OU wrapup: Instead of wishing ill will on rivals, cheer ’em on


There were some very enthusiastic OU fans at Saturday’s home opener. (FOX Sports Net screen capture)

I know someone who’s about as diehard an OU fan as they come. He’s an Oklahoman. He went to OU. He can cite the score of every OU game. He knows who the Sooners are recruiting.

From the top of his crimson beret to his Boomer Sooner cellphone ringtone, his allegiance is unquestioned.

That’s OK. But what is troublesome — and tell me if I’m wrong here — is his absolute allegiance. He’s overly giddy when OSU loses. He hyperventilates when Texas loses. When OSU and Texas play each other, his dream outcome is that an asteroid smashes into the field, which, in his mind, prompts a double forfeit.

I’m an OU fan going on 40-plus years, but maybe I’m a bit more big picture. Let me explain:

» OSU and Texas should win every game — except when they play OU, of course. Why? When OSU and Texas win impressively, they usually move up in the polls. Seeing how the current national championship system works, it pays to keep winning while your upcoming opponents also win, especially when subjective polling is involved. Simple attrition.

» OU no longer has signature games at the end of the season. Longhorns fans wonder how the Sooners have more national championships than their team, especially because Texas leads the head-to-head series (59-42-5) in the Red River Rivalry. It’s simple: OU’s big games (Nebraska and OSU) — the ones that got the Sooners in poll position to make it into title games — were at the end of the season. Since World War II, Texas has beaten OU eight times only to finish behind the Sooners in the final AP poll. This year, TCU is OU’s final game — and there is no Big 12 championship game. Winning big games late in the season goes a long way for voters who have that “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” approach. OU has won national championships this way.

On social media, OU fans have been giddy about the Sooners winning big and OSU losing big on Saturday night. Sure, No. 5 OU rolled up a lot of points and yards on a Football Championship Subdivision opponent, but the Sooners also let Florida A&M score (everyone else was shutting down their FCS opponents). OSU fell out of the AP Top 25.

Also, don’t worry about Texas. OU has a big lead in national championships since WWII with seven. The Longhorns have only three. OSU? Well, the Cowboys are really good at wrestling.

So, instead of wishing ill will on your rivals, cheer them on. Yes, their fans might have said something mean about your mom, but let’s keep our eyes on the big picture — the national championship.

ABOUT THE OU GAME: Believing I had better things to do with the $40 needed for pay-for-view, I was only able to follow the game through ESPN.com, Twitter and an audio stream. With Kansas State scouts checking in for the Sept. 22 showdown, it sure sounded like something on the scale of a Red-White game. … When Florida A&M scored on its long pass play, I’m sure defensive coordinator Mike Stoops Hulk-smashed someone. … It’s great to see new stars in Damien Williams (156 yards rushing) and State Penn transfer Justin Brown (three punt returns for 102 yards). I just hope Dominique Whaley bounces back and doesn’t have to ask for his job back at Subway. (I wonder how much it bugs Dominique to see junior high pal Robert Griffin III be the face of Subway now — AND be the cover boy on NCAA PlayStation College Football 13?)

ABOUT THE BROADCAST: I rarely hear OU’s play-by-play broadcasts, and I’m more in the John BrooksMike Treps camp, but I’m OK with Toby Rowland. I especially liked the part where he noticed that the FAMU uniforms look like those worn by the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs in the Adam Sandler movie, Waterboy. One quibble: I do wish OU would find a play-by-play guy who had more of an Okie twang to his delivery.

Ed Harris

ABOUT THAT INTRO: From what I could tell on Twitter, actor and director Ed Harris was a hit on the new “There’s Only One Oklahoma” promotion video. Harris began his acting career when attending the OU drama school in the 1970s. I have a witness: One of my Facebook friends and OU classmates, Alison Dingeldein, recalls Ed. “I saw him play a giant naugahyde lobster in a Sam Shepard play in the Flamingo Room at Fontanelli’s on Campus Corner back in the day,” she wrote. Another time, Alison walked into Amspacher’s Grocery on Lindsey Street and former OU film instructor Ned Hockman was “making a HUGE deal about Paul Harris being related to Ed [they’re brothers], much to Paul’s embarrassment.”

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: On Friday, I saw Texas A&M’s future in Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill. The son of former Texas Rangers pitcher Ken Hill, Kenny is a smooth, 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback who made mincemeat of Midland in a 63-3 rout in Southlake. Kenny Hill passed for 300 yards, completing 16 of 20. Three of those incompletions were drops. Of course, Hill did all this against a secondary that had just gotten off a five-hour bus ride. … At that game, watchers in the Southlake press box couldn’t figure out who the patch of red- and gray-clad figures were on the visitors’ side of Dragon Stadium. We soon found out they were the Tulsa Union and Jenks football teams who were in the area to play in a football doubleheader at nearby Bedford. When Carroll’s lead reached 49-0 at halftime, they’d seen enough and left. The next day, Union lost to Euless Trinity and Jenks fell to DeSoto.

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