Gravy Train’s OU / OSU Football Power Poll: Week One

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First weekend of the college football season. Which of course meant getting hammered at 9 am in Norman while smoking some brisket, ribs, and chicken awaiting certain disappointment in a few months

Oh, that was last year. And the several years before life kicked me in the crotchel region. I was in Kansas City. With my in-laws. And my 2 kids under the age of 3. Playing golf on Saturday. And having a family gathering that evening.

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10) Mike Stoops channels his inner 2001

What’s next? Mike meets his new bride at Twin Peaks?

The Oklahoma defense played like Mike’s defenses of old Saturday night, shutting out the ULM Warhawks, which is quite an accomplishment considering the bullshit we had to endure last year, including allowing a guy to rush for 177 yards in the opener (he managed a grand total of 720 the rest of the season). ULM isn’t Tech from 2008, but they aren’t Army either. The Warhawks are the best offense in the Sun Belt, and shutting them out is an accomplishment.

A few notable stats:

a) OU allowed 9 first downs

b) ULM went 2-16 on third down

c) ULM averaged 1.7 yards a rush

d) OU won the time of possession battle by 5 minutes

Amazing what happens when your offense establishes a running game, even when you aren’t moving the ball well. The defense never looked gassed. They were aggressive and well-prepared. A great game from the defensive coaches.

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9) Oklahoma State *might* have a defense

So I suppose that bend don’t break defense does work some of the time. Oklahoma State allowed Mississippi State to move the ball relatively well at times Saturday afternoon, only to force a couple of turnovers or step up the pressure, preventing the Spartans…errr…Bulldogs from putting more than a field on the scoreboard. SEC SEC … wait. Maybe it should be ALABAMA ALABAMA ALABAMA. Because the rest of the conference isn’t special, exhibit B being perennial underachiever Clemson defeating the great Georgia Saturday night.

But there are some concerns for OSU on the defensive side of the ball. For example, OSU relied on two MSU turnovers and 11 penalties. Most concerning was the time of possession battle – OSU lost by 8 minutes.

If this Oklahoma State defense is legit, and we won’t know until October, that final statistic has to reverse. The Cowboys will not win games in the Big XII losing the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes.

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8) So about Clint Chelf …

Yeah, that didn’t last long.

Apparently Mike Gundy studied the legendary John Blake by completely abandoning Clint Chelf as starting quarterback less than a quarter into the 2013 football season. After “winning” the quarterback battle this spring and fall, Gundy waited all of two drives to pull his senior quarterback and insert the more spectacular J.W. Walsh, who ran and passed for more than 100 yards against “SEC SPEED, Y’ALL!”

Was it the right move? Looks good today. Did he handle it properly? Eh, probably not. But this isn’t intramurals brother. You don’t get a raise for being nice to your back up quarterback.

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7)  Trevor Knight is probably who we thought he was

Four straight punts, three of which were the result of three and outs. Two for his first eight attempts, most of which weren’t close. 48 total yards to end the first quarter.

Then Trevor Knight woke up.

Oklahoma would score on 6 of the next 7 drives, led primarily by Knight’s legs, as he rushed for 103 yards on 13 carries and passed for 3 touchdowns.

He was shaky to start the game. Which is probably being nice. But I thank God I wasn’t at the game to hear the Blake Bell chants. After watching Knight right himself, and watching Bell in the fourth quarter, it is obvious the coaches made the right decision in starting Knight, especially in light of …

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6) WTF is this offense?

Because whatever it is, I love it. 305 yards rushing. 50 to 33 rush attempts versus pass attempts. 6.1 yards per carry. Imposing your will. My God, OU couldn’t do this to any program not named Texas the past few years.

Local pundits (e.g. Real Jim Traber) will clamor about OU changing offensive identities while “BREAKING RECORDS BIG MAN!!” with pass first, second, and third, and probably fourth through twentieth. But it is disingenuous and ignorant to believe that type of spread offense works these days. By works, I don’t mean winning a Big XII title every couple of years, only to be boat raced by an average non-automatic qualifier or some team from Florida. I mean winning a national championship. You have to run the ball effectively to have a good team on both sides of the ball. As an OU fan and alum, I love where this offense is going.

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5) Tulsa gacks

Speaking of being an alum, who saw that coming?

*crickets*

The Golden Hurricane were obliterated by an average MAAC team this weekend in a game where the final score of 34-7 barely touches how lopsided this game truly was. Tulsa achieved half as many first downs as the Falcons. They managed 273 total yards, a paltry 51 of which was on the ground, including a long of seven yards. All of which led to losing the time of possession battle by an astounding 17 and half minutes.

This was a Tulsa squad expected to compete for the C-USA title and a possible unbeaten season, save for the game in Norman. Now, one has to wonder whether they can rebound this weekend with two Big XII games on the horizon.

4) Division I-AA FCS v. Division I FBS

Eight … yes, eight … FCS teams beat FBS teams this weekend. Notable among that group was Kansas State losing at home to North Dakota State, and Top 25 entrant Oregon State losing to Eastern Washington. And to think, some of the morons we are subjected to on a daily basis believe a super division of college football is imminent.

Why? Because those mean directional schools from Canada are beating up on the $50 million budget big boys?

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3) JFF

Look, I am not one to wish for injury to any student athlete. Those guys aren’t paid. They make millions for their respective universities. They are full time students while practicing and working out every day. They deserve our respect.

But this mutha fucka …

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JFF 2

 

Rice. You beat Rice.

And your mediocre team was outgained. By Rice.

306 yards rushing. By Rice.

Think about that when Alabama is Shawshanking you and your boys in a couple of weeks. Karma is a nasty bitch.

2) The NFL starts

Go Chefs

1) Predictions

West Virginia at Oklahoma

The Mountaineers were nearly the ninth FBS team to lose to an FCS team this weekend, having been taken to the brink by William & Mary (the school, not the hippie Replacements cover band). I mentioned last week West Virginia could be the 2nd worst team in the Big XII. I stand by that statement until proven otherwise.

Oklahoma: 38
West Virginia: 14

Oklahoma State at UTSA

This is more to Mike Gundy’s liking. A stadium with 10,000 paying customers. No excitement surrounding the matchup. The ability to give two shits about the game plan and go yell at roofers. Perfect game for the nutless wonder.

OSU: 65
UTSA: 3