Folks, good to be back with you.
How quickly things change. OU has gone from even Bobby Knight espousing that the Sooners are one of the three teams that is a cut above and has a great chance of a national title.
But after the beat down last night in Columbia by the plucky Tigers of Missouri, the Sooners were left looking confused, dazed and questioning how they can get things together before the red-hot OSU Cowboys roll into town for what's all of a sudden become a massive game for both teams Saturday at the LNC.
Matters not if you are playing Blink, Monopoly, hacky sack or basketball, the one with the most confidence will usually win. I'd think right now the run and gun Pokes and their feisty mentor have extra pep in their step, anxious to take a shot at the former King Kong of the Midwest.
OU has better players than OSU. But to bring up a sore subject, OU had better players than Boise State. OU had better players than West Virginia. But those football squadrons came in with a chip on their shoulders, ready to come out of the gate swinging, and.....confident.
Is an NCAA one seed still possible, or is a loss to OSU and a quick out in the Big 12 Tournament just as possible that would result a plummet which would make the NCAA folks scratch their heads in trying to figure out how far to drop an all-of-a-sudden flailing team?
This Oklahoma team is the most fun team to watch since Billy Tubbs was on a roll and trotted out teams that were serious title threats. Especially the 1987-88 team that was good enough to be a double digit favorite the national championship game won by Danny and the Miracles.
But this team that can be so entertaining and dominant can stink it up at times. Anyone with a last name that does not begin with a G and end with an n can, has, and is going fast quicker than you can say "Anyone seen Willie, AJ, Tony, Juan or Cade?"
Sloppy, lose with the ball, poor FT shooting, poor field goal shooting, slacking on defense, and basically lackadaisical, this bunch of talented players are all of a sudden not coming close to their potential. Something's amiss.
Sooner faithfuls want to know what's behind the Juan Patillo and Willie Warren sit-downs. Some fans read about Georgia and Jeff Capel and get paranoid that a bizarre story like this is a distraction. Some simply believe their team has been overrated.
I can't tell you what's going on. What I do believe is that Jeff Capel is a good man, smart man, knows how to push the right buttons.....a coach good enough that suitors from around the country will come calling soon. But it's obvious that in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world we live in, the Dukie needs to put up his dukes and figure it out. Obviously, his guys must begin to put up their Dukies as well.
There is no secret to winning. Heck, look no further than Bud, Barry and Bob. OU's football program became ESPN's greatest football program of all-time primarily because recruiting the best players. Then having them play with fire, and us against the world mentality, and confidence.
Simple. Best players. Play hard. Play smart. And play with confidence -there's that word again
There's your answer coach. Now if he can get his boys to listen. Most importantly, just if you can get your guys to implement what they've heard.
Two other things to consider as the Sooners are getting ready to host the red-hot visitors from Stillwater. One, they should put the Missouri hammer-job behind them as perhaps no one in the country would beat them at home where they are 18-0 and won those games by an average of 26 points per.
Secondly is something that is rarely mentioned but something that should help provide confidence to the wobbly Sooners. Oklahoma has finished behind Oklahoma State only once in twelve Big 12 seasons.
Betcha when the ball is tossed up in Norman Saturday, these hungry teams will have more significant things on their minds, rather than reflecting back in the days of black and white TV, when Mookie and Big Country roamed the plains.