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College Football Musings from the Train: Week 5

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10) Oklahoma State and the worst people on the planet not from Louisiana

On a beautiful Thursday night, Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 45-35 in a game that featured five turnovers and 26 penalties. And left me wondering if either of these teams are any good. I mean, I guess OSU is sorta good. The Cowboys, who struggled much of the game running the ball against a porous Red Raider run defense, lit up an overmatched Tech secondary to the tune of 370 yards on only 17 completions, or like 87 yards per completion. Though the Poke faithful can’t be thrilled the Cowboys averaged under 4 yards a carry, it was obvious Tech stacked the box, daring the Pokes to throw over the top. Which they did. All damn night.

College Football Musings from the Train: Week Two

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10) Oklahoma hammers out manned Tulsa

You remember that time when the University of Tulsa hired Todd Graham and Steve Kragthrope as head coaches, and then won 10 games, and went to bowl games, and competed for conference championships, and made the alumni base proud on a weekly basis?

Because the current state of this program is exactly the opposite of the aforementioned program.

Oklahoma dominated Tulsa on a rainy Saturday afternoon, slipping and sliding their way to a 52-7 victory. The game was effectively over at half as the Sooners, buoyed by a 395 to 95 advantage in total yards, Oklahoma raced to an immediate 21-0 first quarter lead and a 31-0 advantage by the end of the first half. Though I felt the Sooners threw the ball entirely too often in the first half considering the talent at running back and opponent, it was obvious Oklahoma continues to work on a vertical passing game that was all but non-existent until the Alabama game in 2013. OU could have run the ball 80% of the time and won this game going away – the physical mismatch between Oklahoma’s offensive line and Tulsa’s defensive line was comical.

Josh Heupel did a nice job of mixing the inside runs with outside runs, and horizontal passes with vertical passes, especially in that first half when it mattered. Trevor Knight looked better as a passer from week one to week two. The running backs continue to be an asset, breaking off both tough and long runs, especially Alex Ross’s brilliant 82 yard touchdown.

As for the defense, Tulsa was held completely in check the first two quarters. quarterback pressures, no running lanes, good outside coverage. Unfortunately, the second team and assorted backups surrendered 230 total yards and provided little to no pressure on Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans from the front four.

But the bottom line – when it has mattered the last two weeks, Oklahoma’s offense and defense have been sharp and dominant. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of last year.

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9) Tulsa’s cute little game day experience

My wife and I met while she was attending the University of Tulsa. We both have degrees from TU. We have many college friends who live in Tulsa. As such, we were invited to and attended a tailgate just west of the stadium.

To reiterate, I went to Tulsa for 3 years. I went multiple football games, including the 2002 OU Tulsa game. So why I didn’t remember how damned small that stadium feels escapes me. 29,000 people attended the game Saturday, including yours truly. It felt like a high school game both inside and outside the stadium. Yes, Tulsa has crafted a nice little tailgate row on the north side and an alumni area in the field west of H.A. Chapman Stadium / Skelly Field. But even with OU in town, its sparse. Hundreds of thousands of people descend upon Norman for big games. It’s a little city. TU is little.

And walking into the stadium (which needs a serious overhaul of its concessions, pissers, and walk ways – ex. put in some closed circuit televisions under the stands, this isn’t 1956) is a throw back to the wing T. It’s quiet. It’s wide open. The press box and suites are very nice, but everything else smacks of Jenks/Union.

p.s. - I was anywhere from 4 to 10 drinks in when I wrote these notes about the stadium and game day atmosphere, so it’s probably a pretty nice venue with frolicking and fun had by all #2drunk2care.

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TLO’s take on the Joe Mixon Tape…

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(Editor’s Note: We sent 4-time Jeopardy champion, local stand-up comic, and Norman TLO Trivia Night host Wampus Reynolds to the Norman Police Department on Thursday morning to review the Joe Mixon assault tape with the “media.” Here is his report.) 

When I heard the Norman PD was releasing the Joe Mixon assault tape, I like every other rubbernecking and curious OU fan wanted to see the video. Mixon couldn’t have just decked an innocent girl for no reason, right? He’s a Sooner. The players have a, sigh, great reputation. There had to be a Zapruder film showing a second puncher-in-the-facer in the booth behind the action, or perhaps the victim Molitor had a fake plastic thumb full of chicken guts that she dumps on her face like a charlatan bare handed surgeon.

But this “screening” (seriously, Norman Police Department, you call this a “screening?” Screening is a free 5 o’clock showtime at Tinseltown of the new Paul Rudd comedy. Call it VIEWING.) was for the media only. What the what? Why can Tuff Nixter, sportswriter and classified ad salesman for the Wayne Payne Times see footage that has captured the 405′s collective imagination and Joe Landman can’t? It really makes no sense. It’s like sports folk were now courtroom sketch artists, but instead of drawing in colored pencils a dead-eyed defendant’s profile, they had to describe the action.

Outraged Seinfeld voice: “And have you actually read these people?” Not exactly the erudite Roger Aingell prosody around these parts. I’ve actually heard one sports radio personality say this sentence on air: “He ain’t got no, uhhh…fast.” You want this guy to relate what happens to you? By the end, you’ll think some person turned into an actual pickle and fell on a table and Regular Jim Traber ate it.

I tweeted TLO (for whom I co-host Trivia Night at Local in Norman every Wednesday at 7) that I’d write a real good piece if they got me in with press. And thanks to two emails and a responsive officer, I was on the list. I did get the distinct pleasure of seeing Patrick saying that I should show my “press credentials” and regarding those words as if they were in Sanskrit. I was hoping he’d pull out a dusty fedora with a card saying PRESS tucked in the headband. He wrote back “We ain’t got no, uhhh….authorize” instead.

I showed up at the Norman Investigations Center and went in a small group. We walked down a hall (I noticed golf clubs in one office along the way; OJ investigation style!) and entered a big chilly room. Many of the great Oklahoma sports personalities were there. Berry “A six months younger Matlock” Tramel! Andrew “I know from childhood when he had Harpo hair” Gilman! Myron “Myron” Patton”! Others!

The police chief came in, identified himself and moved to the side. Then a captain said he had no comments and they’d start the video. They did.

College Football Musings from the Train: Opening Weekend

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(Editor’s Note: He’s back.)

I told the owner of this site, who shall remain nameless but his name rhymes with Bat Prick, that I would pen a wonderfully researched and intelligent pre-season post that would make Phil Steele blush. Then I got sick. Because I have two kids under the age of four who should be issued plastic bubbles and the Ebola vaccine by the CDC. So my bad, I guess. Now I can say I accurately predicted everything that happens this year in college football.

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10) Oklahoma State more than holds it own

So close …

Oklahoma State played remarkably well this past Saturday, staying with the vaunted defending national champions until the final few minutes, succumbing 37-31 to the Seminoles in JerryWorld. Not only did OSU not look outclassed. Not only did OSU look presentable. The Pokes looked like the better team for much, it not most, of Saturday night against a prohibitive final four squad that many considered unbeatable in 2014. Were it not for a dearth of Oklahoma State special team gaffs and JW Walsh self-creating two awful turnovers, it isn’t a stretch to assume the Cowboys win going away.

OU pulled an OSU to sell additional Texas tickets…

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I’m an OU fan.

I was born an OU fan, grew up an OU fan, and in my adulthood, became what OSU grads like to call “the OU fan that never went to school there OU fan.” I complain during the bad times, complain during the good times, and still have nightmares about Landry Jones.

Knowing all that, it really hurts to write words like this: OU just pulled an OSU.

Yesterday, the university sent an email to season ticket holders about additional OU – Texas tickets going up for sale, but… to get those tickets there was a catch.

Check it out: