Top Ten lists are hit and miss. Dave Letterman perfected the shtick. His writers utilize a mix of Dave and celebs to carry out the whimsical list.
A friend of mine dabbled in stand-up comedy years ago. He honed his skills during open mic night. His first two or three trips on stage brought the house down.
The combination of New York accent and Jerry Seinfeldian observations was a treat to Okies. One faithful night he decided a Top Ten list was the way to go. His set crashed and burned.
Friends weren't sure how to react to him afterward. It was awkward. The confident brash Bronx guy couldn't wait to exit stage left or right.
Did he ever return to save face? Nope. A once promising side gig lost because of a crappy, ill-conceived Top Ten list.
Why am I bringing this up? Because this is Red River Rivalry, or Shootout week. I thought about giving the Top Ten reasons to watch. Instead, I'll provide five reasons to watch and five reasons to turn the dial.
Let's accentuate the positives and start with the five reasons to watch.
First of all, OU versus Texas is the game both teams' fans circle on the calendar. It's the game that dictates the nation's perception of the Big 12.
This year both squads are ranked in the top five. If you can't get fired up for this tilt, you are reading the wrong column.
Second, OU ranks fifth in total offense while Texas ranks 12th. I touted the TU/Rice game last week as the fireworks game of the year.
Don't be surprised to see OU and Texas rewrite the record book.
The teams combined for a robust 77 points in 2003. Of course, 65 of those points were Sooner driven. Who is to say these squads can't rack up 80 points this year?
Third, the Sooners need a viable test. Coach Stoops drives this squad like I drive my Jeep down 169 -- on cruise control.
One day, if I'm not paying attention, I'll slam into the pile-up in front of me. All Sooner eyes will be watching how Bradford deals with a pass rush. Can Stoops keep his foot on the accelerator?
Fourth, the Sooners defense hasn't faced a bonafide run/pass quarterback threat since Pat White in the Fiesta Bowl last year.
You tried to block the embarrassing loss from your memory. Let's see what the collective brain trust on the Sooners sideline can do to slow down the suddenly dangerous Colt McCoy.
Fifth, I know a reason is not needed to watch the game. But just in case, let's keep this in mind: The Sooners next top-ten opponent is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders march into Norman in late November. So this is the game for Sooner fans and the nation to decide if OU deserves the billing of number one in the nation.
Turn that Dial
Now here are five reasons to turn the dial or surf the net.
First, ABC is broadcasting the game. They are abysmal with college football coverage. They chose putrid games for their Saturday Night prime time slot.
ABC films all college football games in High Definition. The satellite equipment they use only allows two of the afternoon games to be broadcast in HD. Week after week they subject us to weak SD broadcast. I want to blame KTUL, but alas, it might not be their fault (entirely).
Second, this goes along with the first reason. Flip over to CBS for the Tennessee versus Georgia game. Or better yet, tune into CBS during prime time for LSU and Florida.
Look how crisp the picture quality is compared to ABC. Yes, I'm a HD snob. Deal with it. It may have something to do with the team colors. Burnt orange in SD or HD is ugly.
Third, guess who the number one offensive team in the nation is? That's right, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane. It's amazing.
Just shy of 25,000 turned out to watch TU dismantle a tough Rice foe this past weekend. If you drive to Dallas this Saturday to watch TU tackle SMU you can catch the OU/Texas game on some radio dial. I'm sure of it.
Is this a valid reason to not watch OU? Nope. But, as a man of my word, I promised to mention the TU express until they lose a game. At this rate, they may not lose until they are thrown to the wolves in a BCS game. Chew on that for a minute.
TU is 5-0. They average 596 yards per game. Dave Johnson ranks sixth in passing yards, first in passing touchdowns and first in quarterback rating. Paul who?
Fourth, the top three quarterbacks in the nation according to the cryptic QB ratings figure? Johnson (214.8), Sam Bradford (205), and Zac Robinson (204.6). Ahem, any questions? So reason number four, why not to watch? Honestly, just filling out the five reasons to turn the dial at this point. You really should watch the game. No seriously, you should watch all these teams.
Fifth, need a sneaky fifth reason to tune out. Let's boycott the fact OU and Texas re-upped with the Cotton Bowl.
I'm no Jerry Jones fan but who wouldn't like to see OU and Texas wreak havoc in the house he built?
In closing, there is a distinct possibility Texas will beat OU. The game comes down to Colt McCoy. Can OU shut him down and remind him that he's Colt McCoy?
On offense, Sam Bradford needs time to throw. I know, I know, most quarterbacks do. But in his case, he doesn't have the fleetest of feet. The Texas defensive front seven will test the behemoth of an offensive line OU trots out. This is where the game will be won.
If OU can't establish the run, Bradford and Sooner Nation will be in for a long bitter day. Prediction? OU over Texas 78-0. You know, so they can break the RRR record.
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