POSTED ON OCTOBER 14, 2009:
And the Beat Goes On
TU fights to stay viable while OU football heats up for rivalry game this weekend
It's Red River Rivalry week, as if you didn't know. Before we devour the game like an offensive lineman at an all-you-can-eat buffet, let's tackle an issue eating away at the soul.
By reading this column, you've declared your love for college football. Living in Tulsa means you know fans of multiple schools across the country. Granted, the majority of T-Towners root for TU, OU or OSU. Maybe even a combination of two or three.
Last week you were teased with something never before seen in the history of sports media. Here goes.
Attention Oklahoma State fans: My sympathy is with you today.
The Cowboys have been one of the most exciting teams to watch on a weekly basis going back to the Les Miles era. They have enough athletes to compete at the highest level, but enough gaps in personnel to keep them on the outside looking in when it comes to Big 12 championships and BCS contests ... until this year.
Last year, an orange bracelet signified their quest for a Big 12 title. This year, the preseason hype surrounding the team elevated to new heights. They climbed to fifth in the nation before a no-showing against Houston.
Being a fan of OSU must feel like dating the head cheerleader in high school. You feel the rest of the world staring at you with approval.
Things go smooth for a few weeks then the handsome quarterback steals your girl. Just when you think OSU means business, Houston shows up and steals your girl.
Of course, the Dez Bryant fiasco is like the football player having Ron Jeremy qualities. The news keeps getting worse and worse for you.
Let's blame Deion Sanders. How this guy is relevant in 2009 is beyond comprehension. He is responsible for "mentoring" Dez Bryant into NCAA hot water.
True story: Years ago (maybe 1997) I bumped into Deion Sanders at the Tulsa Airport. He was flanked by an entourage 12 deep.
He was in town for religious reasons. He sported a purple suit. His tilted purple hat completed the look. Again, why is he relevant? Name something positive you've learned from "Primetime" since his playing days ended.
As for OSU, there is always next year. Where have we heard that before?
This year's expectations went from National Title to "glad we beat Texas A&M."
Rivalry or Shootout? I'm going with rivalry. The chances are slim that the Sooners (3-2, 1-0) and Longhorns (5-0, 2-0) will get into a shootout this year.
If you've read in the past, you know how this goes. As MC Hammer once (or a thousand times) said -- Break it Down!
Quarterbacks: Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are dreamy. Seriously, the quality under center in this game makes coaches across the land jealous. The injury swings the tide on this match-up. EDGE: Texas
Running backs: The Longhorns do not appear to have the breakaway threat they fielded in years past. OU trots out the one-two punch of DeMarco Murray and Chris "I was not the one who beat Rihanna" Brown. Call me the minority, Brown is the better back for this game. EDGE: OU
Receivers: Texas enters the game ranked 12th in passing offense. OU comes in ranked 20th in the nation. From a continuity standpoint, Texas seems more in sync. EDGE: TEXAS
Offensive Line: Do we really need a breakdown here? Didn't think so. In fact, Texas could start five ladies from the WNBA coached by Nolan Richardson, and they would still get the nod. EDGE: TEXAS
Defensive Line: Here is the Sooners best opportunity to pull off the upset. Texas opened as a 3-point favorite. "We're not worried about the respect. We're just worried about our season. Texas is the next game on the schedule, and you know how the game is. Texas is Texas. It's going to be a big game, and we have to come out ready," said OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after the Baylor win. EDGE: OU
Linebackers: To be honest, this is the first test of the season for OU. They will be called upon to have a huge game. Eliminate big plays in the run. Stop receivers over the middle as soon as they catch the ball. It should be interesting. EDGE: Push
Defensive Back: Now for the real question. Dominique Franks oozes talent on the field. His cover ability and return acumen make him an integral part of this team. EDGE OU.
Here is what I really want to know. What are Franks' thoughts on the Jenks recruiting scandal in town? He played a huge role in the Union-Jenks battles in the past. Oh by the way, he relocated from Owasso High School to Union during his high school tenure.
Coaching: Bob Stoops and Mack Brown must get tired of answering questions about the other one. How redundant. Both recruit like maniacs. Each fields a competitive unit year after year.
The difference seems to be the assistance coaches and actual game planning. I'll copout and say push. Let's see what each has in store for the other this week in what should be a closely contested game.
Intangibles: Push. Two additional questions need to be answered. Why is this game still in the Cotton Bowl? Why doesn't ABC move the game to an evening contest?
Last year a special team's play was the deciding factor.
Who's feeling special this year?
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