POSTED ON OCTOBER 6, 2010:
All three in-state teams take care of business, but can any of them win conference crowns?
Coaches Matter. Why discuss a head coach? Simple. In college football, you either need NFL talent or an NFL-caliber coach to win the BCS Championship. Those USC teams? NFL talent. Texas under Mack Brown? NFL talent. OU under Stoops? NFL-caliber coach. Florida? NFL talent. Alabama last year? NFL-caliber coach.
FILE PHOTO/GAVIN ELLIOTT
It was the kind of weekend area football fans yearn for. All three teams took care of business. Each showed progress in their own way.
For starters, who thought the University of Tulsa could hold any Conference USA rival to single digits. The Golden Hurricane took Memphis behind the woodshed and taught them a lesson.
As good as the offense (48 points) was the defense (gave up 7) was even better. It was the most dominate conference performance in recent TU history.
The total yardage (447-207), turnover battle (0-4) and penalties (2-15, 6-55) should go a long way in dispelling any questions about Head Coach Todd Graham's guidance for now.
Tulsa is now 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in C-USA. Next up is another conference road test in Southern Methodist. The Mustangs are an impressive 2-0 in C-USA.
If the TU offensive express stays on track and the defense continue to create turnovers, a C-USA championship is within their grasp. Visit TulsaHurricane.com for more information.
Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0) reenters the nation's elite after a hard-fought Thursday night win against Texas A&M. Of course, by nation's elite we are referring to the Top 25.
The 38-35 victory was a Pepto special. Back and forth action made up for the at times sloppy play.
The Cowboys join Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri representing the Big 12 in the poll. Poor Texas.
The Pokes have the equivalent of a bye week when they travel to take on Louisiana-Lafayette this Friday. Of course, this is the type of game OSU has found a way to lose in the past.
This brings us to OU. The Sooners (5-0, 1-0) needed to dominate Texas (3-2, 0-1) to prove their worth. A convincing win ensued. The final score of 28-20 did not fully tell the story.
The Sooners converted nine of 20 third-down conversions while holding the Longhorns to five for 16. Penalties were another factor, and OU kept its cool while Texas was flagged nine times.
OU is ranked No. 6 in the nation. They get a real bye week followed by an overmatched Iowa State squad.
Oklahoma does not have a dominate defense. Their offense gets the job done, but by no means will be confused with the Oregon Ducks.
The Sooners have one ace in the hole. Bob Stoops still has his fastball. Sure, his fastball now tops out around 92 on the gun rather than 98 during his heyday, but he still rocks and fires.
One thing you do not have to worry about with Stoops is his attention. Whether the offense or defense is on the field, he is involved. The same cannot be said about Mike Gundy at OSU.
This is not meant to disparage Gundy. It's just truth seeking. Oklahoma State should be proud to have a coach like Gundy. It's not his fault he was promoted to head coach instead of offensive coordinator.
This past Thursday night's contest against the Aggies was another example. He looks confused when his defense is on the field. A look of bewilderment does not inspire confidence in your players.
By my count, there are approximately 15-20 big time coaches in college football. Closer to 15.
It could be worse Cowboys fans. Les "What game clock?" Miles could be giving you a heart attack each week.
Why discuss a head coach? Simple. In college football, you either need NFL talent or an NFL-caliber coach to win the BCS Championship.
Those USC teams? NFL talent. Texas under Mack Brown? NFL talent. OU under Stoops? NFL-caliber coach. Florida? NFL talent. Alabama last year? NFL-caliber coach.
So the question screams for us to answer. Which current top-10 teams can win the BCS Title this season?
Alabama is the cream. NFL coaching combined with two NFL ready running backs.
Ohio State has proven they can win with defense and their vest-wearing coach.
Oregon needs help. They will likely capture the Pac-10, but will Ohio State or Alabama falter along the way? If so, Chip Kelly is proving to be one of the few NFL-caliber coaches in the college ranks.
Boise State and TCU are such cute stories. One of these years the pollsters will push them ahead of deserving power-conference teams to make a point. This is not that year.
We have already talked about OU. Nebraska is the sleeper of the bunch. Bo Pelini served as defensive coordinator under Les Miles during one of the Tigers BCS championship seasons. It's looking more and more like Pelini's defenses were the driving forces behind that squad.
Auburn, Arizona and Utah? Thanks for playing. So there are five teams in the country that are capable of winning the national title.
This is why a playoff is not necessary. Who needs to watch a Florida-Oregon game to see which squad is better?
Finally, a quick fight note. Nov. 12 could go down in the annals. "Xtreme Fight Night" is ready to rock "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Casino in Catoosa.
Oklahoma State All-American wrestler and former UFC middleweight contender Jake Rosholt headlines the MMA portion of the fight card against former UFC vet Matt Horwich.
The card will include boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts in a traditional ring. Fight fans are lining up outside the Hard Rock's box office waiting for tickets to go on sale.
Oh, and "Sugar" Ray Leonard will be on hand to take in the action.
No big deal.
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