CHIP DIP #1 ... National signing day is eight months away - plenty of time for the usual unexpected twists and turns that come between now and the first Wednesday in February.
But if the last four days are any indication, the Red River Shootout, which lives year round, has had an April to remember on the recruiting trail.
And most of the headlines have been favorable for the Longhorns and first-year coach Tom Herman at the expense of the two-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners.
The current tally is:
Texas 3 ... OU 0
And it's not just any three 2018 prospects.
It's BOTH the Sooners' top two QB recruits - 4-star dual-threats Cameron Rising, who decommitted from OU and announced he's going to Texas on April 22, and Casey Thompson of Southmoore (Okla.), the son of former OU QB Charles Thompson - as well as 4-star DE Ron Tatum III, arguably the top 2018 defensive prospect from the state of Oklahoma.
According to Scout's Bob Przybylo, publisher of SoonersIllustrated.com, OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley offered both Rising and Thompson and said the first to commit would be the Sooners' QB in the 2018 class.
Rising committed to the Sooners in August.
During a Junior Day visit to Austin in February, Thompson developed a bond with Longhorns' sophomore QB Shane Buechele, who, like Thompson, has strong family ties to Norman (three of Buechele's four siblings have attended OU) but wasn't afraid to step out on his own.
Herman told Thompson then he planned to take two QBs in the 2018 class. On April 13, Thompson put hats from 10 schools on a table and ended up putting on the one in burnt orange.
Now, both Thompson, Scout's No. 13 QB in the 2018 class, and Rising, Scout's No. 14 QB in 2018, are committed to Texas, and OU is scrambling.
Sooners' coaches immediately called Thompson after Rising's defection last Saturday. But Thompson's Twitter feed has been all Texas.
CHIP DIP #2 ... Tom Herman's 6-0 record as a head coach against AP Top 25 teams includes a 33-23, physical beatdown Houston administered to OU at NRG Stadium last fall.
Stoops himself called UH the more physical team after the game.
But Stoops has to be thinking Herman is carrying this scoreboard thing a little too far.
Sure, Herman and his staff have been wizard-like in remaking Texas' image, everywhere from social media to a new locker room to winter conditioning and spring football. But Herman hasn't coached a single game at Texas yet.
Consider what Stoops is selling:
- In 18 completed seasons as a head coach, Stoops has won 10 Big 12 titles, including the last two. Domination by anyone's math.
- The Sooners finished last season on a 10-game winning streak - 9-0 in Big 12 play as well as a 35-19 throttling of Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.
- OU had two finalists at the Heisman Trophy ceremony last December (Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook).
- And as far as things shiny and new, the Sooners last year completed a $160 million renovation to their football complex, including a new locker room, weight room, the works.
But in the last four days, Texas has gotten commitments from OU's top two QB recruits (Thompson and Rising) as well as the top defensive line prospect in the state of Oklahoma (Tatum).
CHIP DIP #3 ... Let's just say this week's events alone have October's Red River Shootout shaping up to be truly must-see TV - on a national stage, where it belongs.
Stoops has been doing his part in keeping OU nationally relevant with his 10 Big 12 titles and a College Football Playoff berth a year ago.
It's Texas who has been a no-show from college football relevance nationally the past seven years.
On Oct. 14, the coach I call Hurricane Herman for all the change he's brought about in Austin - not just within the football program, but in the previously stuck-in-the-mud thinking of the athletic department - knows he must replace tweets about recruits with touchdowns and tackling inside the Cotton Bowl at the State Fair of Texas in the greatest-of-all rivalry games.
CHIP DIP #4 ... Speaking of Tom Herman and recruiting - perhaps the one, big question about Herman after his two years at Houston was if he is an elite-level recruiter (outside of landing freshman All-American DT Ed Oliver after hiring Oliver's high school coach at Houston Westfield Corby Meekins as TE coach).
Then, in building his Texas staff, Herman passed on former Texas assistant/recruiting machine Tim Brewster (currently the TE coach/recruiting coordinator at Florida State), who probably would've said yes to Herman.
And Herman also chose not to retain any UT coaches from Charlie Strong's staff, specifically offensive assistant/East Texas recruiter extraordinaire Jeff Traylor, a three-time state title winning Texas high school coach at Gilmer.
If recruiting for the 2018 class continues on this path for Texas, Herman and his staff will have answered the recruiting question emphatically.
CHIP DIP #5 ... With Ron Tatum III committing to Texas on Wednesday, four of the Longhorns' six commits are from out of state (Rising - CA, Thompson and Tatum - OK, and Justin Watkins - FL) - and no one should care.
Talent is talent.
Sure, you want the best players in your state. But I dare someone to criticize stealing two of the best players out of the state of your hated rival.
And Rising's father, Nicko, played football at Cal Lutheran with Tom Herman. Herman's known about Cam Rising in the state of California since Rising was a kid.
Justin Watkins, of East Ridge (Clermont, Fla.), is projected as one of the nation's best slot receivers in the 2018 class - the critical receiver position in Herman's offense.
CHIP DIP #6 ... It's not as if Herman and Co. don't have a ton of in-state targets.
The Longhorns are laser-focused on 2018's Houston (area) recruiting gold mine:
5-star CB Anthony Cook, Houston Lamar
5-star WR Brennan Eagles, Houston Taylor
4-star S B.J. Foster, Angleton
4-star CB Jalen Green, Houston Heights
4-star DE Max Wright, Katy Taylor
4-star TE Mustapha Muhammad, Ridge Point (Missouri City)
4-star DT Keondre Coburn, Houston Westfield
4-star WR Al'Vonte Woodard, Houston Lamar (who just got a Bama offer)
4-star WR Jaylen Waddle, Houston Episcopal
4-star CB D'Shawn Jamison, Houston Lamar
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