Texas A&M Preview

Kyle Porter —  September 24, 2011 — 21 Comments

Teams: #7 Oklahoma State 3-0 (0-0) vs. #8 Texas A&M 2-0 (0-0)
Time: 2:30 PM CST
TV: ABC (coverage map here)
On the call: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Jeannine Edwards

Kickoff: If you, like me, want a reprieve from all the bureaucratic meddling in this this thing we call amateur sports then I have a gem for you at 2:30 CST. It’s the first in a 5-part series of exams this Oklahoma State squad must ace to be walking the streets of bourbon in four months. It’s a gut-wrenching rematch for the Aggies and a heart-twisting week for the Cowboys who are dealing with the loss of one of their own. The scene is set for OSU to reveal itself as a legitimate top 5 team and the curtain is drawn for the Cowboys to shove A&M through as they exit stage right for the SEC in nine calendar months. Kyle will be swaying (this Kyle will be swaying too, more from a nervous twitch than a fervent love for my university though), and the nation will watch to see which Big 12 dark horse will challenge OU for the rights to play for the Big 12 crown.

For entertainment purposes:
Spread: Texas A&M -4.5
Over/Under: 67.5

I’ll take OSU if I can get them at +4.5 and maybe even 4. I mean this really feels like a 3-4 point game at most. As for the over/under, I’m going under but I’m not excited about it. Rarely does an offensive dream like this live up to its billing and I don’t think tomorrow will be much different, especially with how much emotion will be flowing on both sides.

Video to get you excited:

A few stats you should know:

    1. Seven times since 1997 the teams have played games within five points or less. Heart attacks for everyone!!)
    1. This is the 4th season in a row Oklahoma State opens Big 12 play with Texas A&M.
    1. OSU’s defense is allowing 2.96 yards per carry in the first half of games and 5.58 yards per carry in the second.
    1. The Cowboys have scored a TD in every quarter this year.
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    A&M Mailbag

    Kyle Porter —  September 23, 2011 — 5 Comments

    Why does he look so tame?

    How much do  you expect the crowd at Kyle Field to be a factor inhibiting Weeden’s ability to get things done?
      
    The real Kyle
    Houston, TX

    Why don’t I let Mr. Weeden himself tell you…

    “The only difference is when we do something well, not as many people cheer. That’s the only real difference, and that is fine. We enjoy that.”

    I’m not sure that’s the only difference, but I am pretty stoked we’re not kicking this thing off under the lights.

    Is it just me or do other people put some blame on the big 12′s inevitable break up on the shoulders of Dan Beebe? I mean honestly, what has he done to save the big 12? The second most powerful conference in CFB is about to be no more. That starts with the commish.

    Schemmer
    Tulsa, Ok

    Sorry, Schem (I can call you that, right?) – I know you sent this question in like 48 hours ago but it’s already more outdated than Gene Chizik’s wardrobe.

    You’re right in some ways, although I would argue that the man wasn’t granted a lot of power by the other members of the conference in the first place. I mean we’re talking about a group that, when approached several years ago about starting the Big 12 network turned it down and is now upset because Texas started their own. What was he supposed to do with that?

    David Boren said yesterday that OU (or Texas) wasn’t “driving the train”, but you’d be foolish to think the commissioner of the Big 12 was anything more than putty in the hands of Gepetto.

    Remember me?

    Jorvorskie Lane
    A burger joint, TX

    I’m trying to forget…

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    The Underrated Storyline

    Kyle Porter —  September 23, 2011 — 5 Comments

    Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

    You want to know the storyline this week that nobody’s talking about because we all have our heads so far up Bevo’s butt that we don’t even know what conference we’re in anymore?

    That ABC gave LSU and West Virginia the 7 PM kick on ABC and slid OSU and Texas A&M to the 2:30 slot.

    One team beat the Aggies at Kyle Field last year – Missouri…and that game kicked at 11 AM.

    Two teams beat them at home in 2009 – OSU (11:30 kick) and Texas (at night…but they also went on to play for the title).

    The point is – a #8-ranked Texas A&M team at Kyle Field in a 2:30 game sounds 1000x better than 85,000 white towels whipping in the thick central Texas air at 7:30 as the sun sets over Olsen Field.

    At 2:30, you can minimize the crowd (as much as A&M’s crowd can be minimized), especially since the temperature will be a soul-sucking 95 degrees when the teams take the field. As a visiting team you can kind of use that to your advantage. Score a couple early in the first, keep the crowd at bay, and hold on for dear life in the second half.

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    Week 4 Lines

    Kyle Porter —  September 23, 2011 — Leave a comment

    Matt Amilian joins me on the podcast to talk week 4 lines and Big 12 trivia…which was almost outdated by the time this aired…

    You can listen to the podcast below or feel free to subscribe in iTunes HERE.

    Play

    Daily Bullets – 9.23

    Kyle Porter —  September 23, 2011 — 6 Comments

    Here’s the Oklahoma State Texas A&M ABC/ESPN2 coverage map. (ESPN)

    Why can’t more interviews be conducted as well as this one between David Ubben and Brandon Weeden? Fantastic job by Ubben asking questions and Weeden was his usual candid self with the answers. Also, I think my “Blackmon looks like TO” thing from last year is finally picking up some steam. (ESPN)

    You don’t need to scour the internet for realignment stories on what happened yesterday with the OU/Missouri press conferences and Dan Beebe’s “resignation.” Just read this one by Andy Staples. (Sports Illustrated)

    Oh, and here was Burns Hargis’ follow-up. (NewsOK)

    I like Berry Tramel, and think he generally does a job, but I think he’s masking the fact that OU got played (and pretty hard) in this post. (NewsOK)

    On the other hand, I don’t like Randy Galloway, but he’s 100% right here, OU is Texas’ you-know-what. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

    Rece Davis with some great thoughts on Saturday’s game: “I called this game last season. It was wildly entertaining and oddly painful.” (ESPN)

    A million times yes on this Dan Wetzel article. (Yahoo)

    Bill Trocchi does a great job breaking down the game this weekend. (Sports Illustrated)

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    Pressbox to the Couch

    Kyle Porter —  September 22, 2011 — 7 Comments

    Photo Attribution: @eknielsen

    Last week O’Colly sports editor, Anthony Slater and I wrote a little back and forth on the Arizona game.

    It was fun so we decided to do it again for the Tulsa game and look ahead a little bit to this weekend…

    Kyle Porter: 1st question – was the Tulsa game the most bizarre sporting event you’ve ever watched?

    Anthony Slater: Watched, no way. That is, and probably always will be, the Malace in the Palace. You know, when Ron Artest, Steven Jackson and the rest of the Pacers had a brawl with the entire Detroit crowd. Every time I see that video on YouTube, or am reminded about it, I still can’t believe it happened.

    But out of any event that I have covered, no question that was the most bizarre. In a cramped Tulsa press box, it felt like we were in a state of lockdown. There was constant rumors flying around about start times, postponements and incoming storm cells. Every flash of lightning brought a very audible groan. Then suddenly, when it seemed like a sure thing the game was going to be canceled, they announced it would be played. And your sitting there well after midnight, confused about the whole ordeal, and oh yeah, the game you have to cover is about to kickoff. It was unreal.

    What about you? What was your experience and what did you think of the decision to play the game?

    Kyle: I thought it was insane. When we got to 11 PM I thought there was no possible way the thing was being played. You mentioned in your column that Bill Haisten said at one point he thought there was less than a 1% chance of it taking place and I probably would have gone lower than that.

    As an organization you can’t be letting a team in the national title hunt play games that last until 3 AM. I understand it probably wasn’t a call Gundy or Holder could make but the fact that anybody made it was ludicrous to me.

    Are you worried about the defense getting shredded for 350+ rushing yards with Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray looming?

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    Offense Wins (Big 12) Championships

    Kyle Porter —  September 22, 2011 — 17 Comments

    Photo Attribution: Rick Smith

    Brian Fremeau of ESPN.com wrote a terrific piece the other day breaking down the offensive firepower both OSU and Texas A&M have at their disposal.

    He notes that they project both OSU and Texas A&M to have top ten offenses and top-25 defenses throughout the year. The sample size thus far doesn’t put each in its respective category but they’re close enough that the assumptions is legitimate.

    Then he goes pretty deep on something called offensive efficiency,

    In the matchups last season that featured top-10 offenses versus top-25 defenses according to offensive and defensive efficiency, the offenses had their way. The top offenses averaged more than 35 points per game and won six of eight such matchups.

    I would think this favors OSU as they have a slightly better offense compared to A&M’s slightly better D.

    Fremeau implies that one huge problem OSU could run into is A&M’s ability to control the ball and meander down the field on extended drives:

    Texas A&M, for instance, generated more offensive value in its 46-point game against SMU than Oklahoma State did in its 54-point game against Louisiana Lafayette. That’s because the Aggies had seven fewer offensive possessions than the Cowboys, scoring more often per opportunity.

    This got me thinking about ball control so I went back and ran the numbers. OSU has had 25 scoring drives this year that have lasted an average of 2:31 each. Texas A&M has had 15 scoring drives this year that have lasted an average of 2:30.

    The usual caveats of “small sample size” and “haven’t played anyone” definitely apply but I expected that variation to be much larger and much more in favor of A&M.

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    Daily Bullets – 9.22

    Kyle Porter —  September 22, 2011 — 1 Comment

    Most underrated storyline of the week? The 2:30 start. (Tulsa World)

    Here’s the Burns transcript from yesterday. I love the term “geographical integrity.” (NewsOK)

    So this was OU’s plan all along? (Dr. Saturday)

    Anthony Slater with a GREAT reminder that, yes, we do indeed have one of the biggest games in school history this weekend! (O’Colly)

    Gundy and Holder are in favor of adding TCU. (Tulsa World)

    Boone on realignment: “I lot of Oklahoma people went to California in the Dust Bowl during World War II to look for work. We’re where we should be.” (CBS Sports)

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    10 Thoughts On Realignment

    Kyle Porter —  September 21, 2011 — 4 Comments

    Photo Attribution: Rick Smith

    In light of Larry Scott’s “we are not expanding” message from the Pac-12 (which, for whatever reason, seemed more significantly more definitive than the one from Mike Slive about A&M), I decided to give you 10 quick thoughts I have on everything that’s transpired over the last week…

    1. You know how in gambling when one side is really heavy on one team and there’s Scrooge-like money coming in on that squad leading up to game time? Usually if you take a step back and say “hmmm, maybe we should think about going against what literally every single other person in the country is saying about this”, you’re going to cash in. That’s what the Pac-12 announcement that it wasn’t expanding last night felt like. Everybody had already penciled in the Oklahoma schools to the new conference. Larry Scott says, not so fast my friends.

    2. Where is Ken Starr sending Larry Scott’s family on vacation? Is he rich enough to buy them an island?

    3. Let me translate this portion of Larry Scott’s press release: “we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve.” – Screw you, Texas.

    4. I like how Jenni Carlson suggests that OU should demand equal revenue sharing amongst networks (give us the money you’re earning!) and yet they’re okay with the fact that overall revenue sharing in the Big 12 is unequal (in OU’s favor, of course).

    5. In case you were wondering (as I was), revenue sharing in the Pac-12 is completely equal except that USC and UCLA get an extra $2M each until media revenue reaches $170M per year.

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    Scooter and Jack Talk OU Football

    Kyle Porter —  September 21, 2011 — 18 Comments

    I’m joined today by a pair of OU fans to talk about the Florida State game, Bob Stoops’ new contract, and where they’re going to end up when the realignment dust settles. You’re probably going to want to hear what they have to say :)

    You can listen to the podcast below or feel free to subscribe in iTunes HERE.

    Play

    Daily Bullets – 9.21

    Kyle Porter —  September 21, 2011 — 3 Comments

    In case you missed it, here’s what happened to the Big 12/Pac-12 last night. (ESPN)

    Really great column by Berry Tramel on how not all of this is Dan Beebe’s fault. I didn’t realize his predecessor, Kevin Weiberg, tried to start a Big 12 network and got hosed by Texas/A&M/OU/Nebraska (NewsOK)

    Can I get somebody to stake out the ConocoPhillips Alumni Center tomorrow. (NewsOK)

    Gundy will miss practice on Thursday to go to Angela Spencer’s funeral. Extremely impressed by this. (Tulsa World)

    Andy Staples compares Oklahoma State to Poseidon. I feel like this column is almost becoming a parody of itself. Of course he did say he’d stop writing them if we’d stop reading. (Sports Illustrated)

    Joseph Randle skyrockets to the #12 RB in the country according to Rivals. (Rivals)

    If you’re going to College Station this weekend, here hare some great places to eat. (Holy Turf)

    Really great post (albeit from a biased source) on why ESPN is ruining the Big 12 and important recruiting really is. (hookem.com)

    Bryan Fischer says why not Joe Castiglione for Big 12 athletic director? (CBS Sports)

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    How Many Fans Does OSU Have?

    Kyle Porter —  September 20, 2011 — 4 Comments

    On Monday Nate Silver of the New York Times put together a fascinating study of how college football fans are dispersed throughout the United States.

    Many of you have undoubtedly already perused his work, but I wanted to re-post a few things on here and talk about what this means for OSU and conference realignment.

    First, I’m not wild about his method of data collection,

    One way to estimate the regional variances is to look at Google search traffic. For instance, according to Google Insights for Search, the term “college football” is searched for about 5 times as often in Birmingham, Alabama as it is in New York City, relative to overall search traffic.

    …mostly because I have literally never googled “college football” in my entire life and neither have any of my friends who actually follow and/or watch college football. I’m not going to rip his study apart because there’s a wealth of incredible info in there and like he said, there’s absolutely no way to do this correctly, I’m just not crazy about the premise.

    One of the more fascinating things to me was this,

    Nebraska has about two-thirds as many football fans in Omaha as Rutgers does in New York, even though the market is about 18 times smaller.

    He seemed surprised (or mildly amused) that Nebraska had anywhere near the same amount of fans in Omaha as Rutgers has in NYC and yet I would have thought it to be the other way around. We lose sight of the enormity of some of these markets sometimes because we only exist within the parameters in which we choose to exist.

    Here are the Big 12 figures:

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    System QBs and All-Nighters

    Kyle Porter —  September 20, 2011 — 2 Comments

    Q and I discuss the Tulsa game, wonder how nervous we’re both going to be by Saturday, and describe who would take over the blog if Justin Gilbert returned 2 kicks for TDs on Saturday..

    You can listen to the podcast below or feel free to subscribe in iTunes HERE.

    Play

    Who’s On Da Blog?!

    Kyle Porter —  September 20, 2011 — 8 Comments

    Before we get to the rest of our OSU content for today I’m going to need you to take 40 seconds and just watch this.

    It was sent to me by Adam Kemp, who does some moonlighting for CBS Sports, and it is pure internet-laden GOLD.

    Hope you guys don’t feel guilty after watching…

    Oh and coach…my name is right down there at the bottom…thanks though.

    Daily Bullets – 9.20

    Kyle Porter —  September 20, 2011 — 8 Comments

    Kirk Bohls says Mike Gundy is the most underrated coach in college football. (Austin American-Statesman)

    Berry Tramel with a STRONG column on the Big 12 being toast. (NewsOK)

    I don’t understand how OU plans on making its own network and not creating a competitive advantage. What will they do differently than Texas is doing? (NewsOK)

    Ubben gives the OSU fans an award for last week’s showing. (ESPN)

    Justin Gilbert is your Big 12 special teams player of the week. (Big 12 Sports)

    Wow, a fellow Oklahoma State blogger has Baylor ranked #6. (CRFF)

    Gundy saying Gundy things about Kyle Field: “we have mature players, and I expect them to play well.” (NewsOK)

    Interesting, Tony Pauline says Weeden is starting to create a buzz amongst scouts. (Sports Illustrated)

    Bill Young on Glenn Spencer: “Glenn is such a wonderful person and I don’t know if I’ve met a better man than him. He has such a wonderful family. I can’t begin to tell you how sad we are and that we feel for him and his family, and his two boys.” (Go Pokes)

    Good look back at OSU’s last 3 Ws over Texas A&M by Brent Zwerneman. (Houston Chronicle)

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    How Good is Joseph Randle?

    Kyle Porter —  September 19, 2011 — 40 Comments

    Photo Attribution: @eknielsen

    Our most common (and recent) point of reference is Kendall Hunter. You know, the two-time first team All-Big 12 running back who #1 and #31 have made you completely forget about.

    Let’s take a look at Hunter’s first three games in 2008 and 2010 (his first full season and last full season). We’ll throw out 2009 because of injuries.

    Kendall Hunter
    2008: 56 rushes for 449 yards and 6 TDs | 1 reception for 18 yards
    2010: 60 rushes for 473 yards and 6 TDs | 11 receptions for 40 yards

    Now let’s take a look at Randle’s first three games of the 2011 season.

    Joseph Randle
    2011: 62 rushes for 378 yards and 7 TDs | 12 receptions for 117 yards

    So if you add up the total receiving and rushing yards (Hunter actually returned kicks for the first three games last year but I refuse to acknowledge that for how asinine it was), you get:

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    BlogPoll – Week 4

    Kyle Porter —  September 19, 2011 — 4 Comments

    Like I said last week, things are starting to clear up in the top 25. This was the first week I kept my top 5 (and top 9) the same as they all performed they way I thought they should have performed given their position.

    It kills me to rank Baylor as high as I have them but they deserve it with the way they’ve played so far.

    I don’t really know what to do with West Virginia. I dropped them after they struggled with Norfolk State for a half but if they give LSU any kind of game I’ll be satisfied that their top 20 ranking is justified.

    Clemson also might be a nomadic wanderer in my poll if Florida State throttles them this weekend in Death Valley.

    And speaking of Florida State, I thought as a team they looked pretty strong but EJ Manuel, my goodness, he was not good. I’ll be interested to see how they respond.

    OU, on the other hand, had no trouble responding. Just like #1 is supposed to do. I thought Scott Van Pelt had the tweet of the night on the Florida State OU game. He always says stuff in 8 words that would take me 8 paragraphs to convey.

    My Cowboys sit at 7 but I’ll probably but the winner of this weekend’s game ahead of Stanford at #6 depending on how clean the game is.

    Full poll after the jump.

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    Daily Bullets – 9.19

    Kyle Porter —  September 19, 2011 — 6 Comments

    Students don’t forget to take advantage of your 40% off discount at the Student Union store today.

    Sad story about an OSU coach whose wife passed away on Saturday. Thoughts and prayers from PFB. (NewsOK)

    Do I get to come to this? (okstate.com)

    Want to see what Mike Gundy looked like before he started spiking his hair? (umterps.com)

    Vendor at the Oklahoma state fair makes ice cream in under 1 second. (NewsOK)

    The Cowgirl soccer team set a school record on Sunday with its 11th straight win. (okstate.com)

    …and the golf team tied for 2nd in its season-opening tournament. (okstate.com)

    Great game writeup by Anthony Slater. (O’Colly)

    I’m going to miss blogging about Weeden next year. Here’s a quote from him about the Sunday morning rain delay: “I sat there with my offensive line and joked and laughed and ate some Cheetos and hung out.” (NewsOK)

    Nine different players have scored for OSU this year. (NewsOK)

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    No Sleep, No Excuse

    Kyle Porter —  September 18, 2011 — 5 Comments

    Photo Attribution: @eknielsen

    According to this tweet by Oklahoma State football sports information director, Gavin Lang, the OSU football team eased onto Hall of Fame street at approximately 5:47 AM this morning following their 59-33 basting of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

    About 6 hours later Justin Blackmon tweeted:

    Y am I so sleepy???

    Well I’ve got a few reasons JB, not the least of which is the fact that you were playing a live collegiate football game as the city of New York was getting ready to see the tip of the sun.

    I got a few messages and tweets this afternoon asking me if I thought the team would be thrown into a funk because of the crazy schedule last night. I don’t think so, and here’s why…

    Think about when they used to have to travel to Boulder (or Ames, or Austin) for an 8 PM (CST) kick. You get done with that game at 11:30, roll out at around 12:30 or 1 AM, and have about a 2-hour flight home. Once you get unpacked and pack to Boone Pickens you’re looking at 3:30 or 4 AM.

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    OSU Smokes Tulsa in Midnight Madness

    Kyle Porter —  September 18, 2011 — 12 Comments

    Story
    At least we can say it was historic. Oh, the NCAA doesn’t keep track of “latest game ever played” stats so we can’t even say that?

    Well, at least we can say it was fun. Except that there is little to nothing fun about Clint Chelf throwing incomplete passes at 3:30 AM central standard time.

    I guess we can just say it’s over and leave it at that. Even though it felt like it never would be. And the entire game might have been one big NCAA violation.

    The three hour rain/lightning delay turned into a huge game of “who can say the funniest thing about OSU sports on Twitter” (there were some good ones) so that was mildly entertaining for about an hour before we started pining for some real football. The fans were even escorted into Tulsa’s basketball gym where Q got a good pic of both sides rooting on FSU against OU in Tallahassee.

    We finally got going at approximately 12:15 am on Saturday night Sunday morning much to the chagrin of sportswriters everywhere (Jimmie Tramel had the tweet of the night regarding that).

    It was a game in which the Cowboys had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    I got about eight “I have a horrible feeling about this game being played in the rain post-midnight” texts in the span of 3 minutes as Tulsa booted it to Justin Gilbert.

    I loved Monken’s first four play calls as Randle just slammed it up the middle as if to say “we don’t care that we’ve been in your minuscule visitors locker room for three straight hours, we’re still the #7 team in the country and we’re about to show you what that feels like.”

    Weeden would turn it over on (another) tipped ball pick later in the drive and the Cowboys would actually trail for the first time this year. That lasted for all of about 11 seconds though as Justin Gilbert took the ensuing kick to the house while I had convulsions on my living room floor.

    Weeden and Co. wouldn’t look back from there either adding a strike to Hubert Anyiam, two rushing TD’s from Randle, and a Quinn Sharp FG to make it 31-6 at halftime.

    The second half was a complete zoo: 41 points in the 3rd, onside kicks, and diving picks somehow translated into a 52-26 lead for OSU heading to the 4th before they closed it out with their usual potion of Smith, Randle, and Weeden.

    What we learned
    We learned that Justin Blackmon having great games is not a pre-requisite for this team to win games. He only had 7 catches for 57 yards and 1 TD and the thing was an absolute rout.

    We learned that Gundy isn’t afraid to play his starters nearly all four quarters of a game that was all but decided at the half.

    We learned that this really is the deepest team Gundy has ever had. 10 different receivers have caught a pass in every game so far this year. I predicted it would happen, I just didn’t think they’d get it done this soon.

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