Robert Allen's High Five!

Robert Allen's High Five is a new feature this football season. It is really just his opportunity to sound off on a variety of topics. Although most of the topics will be Oklahoma State football related, some will hit some other topics and sports. Without further ado, here's Robert Allen's High Five!

1. No Television For Oklahoma State at Texas Tech;
Baylor at Colorado Will Be A Good Show Too

This could change before we get to kickoff at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16, but I really kind of doubt it. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech has been on television virtually every year for the past decade.

Mike Gundy's first year as coach the two teams were not on television but it has always been considered one of the most exciting games of the year by ABC, ESPN, and Fox Sports.

Sure, things have changed as Mike Leach is gone. Just imagine if the mad professor were still there as mentor (Leach) would be up against pupil (Holgorsen). Now that would have been fun. Instead, Tommy Tuberville is in at Tech and the Red Raiders have dropped two in a row to Texas and on the road at Iowa State.

The Red Raiders offense is not producing anywhere near the rate it did with Leach. The defense isn't any better either, maybe worse in Ames as they allowed two 100-yard rushers for the Cyclones. Not to mention, that I think Baylor will beat Tech and make it three losses in a row this Saturday in the Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fair in the OU-Texas follow-up.

Heap all the blame for the game not being televised on Texas Tech. No! The blame lies with Texas and Mack Brown and company. The entire Big 12 lost national television exposure due to the Longhorns. Since last December, and especially after the June departure of Nebraska to the Big 10, ABC has been licking its chops to put Texas and the Huskers in their Lincoln grudge match on prime-time ABC Saturday night.

The one second being put back on the clock in the Big 12 championship game a year ago allowing Texas to win, Tom Osborne and Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman flat out saying Texas, and the favortism shown the Longhorns all combined to run the Huskers out of the league. This is great stuff!

Then Texas goes and gets its tails kicked - actually embarrassed - by Pac-10 softy UCLA. Oklahoma makes the Horns a two-time loser last week in the Cotton Bowl, and gone is the Saturday showcase now relegated to 2:30 afternoon matinee.

Bummer, because after OU-Iowa State goes to 6 p.m. and Fox and the brunch 11 a.m. time slot goes to Missouri at Texas A&M, then OSU at Tech and a pretty fun looking grudge match between Baylor and Colorado go to no television.

Too bad because I hate for OSU fans not to get to see their team on TV from the road. That is why I was happy about the whole scenario on the moving of the A&M game to Thursday, creating the open week leading up to the Aggies and then the Friday road TV slot at Louisiana.

Texas knows it is going to be on TV every week, but what really stinks is when Texas losses cost other schools, a deserving unbeaten school like Oklahoma State, out of a TV appearance. Please, commissioner Beebe take this kind of scenario into account when adding up TV money and penalize the school that should be penalized here and reward the schools that should be rewarded.

2. Alabama vs. Oregon and Ohio State
Week three of this prediction and after watching Alabama dismantle Florida, who is down from recent campaigns, I feel like the Crimson Tide should take on the combined squads from Ohio State and Oregon for the national championship. Just kidding, I know that won't work, but right now Bama is a bad mamma jamma.

Actually, the better game with the better scenario might be to combine Boise State and TCU, the two non-BCS schools that complain. Chris Peterson could coach the offense and Gary Patterson of TCU would handle the defense and then let them battle Alabama as a combine force. Think about that and then think about who you would pick in that situation. I'd go with Alabama, but it would be close.

3. The Problem With the Spread
I really like Dana Holgorsen, and as I have mentioned several times I have come of age with this new spread the field, throw the ball as much as you want to, and go as fast as you can back to the line of scrimmage and do it again offenses.

As I've often said, Larry Fedora Introduced me to the spread. Mike Gundy taught me how to combine the spread with my personality, and now Holgorsen has taken me to a new level with a course in Advanced Spread Formation. I like it. I mean who doesn't enjoy watching the Boone Pickens Stadium scoreboard light up for 65 points and the offense going up and down the field so fast that defenses are forced to call time out or fake a cramp or two.

However, I consider myself a strong student in Theory of Football Strategy. I have always loved this game for its military-like movements and underlying themes. That is why I was a catatonic state late in the fourth quarter following Texas A&M's four-yard touchdown pass to pull to within 35-28 with 5:19 left.

After the Cowboys Justin Gilbert broke off a 45-yard kickoff return back to the A&M 43 the Cowboys looked to be in good shape. Then an incomplete pass on first down, a Kendall Hunter six-yard run, followed by another rushed and incomplete pass killed just 59 seconds off the clock before Quinn Sharp's 37-yard punt went into the end zone for a net punt of 17 yards.

I understand that this offense has to do what it is designed to do to be successful, that it is best going at the break neck pace it was designed and practiced to operate in, but preserving leads late and finding ways to win have to have more cooperation than that.

You guys know that I am not one that looks a gift horse in the mouth. I prefer this offense, and I am a huge Holgorsen fan. I think he is a genius and he may have the where with all to take this offense further than its founder (Hal Mumme) and its perfector (MIke Leach). Holgorsen has an open attitude to changing and tinkering with this attack.

I have been freed from an existence of "three-yards and a cloud of dust," but in that situation I have to see more time off the clock and four straight gives to Kendall Hunter will 9 times out of 10 get a first down and keep the ball and run the clock. Just my opinion, and by the way great game every body!

4. Is There a Baker in the House?
You want your Oklahoma State connection in this year's Major League Baseball playoffs. Cowboy fans need to be hoping for Twins, as in the Minnesota Twins.

Former Oklahoma State righthander Scott Baker is a starting pitcher for the Twins, who have taken this first season in their new diggs in Target Stadium and converted it to another playoffs appearance for the Twin Cities. Baker was a first team All-Big 12 player in 2003 and was second team in 2002. He was also a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2001. In the 2003 season, he posted an ERA of 3.79 with a 10-5 record and 97 strikeouts in 111.2 innings.

Baker has been a stalwart for the Twins and will likely work out of the bullpen during the playoffs. It's real easy to root for Baker as he was a class act while playing in Stillwater and has been a good representative for OSU in the big leagues.

5. How Much Does A Letter Mean?
The truth is that in this day of emails, blogs, CDs, DVDs, and DVRs, the good old-fashioned letter, hand-written or typed, mailed with a stamp on it, and carried by your friendly mail carrier to its destination is still a mighty meaningful message. It represents an investment of thought and time, and to a serviceman or woman in our military it packs a powerful positive punch.

I have been working on a story for the next issue of Go Pokes Magazine on how several Oklahoma State players, primarily the Cowboy wide receivers, are doing some really thoughtful and kind things with their spare time and one of them is writing letters to Oklahoma State fans serving in our military. One of those is U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Dustin Hefley, who recently sent me this response while I seeking a quote from him for the story.

First off I want to say thank you. What you and Coach Brewer are doing shouldn't go unnoticed in itself. I'm an active duty Navy Chief Petty Officer stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When I got to the mailbox early last month I received an envelope from the OSU Athletic Department.

Not having a clue as to what could be inside, but being a HUGE Oklahoma State fan, I was very excited. When I opened it and found five hand-written letters from the Cowboy WR's, I was taken back.

First off, how do these Cowboys know that I am in the military? Secondly, why did they take time out of their own busy schedule the week of the season opener to write me a personal letter? It wasn't until a few weeks later after making my post on that I got a response from a gentleman who told me about what you and Coach Brewer were doing.

Immediately I wrote Gunter and told him thank you and if he could, please relay my thank you to the OSU receiving corps for their letters as they meant so much to me. Over the next week more letters from the Cowboy receivers came in. The first letter I received was from Hubert Anyiam. In Anyiam's letter he wrote, "I'll make sure my first touchdown is dedicated to you."

i couldn't wait for Anyiam to recover from his ankle injury and get out there on the field. The Troy/OSU game wasn't televised, but I got to see the post-game interview from Anyiam and in that interview he actually references the letter writing the Cowboy players are doing and mentioned the dedicated touchdown to me (although, I'm not in Iraq nor a Soldier I know he was probably just a little nervous with all the cameras in his face), but to know that he was talking about me and the fact that he references the letter from three weeks earlier, made this service member swell with pride.

Each of the Cowboy's letters is in its own frame hung on my wall between my Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and my Joint Service Achievement Medal awarded to me by the Secretary of Defense. Knowing that these players took time out of their own personal lives to write military members serving our country, speaks volumes of their character and they have earned their rightful place on my wall. The entire Cowboy football staff and Oklahoma State University should be very proud of these young men, as I know I am.

CTRC(SW) Dustin Hefley
United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer

I want you to know that I just carried Coach Brewer's idea to another level and it was Terry Tush that actually put the notice out and sent the names to Coach Brewer. I really did nearly nothing other than cheerlead the idea.

I will say this, I am very proud of the Cowboy players for so enthusiatically embracing this idea and bringing it to a great execution. I am also very proud of CTRC(SW) Dustin Hefley of the United State Navy and all of the others like him, all the Cowboys, Longhorns, Tigers, Jayhawks, Aggies, and Sooners alike that serve our nation so brave and steadfast. Thank you all!

Temporarily on Hold: The "I told you so" plan goes into effect with folks like Phil Steele of Phil Steele's College Football Preview, Matt Hayes of The Sporting News, and OSU graduate Brett McMurphy of AOL Fanhouse, who predicted the end of defense as we know it for Oklahoma State as the Cowboys would be throttled by Tulsa soon.

However, we have placed it temporarily on hold. The A&M win was good, but at 4-0 we are thinking in order to blast these folks good over their lack of knowledge in Oklahoma State football and all things Cowboy, we want a little more ammo to back up the attack we are preparing to wage. There are others that predicted doom and gloom this season for the Cowboys and they know who they are.

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