admit that what he originally thought was wrong. Now they’re clicking under Landry Jones. This will be a spanking and I doubt Kansas State will get double digit points.
Last week I gave my opinion as to what Sam Bradford needed to do; apparently someone else agreed with me and was giving him some really good advice. Hope his surgery goes well. I will miss watching him play. I believe he’s the greatest quarterback ever to play at OU!
By the way, this is by far the worst year I’ve ever seen of Big 12 football since its inception. Eight teams are bad, the entire North plus Texas A&M and Baylor… Oh yeah, A&M just crushed the fourth best team Texas Tech. I do want to give major props to Iowa State and Coach Rhoades; he has more wins already than Chizek had in two years.
NFL: I told you last week the Steelers would beat Minnesota, but I must say I was impressed with the Vikings. Not because of Favre or Peterson… but because their defense is really good. Final score of that game should have been 13 – 10 Steelers; wouldn’t mind a Super Bowl re-match.
I thought that the Giants were the best team in the NFC – they’re not. Right now it is definitely the Saints; that was a great comeback against the dolphins. Hey Dallas Fans, Cowboys had an impressive win against the Falcons; especially after getting punched in the mouth to start the game. I told you they would be better off without Terrell Owens.
World Series: I was right on the money with my Yankees – Phillies pick. I like the Yankees in six games. Isn’t it nice to see the two best teams in the World Series? I know people love Cinderella stories, but this is what it’s all about.
NBA: Season starts tonight with Lebron and Shaq against the Celtics. For those of you who don’t know I’m a HUGE Lebron fan. So my NBA comments will be biased. I give it up to players and teams when necessary – like Kobe – but I will cheer Lebron on. Who will be a better addition – Shaq or Artest? Artest says that all he wants is a ring and he’s changed… we’ll see. I’m hoping he’ll cause trouble and mess up the Lakers, but I doubt that will actually happen.
In my opinion there are only four teams that can win the championship, Lakers and Spurs in the West and Cavs and Celtics in the East. Some of you will say “what about Orlando?” I think they will miss Turkeglu. The Spurs have to stay healthy (Ginobili) and the Jefferson pick up could get them over the top, but Findley and Duncan are getting old. So, I just don’t think they will have enough. In the East my head says the Celtics, but my heart says the Cavs. Guess what? For once in my life I’m going with my heart. I’ve got Lakers – Cavs in the finals … what a match up Kobe and Lebron. Who do you think I’m going to pick? Lebron in a classic! I sure hope I’m right.
As for the Thunder, they will be better; maybe 30 – 32 wins. And we’ll see if Harden was the right pick. I just want to see improvement and which guys will fit in for the 2010- 2011 season. That’s when they need to make a run at the play offs. So, will Ibaka or White or Mullins be a part of that team? Find that out this year. Is Westbrook a point guard? We’ll know that in nine months. Then spend some money in the off season with the great free agent pool and maybe play off basketball will come to Oklahoma City.
Last, but certainly not least, my locks of the week are still perfect! Mississippi State and the Steelers were both winners. To show you just how lucky I am right now, both teams returned two turnovers for touchdowns. Don’t touch me – you might burn yourself!