(Editor’s Note: Due to popular demand, Gravy Train is returning this year for his smug little college football power poll. Read at your own risk.)
Like the herpes you scored one Thursday night in 2011, I return. A few liver enzymes less. A few pounds more. Another child added.
Unlike these hipsters who spend the majority of their time drinking PBR at Henry Hudson’s (Editor’s Note: Hipster’s at Hudsons? Really???) and composing witty commentary on this locally famous, moderately relevant blog, I have been busy at my palatial midtown estate raising two children within 30 months of each other and running a successful law firm. So apologies for the absence, but eff you and my social life/sleeping patterns.
Alas, Patrick allows me to return for yet another football season sure to be filled with idiotic musings and soul crushing disappointments. Or, as my wife calls it, date night.
10) OU Quarterback
“I totally saw this coming. I knew Trevor Knight was going to be the guy replacing Landry Jones all along!” Said no one ever.
I watched Blake Bell play markedly better than Trevor Knight last spring. I saw in Knight a lack of confidence. I saw a quarterback with less physical skills both through the air and on the ground than BOTH Blake Bell and Kendal Thompson. He didn’t look like a Division I quarterback.
Now, here we are a couple of months later and the prohibitive favorite to win the quarterback position is relegated … again … to short yardage and goal line duties, assuming Knight can’t get that done on his own. The insiders will tell you Knight grasped the offense quicker than Bell, which is as much a knock on Bell as praise on Knight. TK looked better through the air. He runs the zone read with greater explosion. And perhaps the public would have an opinion if Coach didn’t pattern the program’s security after the Bourne trilogy (yes, there are only three of them).
This competition might be over for the coaching staff, but after a drive or two against Louisiana Monroe, classic OU daywalker will re-institute his favorite pastime – bitching about something and calling for a backup.
9) OSU Expectations
Oklahoma State is the preseason favorite to win the Big XII conference for the first time since the inception of this shit ass conference. The Cowboys return several key starters, especially on the front 7. They play a ridiculously easy schedule. The Pokes get Kansas State, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma at home. Any more than 2 losses would be a colossal disappointment.
That being said, this what Poke fan dreads. Sure, things have been better the past half decade or so. Amid the annual disappointments (e.g. Bedlam 2012 and Iowa State 2011) one finds the greatest run of success any coach in Stillwater has ever enjoyed. Truly, this is OSU’s chance to run the table. There isn’t a probable loss on the schedule. Texas in Austin? This isn’t 2009. Mississippi State in Houston? It’s a home game for the Pokes.
OSU is the hunted in the conference this year. Gundy is an excellent coach. How this team responds to being the lead dog in the conference will show whether he is an elite head coach, or a pretty good one. Oh, and success will likely result in bigger and better offers from more prestigious programs across the country. Offers he will take next offseason.
8) Mike Stoops, Year #2
Yeah, the defense, when looking at the whole of the year, really wasn’t that brutal. However, when you end the season with that train wreck better known as West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and (fuck me) Texas A&M, that’s all us fans and the media care about. Statistics aside, most pundits and fans point to what appeared to be panic from a seasoned and respected defensive mind. Where were the linebackers? Where was the pressure? Why was Gabe Lynn playing?
I said last year that the Mike Stoops hire smacked of desperation on the part of Bob. Mike has this year and part of next to get the players he needs to create a scheme that involves actual tackling and creating turnovers, and not making heroes of Tavon Austin and Johnny Football.
7) OSU OC, Year #1
Mike Yurcich (pronounced … ummm … yeah, who the hell knows) was chosen by Mike Gundy to call whatever plays he wants next year … errr … OSU’s new offensive coordinator, leaving his prestigious position as OC at Shippensburg (Somewhere out East) University where his teams scored a lot of points and racked up a lot of yards against teams that couldn’t win Frat league intramural flag football at most major universities.
We all know OSU is going to score points. But this was the reach of reaches by Gundy. You might argue that Yurcich has a major college pedigree being that he was a three-year starting quarterback at Cal. Until I remind you “Cal” means California University in Pennsylvania. What the … huh? In any event, to go from Division II nothing to heading an offense that has a chance to win the Big XII and play in the BCS is a stunning advancement.
6) No Mo’ Kuzy
So if you follow the Oklahoman and college football, you know that Stephanie Kuzydym was hired to help cover the OU football beat. Directly out of the University of Indiana, Kuzy was basically assigned one of the top 10 college football beats in the country. Now she has been moved to the high school sports beat, which after reading her articles, is probably more her style.
Based on who’s manning the OU blog, it looks like the OU Beat reporters for this season are Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber. I don’t think we have to worry about either of them going to work for ESPN any time soon.
There is no greater douchebag in the world than Johnny MF’ing Football. As of August 25th, this idiot is still eligible to play college football for Big XII also ran, SEC powerhouse Texas A&M. There can’t be, however, a dozen people outside of College Station who believe Manziel will last the entire year, either by way of the NCAA or “SEC SPEED, Y’ALL!”
Call it what you want – jealously, bitterness, whatever. Yes, I witnessed that fuckhead torch my beloved Sooners by four scores in Dallas last January. And yes, I hate what he did to us that night. And yes, by witnessed, I mean I was there in body until the start of the 4th quarter when a small group of us Sooner alums were removed for responding to the SEC chants with a bit of visual aide.
4) New Offense for OU?
I swear on all that is holy if Trevor Knight comes out and throws 50 passes in one game prior to the end of September, that fat shit from South Dakota better drag his man boobs out of Norman because someone is going to beat him to death.
The pass first, second, and third spread offense is never going to win a national championship in this day and age. It’s like the wishbone in 1988 … someone tell Heupel it isn’t 1999 and he’s not getting knocked down, only to get up again while pissing the night away. You need to run the ball with authority, and then run the ball when you can’t run it because losing the time of possession battle by 20 minutes is going to get your ass beat.
I fully expect that at some point this year, probably sooner than later, Heupel is going to order 15 straight bubble screens/5 yard hooks against a good defense. And Mike is going to tear off his arms for screwing his defense straight in the ass, what with those 14 second drives.
3) Tailgating – the 5th season
With college football season comes tailgating in Norman. This year, we add one of those cool pyramid-shaped dishes to avoid the inevitable 3 hour phone call with Directv when the dish is 2 mm from the proper degree to pick up stations other than PBS.
So with that little purchase, coupled with the full bar, two large LCDs, 20′ x 20′ tent, smokeasaurus (our smoker on a trailer), the pisser, and a buffet … ummm, I don’t really know where I was going with this. I guess I was just pointing out I am better than the lot of you.
2) Can OSU play D?
We will find out this year. OSU has the best set of defensive tackles in the league – perhaps in the country outside of the SEC. They return 2 starting linebackers, and 3 starters in the secondary. But more importantly, the days of Bill Young’s Bend Don’t Break, But Then Break defense is gone. In comes Glenn Spencer … which must chap the ass of OSU fan. In an effort to vastly improve a defense that frankly has failed the POkes when it matters most, OSU hires a Young disciple instead of going outside the program as it had many times in the past (see, new offensive coordinator).
The fact is if OSU doesn’t play good defense this year, they won’t under Coach Spencer. His leash should be very short.
How can the Cowboys lose more than a couple of games this year? The Pokes most difficult opponents are at home. They play at UTSA, West Virginia (who could be the worst team in the conference outside of Kansas), Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Texas. They play an average SEC team in Houston. OSU should win the conference going away.
I mean really who in the hell knows. The defense on paper looks no better than last year. Not a single tackle has taken a snap. The linebackers are terrible. The secondary is unproven. This could and frankly should be a worse defense than last year. The only hope for Sooner fan is the offense pounds the ball with an excellent offensive line and a stable of running backs. Oklahoma has a difficult schedule, including at Notre Dame and closing at Kansas State and Oklahoma State. This team could be better than 2012 and still finish with more losses.
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