A couple of things come to mind with this game coming up on Saturday. First, this will be my first game as a parent of an OSU coed that is involved in decorating for homecoming and my daughter could not be more proud and more competitive as far as wanting her serority and the fraternity they are teamed with to win homecoming. That is a feeling and experience lost on me as I never was involved in house decs or floats, but always appreciated them. I'm sure I will be proud when I see their work on Friday at the walk-a-round.
Second, this is the Huskers last trip to Stillwater and likely the last meeting between OSU and Nebraska in football for some time. I have always admired Nebraska. They have a tradition-rich and classy program. Their fans, as I have discovered recently with Oklahoma State winning games in the series, are truly sincere.
All those years that they lined the route to the locker room for Cowboys teams I wondered, do they really mean it when they say, thanks for coming, good game, good luck the rest of the season or where they just happy you came up to get kicked around by their Huskers?
Three years ago when OSU went up and destroyed Nebraska 45-14 in Lincoln, the fans lined the path and said the same things. My wife went to the concession stand at halftime and was tapped on the shoulder by a Husker fan, a woman that told her, "you must be proud because your boys are playing so well." My wife was stunned. You could have knocked her over with a feather as she was used to being cussed and cat called from Athens, Georgia, to espeically Norman, Oklahoma.
There will be a lot of Nebraska fans in Stillwater as they have rented out Stillwater High School's Pioneer Stadium for a pep rally and tailgating area. Cowboy fans, please show these Huskers class. The greatest compliment would be if they would think the same things of us that we think of them.
Finally, walk into that stadium on Saturday expecting to win. I know because I talk to a lot of OSU fans every day that some can't escape our past. They are waiting for the bottom to fall out. I can tell you these players aren't. They could care less about the past and they are confident in themselves and each other.
This group is truly different from any in the past. This is the group that is going to escape the norm and climb over the hump. I really see that in this team. It may not be this year, maybe next. However, this team has the attitude that anything is possible and that they can make it happen. Don't give in to the negative. Believe like they do.
2. BCS Questions: OU Number One, and Alabama and Ohio State Still Have a Chance?
I know this won't be popular but Oklahoma is deserving of the top BCS ranking. The humans look at OU's tradition and the schedule they have played. The computers love the schedule that they have played.
Now, I don't think OU is the best team in the nation, but this is the halfway point and there is a lot of football left to be played. If you ask me the teams I would least want to mess with then check out item No. 3 below. Alabama and Ohio State are lurking in the top 10 and while I am not a champion of the non-BCS league challengers, I have to admit that it gripes me that those two have a shot if enough teams lose and those teams aren't Boise State, TCU or Utah.
Mark my words, the BCS will take a one-loss Goliath over an undefeated David. Grab a slingshot.
3. Oregon, Auburn and TCU
The three teams that right now I would least want to play are Oregon, Auburn and TCU. The Ducks are loaded and while their offense can explode and light things up, they also have the leading rusher in the country in LaMichael James and he can control a game with his ability. A great running back is the most controlling player potentially in the sport. Oregon is underrated on defense and they can play.
Auburn has won three games by a field goal, but those were three good teams. Cameron Newton is a beast and is also a player that can control the game. My son coached against him in junior college when he was leading Blinn (Texas) Community College to an NJCAA national championship and he called me after Blinn beat NEO 56-42 and told me that, "Newton was Vince Young on steroids." Anybody got a better description of this guy.
All I can say is I am very glad he decided on Auburn and not OU, which was aggressively recruiting him. I'll take my chances with Landry Jones every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
TCU is loaded with a veteran quarterback in Andy Dalton that doesn't make mistakes and on defense head coach Gary Patterson has the most important ingredients to make his 4-2-5 defense hum with proficiency. Patterson has a couple of stout and physical defensive tackles in seniors Kelly Griffin (6-1, 310) and Cory Grant (6-2, 305) and a pair of really good cover corners in senior Jason Teague and junior Greg McCoy. With those two positions stocked well the 4-2-5 scheme can be suffocating.
4. Television Decisions: Somebody Ought to Televise Kansas State at Baylor and the Battle for a Bowl
The Big 12 hands out its football revenue in split fashion, 50 percent equal to all schools and 50 percent based on television appearances.
That second split is to promote schools to improve its football programs so TV will select them for appearances. Okay, see what you think of this. Texas has been selected for an 11 a.m. Fox Sports Net broadcast against Iowa State, and Texas A&M, losers of three straight, and Kansas (2-4) are on Fox Sports on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Baylor (5-2) and Kansas State (5-1) will battle in Waco with no television cameras present and the winner will be bowl eligible.
What is that about? That's not rewarding those schools that improve their football program. Schools like Texas (they are good), Oklahoma (No. 1 in the BCS), and even Texas A&M (not very good) are going to be on television whether they are any good or not. The revenue split is a bunch of horse hockey.
5. "I Told You So" Tour Off and Running
I sent an e-mail to six national college football writers/reporters/publisher that picked Oklahoma State unusually low at the start of this season.
Kudos to Brett McMurphy, an OSU grad, that is the national college football writer for AOL Fanhouse.com. He picked Tulsa and Texas Tech to beat OSU, and he was on the radio with me Tuesday, and he was great about his missed picks, and gave his alma mater credit. Plus, he is coming to Stillwater to cover the game on Saturday against Nebraska after starting his week on Thursday at Oregon-UCLA.
The Dallas Morning News Chuck Carlton has agreed to come on my show Friday. He picked OSU last in the South behind Baylor and may be wrong on all accounts as his up and comer Texas A&M is playing like a "debby downer." Matt Hayes of The Sporting News, Phil Steele, and ESPN's David Ubben have yet to answer the e-mail. Don't be chicken guys, it feels good to come clean.
EXTRA: Some Recruiting Scoop
Our sources tell us that Guthrie (Okla.) Blue Jays standout wide receiver/outside linebacker Kentrell Brothers, who scored four touchdowns in the Guthrie win over Carl Albert last week, is heading to Stillwater on Saturday to watch the Cowboys and Huskers.
Brothers has offers from the likes of Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State, Duke, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington, Texas Tech, and more. He was in Norman last week for the OU-Iowa State game. He has never made it seem important that he be recruited hard by the in-state schools. Apparently, now he is interested. Missouri had been thought to be the leader and may still be although he has visited Washington and Arizona.
Also, Oklahoma State is very interested in junior college defensive tackles as evidenced by the offers to LeMarc Strahan of Blinn J.C., Sylvester Williams of Coffeyville (Kan.) C.C., Jared Ebert of Iowa Western C.C., and Jonathan Jenkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.
The 6-4, 343-pound Jenkins is making the trip to Stillwater this weekend for an official visit. Jenkins told us that Oklahoma State and Mississippi were his leaders, but he has mutliple offers including Syracuse, Mississippi State, and Houston.