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Dean's List: Bradford Not To Blame, And The Rise Of Baker Football

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BAKER MAYFIELD MEET JOHNNY FOOTBALL

Baker Mayfield brought back memories of Johnny Football with some of his heroics against Tulsa. Especially the 18-yard TD strike to Mark Andrews after pulling a Houdini escape trick to push the third quarter lead back to 14. Today, Mayfield said he met Manziel when their teams played one another in high school. Mayfield, a sophomore who hadn’t played QB much and Manziel a senior whom Mayfield admired for his spunkiness in also playing in the secondary and running back kicks. I found it more interesting when the OU junior said he’d been in touch with the A&M Heisman winner when Mayfield was quarterbacking at Texas Tech under Kliff Kingsbury, Manziel’s OC at A&M.

Without Baker Mayfield, OU would be either 2-1 or 1-2. No one in his right mind could argue that.

It’s pretty simple. Baylor assistant Jeff Lebby – the son in law of Art Briles -- was pretty dumb or audacious for being on the Tulsa sideline Saturday in Norman. There’s no advantage for anyone but it’s clearly against the rules and awkward. 

If Mayfield is granted another year of eligibility with OU’s appeal of the NCAA decision to deny eligibility last season, it would change things dramatically around the program. Assuming he’ll stay the full three years, it would put OU in great shape at the position, although it would undoubtedly alter a couple of strong-looking QB commitments Lincoln Riley has procured.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Bob Stoops was highly complimentary of Jonathon Alvarez at his news conference. The starting guard slid to center and played well against Tulsa. With Stoops also complimenting tackle-turned-guard Derek Farniak for his play, you gotta wonder if Alvarez may get some time at center when starting senior captain Ty Darlington returns next week. Darlington’s lack of physicality is hurting the overall effectiveness of the offensive line, but his smarts, experience and leadership are helpful. 

WHAM SAM NO THANK YOU MAM

Sam Bradford was not very good in Philly’s loss to Dallas last night, but the play of his line and receivers looked like what he had in St. Louis. Sam may be the greatest example of how inferior blocking, no run game and no separation from receivers who drop passes that often end up intercepted can completely wipe away any chance a QB has of succeeding. And taint a good reputation. The biggest concern I have for Bradford is he is obviously still unsure to a degree on a knee after two ACL surgeries. Being unsure and playing QB in the NFL don’t mesh very well.

TAKING COWBOYS TO ‘HEARD’ UP HORNS DESPITE QB DISCOVERY

UT’s rejuvenated offense under newly-anointed QB Jerrod Heard may find their yards and points harder to come by Saturday against an athletic and improved Oklahoma State defense. Heard has been proclaimed the 5-year answer to the baffling question at QB in Austin and racked up huge numbers in the close loss to Cal and its bad defense Saturday night in Austin. All I know is if it’s this obvious now, someone was not very good at evaluating QBs at Texas. It was clear the Longhorn offense was going nowhere fast with Tyrone Swoopes. I’m taking the Cowboys to win, 35-24 in Austin.

OSU has gone from a 5-point preseason underdog against Texas to currently a 5-point favorite. That’s a dramatic 10-point swing from expectations a few weeks ago.

GOD REST HIS SOUL

So sad to learn of the passing of a friend and respected man, Jeff Naple. OSU’s longtime video coordinator taken too soon from his lovely wife and sixteen year old son, at age 54. 

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