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The Dean's List, Sunday, May 31

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PAT PAULSEN FOR PRESIDENT!

Join us on the Blitz tonight as I attempt to extend one of the more dominant Play the Percentages streaks I've mustered in the past five years. My one-week streak is on the line. So ponder Senator Holcomb's often persuasive insight but grab the cell and text in your vote to the number on the screen: DEAN. It will be the smartest vote you've made since some of the older generation voted for Pat Paulsen for president in one of his five bids for the top office in the land.

For those unfamiliar with the potential president Pat Paulsen, I found this in the New York Times. “Pat Paulsen, the mournful-looking comedian who ran five tongue-in-cheek races for the Presidency, became a household name in 1968 when he announced on ''The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour'' that he was running for President under the Straight Talking American Government Party, or the S.T.A.G. Party.”

I'll never forget back in my college days, laughing my sides silly one night at an OKC establishment listening to a Pat Paulsen comedy routine, with a heavy dose of election-style comedy.

TALKING OVER/UNDERS ON BLITZ TONIGHT

On tonight's Blitz, John and I will dive into the college football over/unders that have been established by 5Dimes for the Sooners and Cowboys. They set the projected number of wins during the 12-game regular season for OU at nine, OSU seven and Texas six-and-a-half.

It seems lofty for the Sooners, considering last season, new coaches, the schedule and uncertainty at QB. But the over/under number for traditional powers like OU/USC/Texas, is always a half or full game higher than seems appropriate. If you take off the OU jersey and go 9-3 with their schedule, most coaches would be conference coach of the year. But if Bob Stoops DOESN'T win nine games, the natives will be restless.

5 MAJOR CHALLENGES

9/12 at Tennessee

10/10 Texas

11/14 at Baylor

11/21 host TCU

11/28 at OSU

I see five major challenges. Tennessee has bowl game and recruiting momentum, returns 17 starters—including their talented QB and super young talent—and has gained confidence in the third year of the Butch Jones regime. Throw in over 100,000 fans in Neyland Stadium, and it'll be a tough win for an OU team with a new offensive system, lots of new players and only one game under their belt.

Texas is next on the list. Even though UT still seems to be struggling at QB, it's not like OU's had all the answers there. Plus, the Longhorn defense is better than OU's and I'd expect a low-scoring tussle.

Obviously Baylor, with a talented new QB in Seth Russell—who will have almost a season under his belt by the time OU rolls into Waco—will likely be favored again over the Sooners. Somehow, year-in and year-out, OU ranks higher than the Bears on recruiting lists, but if you go player-by-player, OU hasn't had many players the past couple of years who would start for Art Briles.

TCU is next, and unlike the upset Gary Patterson pulled off in Norman before joining the Big 12, this one sets up as a rare instance when Bob Stoops will be a home underdog. OSU is the season finale and sets up to be like most of them—annual Bedlam tight-fits.

The remaining seven games seem manageable, with West Virginia the week before Texas, and at Kansas State the week following the Texas game, appearing more challenging than the remaining four (Akron, Tulsa, Texas Tech and Iowa State – all at home).

ATHLON'S BIG 12 RANKINGS

Athlon is a good resource for college football research. They didn't have Kansas and Texas Tech ranked with their online rankings, but otherwise had the other 8 Big 12 teams in this order:

3-Baylor

5-TCU

17-OU

28-OSU

33-Texas

36-West Virginia

44-Kansas State

74-Iowa State

Thanks and see you on the Blitz!

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