Since I’ve watched him struggle to tackle people and play pass defense in his first game against Utah State a couple of years ago, I’ve never been a big fan of OU linebacker (and U.K. native) Tom Wort. The guy has always seemed to be more hype than substance. If I had a dollar for every time Wort misses a tackle in a game, blows a zone coverage or Al Eschbach says on the radio “I’m told he looks great in practice,” I’d be a rich man.
For some reason, though, the OU coaching staff continues to play the guy. I’m not sure why they do this, especially after the way Franklin Shannon played over the weekend, but here are some theories:
• They have struggled to recruit quality middle linebackers.
• Bob Stoops thinks it cute when Wort says things like lorry, parcel and queue.
• When they wake up each morning, the OU coaching staff watches this profile of Tom Wort on the BBC:
OSU lost this past weekend. OU was off, but probably would have lost. Here’s the Week Five Power Poll:
10) Fumble? Touchdown?
Probably was a fumble. But the hell with it. Screw OSU and Texas. I hope you both catch the ass cancer.
9) J.W. Walsh is Gud
So I guess Wes Lunt isn’t that vital to the offense after all. “Backup” J.W. Walsh threw for 301 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and chipped in 57 yards of rushing against the best defense the Cowboys are likely to face this year. He had one bad interception, and yes, the running game helped relieve the pressure, but this is a highly recruited dual-threat quarterback who jumped into the starting role without a hiccup. Gee, I sure wish a certain program in Norman could have such a transition.
This Saturday, OU will finally play a real football team when Kansas State visits Gaylord Family are Assholes Memorial Stadium. Kansas State is apparently a good football team. They have a great coach, a good quarterback and have beaten three bad football teams. This has earned them a 15-ranking in the AP poll, which is determined by the same panel of drunken sportswriters who think that OU is the 6th best team in the country.
Anyway, this Top 20 match-up has regurgitated the same old boring, stale and tired discussion that OU fans sucks, don’t cheer at games and are pompous entitled assholes (only two are true). Bob Stoops served as the catalyst for the discussion when he hinted that the fans need to be loud for the K-state game during his weekly press conference.
Cue Berry Tramel column in 3…2…1:
Big game Saturday at Owen Field, and you don’t have to check the rankings or gauge ESPN mentions or take R.J. Washington’s blood pressure.
Just listen to Bob Stoops nudge OU fans to get rowdy.
Stoops hasn’t called out the Sooner crowd — he’s still smarting from four years ago — but Monday he dropped a subtle hint that it’s all hands on deck when Kansas State comes to town.
“I’m sure we’ll have a great crowd,” Stoops said. “Everybody’s anticipating the opening of the Big 12 season, so hopefully our crowd will engage and be a factor.”
Stoops doesn’t trot that out for Florida A&M or Iowa State. He saves it for games like second-ranked Texas Tech in 2008 and K-State this weekend.
Stoops this week wanted no part of a repeat exhortation. “People got pretty sore at me,” he said of his 2008 declaration. “I can’t say that I heard anything. Just seemed that way.”
Sore? Don’t you love it when Stoops talks like Beaver Cleaver. Besides, why not call out the fans again? No one in human history ever got so much mileage out of a request.
“I don’t need to comment on that,” Stoops said. “You guys are at every game. You can see whether they’re raucous or not. So you call it as you see it. You can refer to 2008 if you want.”
OK. Consider it done.
So do the OU fans get a bad rap? I’d say so. I don’t think the Sooners have the most electric atmosphere in college football, but I also don’t think it’s stale.
I’ve been to games at Tennessee and Oregon, Alabama and Nebraska, Texas A&M and Georgia, Notre Dame and Texas. Owen Field ranks somewhere in the middle of that pack. Tennessee’s probably the best I’ve experienced, and I wasn’t even there for a big game (OSU 1995, the Cowboys stunk).
The OU crowd gets juiced for big games, and who cares about little games?
First of all, let me say that I agree with Berry Trammel. OU fans do get a bad rap. Outside of the SEC, the 80,000+ fans huddled around Owen Field have the same game day energy of any other fan base. The get loud and cheer at the games that require it (Nebraska 2000, Alabama 2002, Missouri 2007, Texas Tech 2008, most Bedlam games) and set on their seat and leave early for the games that deserve it (just about any other game played in Norman since 1999). Also, they have the disadvantage of playing their biggest rival each year in Dallas.
Anyway, this whole debate about the OU fan base comes up every time the Sooners play a Top 20 team at home. It got me thinking about some of the other overused, redundant and tired storylines about OU football. You know, the ones that come up every couple of years, dominate newspaper columns, sports talk shows and message boards for a few weeks, and then fade away into oblivion until some team, press conference comment or Boomer Trammel column bring them up again.
Here’s my Top 10:
10. Players on Twitter
This is relatively new phenomenon, but the Oklahoman sports department loves to explore the topic about once per quarter. In fact, I think it’s a requirement that each new OU beat writer — they seem to hire a new one once every six months — has to write about some OU football player posting something stupid on Twitter.
9. Line Woes
Did you hear that another lineman got injured? Were you aware that some guy got homesick and moved back to Illinois? If not, then you don’t follow the OU football program. Each spring and fall, you’re pretty much guaranteed that one offense lineman will hurt his knee or back, and that another one will transfer to some other school. I don’t know if it’s like that for other programs, but for OU it seems to be a time-honored tradition.
Each week, Gravy Train breaks down the previous weekend’s OU and OSU football games with a weekly power poll. He also posts pictures of coeds. Here we go.
10) Landry is maddeningly inconsistent
Saturday night, Jones went 19 for 27 for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns. Good game on paper. Of course, he also threw two horrible, horrible passes. One was picked off, the other should have been a pick six. Against a defense no one is confusing with the 1985 Bears. And then he throws a couple of gems, most notably his touchdown pass to Stills. How he is this inconsistent as a senior baffles me. I fully expect a repeat performance regardless of Oklahoma’s opponent. A least part of the problem is his insistence on locking on to the slot receiver. His interception was thrown into double coverage, and Stills had no prayer of catching the ball. He’s not a bad quarterback, or the reason OU won’t win the national title. But he won’t last at the next level with that type of inconsistency.
9) Maybe Landry Jones is homophobic
The over/under on the number of plays OU runs from under center for the year must be single digits. How can Heupel not put Landry’s ass under center for at least one play? You have two legitimate fullbacks. Two legitimate north and south running backs. Yet he insists on running this horseshit Nevada/Texas Tech offense tailor-made for Roy Finch. Such an offense has won nothing of significance. This program will do the same until the offensive philosophy is changed from the candy ass pistol spread to something less gimmicky.
Does this sound familiar? It should, and I will continue to belabor the point until something changes.
In what can only be construed as an effort to become popular and relevant like us, the Oklahoma Gazette took a break from whatever it is they usually cover and published a front cover feature on Regular Jim Traber. Next week, they are going to profile Ashlynn Brooke, rank the 21 hottest women in the news media, and announce the start of their first ever State Fair Photo Contest.
The article, which was written by former Oklahoman Sportswriter Andrew, is pretty awesome if you’re related to Jim Traber. If you’re like the rest of us, it’s a little one-sided. It’s almost too kind, too nice, and fails to point out how irritable, hypocritical and washed up the king of loudmouths has become over the past 10 years or so.
In fact, the only person Gilman quoted in the article who has never worked (or had sex) with Jim Traber is me, and somehow, Gilman was able to even twist my words into a quazi-compliment:
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