Attention basketball fans: Wait! Please do not turn the page. If football is your passion, feel free to skip to the pigskin. No hard feelings.
College basketball in Green Country and the state in general has faltered the past few years. Forget about fan indifference, the teams have underachieved.
Of course we are talking about Oral Roberts, Tulsa, OSU and OU. Each team tips off the exhibition season this coming week. This poses the question, why have an exhibition season for college basketball. Do it for real!
Let's start with the Golden Eagles since we rarely get a chance to bird watch. Head Coach Sean Sutton has done another masterful job scheduling non-conference opponents. His credo "bring them on" serves his team well.
Oklahoma, Gonzaga, Xavier and Texas Tech are just a few of the powerhouses the Golden Eagles will face. Bonus: The Red Raiders visit the Mabee Center.
ORU earned the majority of the first-place votes as favorite to win the 2011-12 Summit League Championship. Of course Sutton would be the first to scoff at a preseason vote. But secretly it probably feels good.
The team will go as far as standouts Dominique Morrison and Michael Craion take them. Look for Steven Roundtree to complement the two explosive players. Visit orugoldeneagles.com for more information.
Staying local, what can Wojcik do for you? For starters he is the lone Golden Hurricane coach to win at least 20 games in four straight seasons.
What Can Wojcik Do For You?
Unfortunately for Head Coach Doug Wojcik, 20 wins is not what it used to be. Tulsans clamor for NCAA March Madness action. Last year's taste in the BOK Center may rekindle the city's hunger for more.
Whereas ORU scheduled a difficult non-conference schedule, TU lightened the load. A showdown with Oklahoma State at the end of November highlights an otherwise pedestrian slate of games.
The good news? Maybe this is the receipt for success. Perhaps confidence building for this group outweighs RPI rankings.
The bad news? Home dates inside the Reynolds Center will be hit or miss.
Memphis is once again the team to beat in Conference USA unless you ask the media. They picked Tulsa as the favorite with Memphis tabbed second and UTEP grabbing third. Since when does the media know?
Keep in mind, due to no one's fault according to everyone involved, Tulsa will see no Mayor's Cup clash this year. ORU and TU signed a six-game pact moving forward, but for now the trophy remains with Tulsa. If Dewey Bartlett wanted to flex his sports muscle, he should reclaim the trophy for his office.
We will combine OU and OSU in true Bedlam form. Expectations are relatively low for each of these Big 12 schools.
Oklahoma State was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 according to a coaches poll. Oklahoma tied with Texas Tech to finish ninth in the same vote. Just a friendly reminder: the conference only has 10 schools.
Here is one positive note on each team. The Cowboys incoming freshman Le'Bryan Nash is on the preseason Wayman Tisdale Award Watch List which recognizes the nation's top freshman.
The Sooners dumped Jeff Capel and added Lon Kruger as head coach. Kruger has a rich history in coaching. While he certainly does not look as spry as the guy who took Florida to the Final Four in 1994 or even the guy leading the NBA's Atlanta Hawks in the early 2000's, well, he is a solid coach.
Welcome back basketball haters! Congratulations to Oklahoma State for manning up and taking care of business. For all the grief and doubt we've tossed Head Coach Mike Gundy's way over the years, he is getting it done.
Destiny is firmly in their control. A college football weekend that rocked the polls left the Pokes perched in an almost perfect place.
You can piss and moan about the BCS until you are red in the face. However, the Cowboys are ranked third heading into their game with Baylor and they should feel spectacular.
Should Oklahoma State be a 15.5 point favorite against Baylor? Absolutely. Only a poorly coached, overrated squad would get tripped up at home by a double digit underdog.
Oops. Too soon Sooner fans? Honestly, as Tulsa's only nonpartisan sports writer let me say this as gently as possible. The loss to Texas Tech was about as embarrassed as I've ever felt for a team and university.
The defense failed to prepare for the Red Raiders attack which is a reflection on the coaching staff. The linemen looked gassed at the end of the game or uninterested in the outcome. Did they give up? It would not be the first time a Sooners defense was accused of waiving the white flag.
Somehow, with the game on the line, OU's best option against the spread attack was putting a linebacker out wide on an island in coverage? Either a lack of depth or poor planning was to blame. How much time did Aaron Colvin spend practicing cornerback technique this year?
Sure the kicker shanked a couple of chip shots. Of course the offense should have punched those in for six points.
But do not let those excuses get in the way of the truth. Oklahoma lost their chance at a national championship game because they were outplayed and outcoached by a double digit underdog inside Memorial Stadium. Thirty-eight points should be enough to win, especially if you consider yourself a title contender.
To make matters worse, the crowd quit on the team. The game was over when Texas Tech took a 41-24 lead with under eight minutes to play.
This is the same fan base that touts Sooner Magic. In this case, instead of sticking with their team, they bolted for their cars and left Bob Stoops practically alone in the stadium to collect his thoughts on what just happened to his season.
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