Red River Rivalry

October 5, 2006



OU Wins – 24 Texas 17

If it’s possible, the Red River Rivalry has more significance now than it did in the 1980s, when it was viewed as life-or-death by fans of the Longhorns and Sooners. Of course, the fans’ attitude hasn’t changed — but the country’s has. Since Texas and OU are both nationally ranked and are in the same conference and same division, Saturday’s matchup has Big 12 and national title implications. It’s about as big a conference matchup as you can have.

Each team enters Saturday’s matchup with one loss. No. 14 Oklahoma is still festering over its controversial loss to Oregon and has had an extra week to prepare for this game. Having a week off near the beginning of the season is both good and bad — it gives teams time to heal and time to prepare, but coaches hate to get out of a routine. Coaches spend the time worrying about players traveling home, doing too much, etc.

To beat No. 7 Texas, Oklahoma will have to establish a passing game. As good as running back Adrian Peterson is, he can’t carry the Sooners by himself against a big, athletic, veteran Longhorns defensive line. Ohio State was able to defeat Texas by using a balanced attack; the progress of Sooners quarterback Paul Thompson will be measured by his performance Saturday. Peterson will get his yards, and it will be up to Texas’ D to limit his yards after the initial hit, to keep him from getting 40 yards on what should be a 10-yard run. They have to gang-tackle him, which is easier said than done. When you commit your defense to one person, you run the risk that you’ll give up big plays in the passing game. Oklahoma has shown it has the ability to do that.

Neither quarterback has started a game in the rivalry, and it will be interesting to see how they handle not only the pressure of the other team but also the hundreds of thousands of people in Dallas for the state fair and the general buildup — it’s as close to the days of gladiators fighting in the Coliseum as I’ve seen. This is the type of game you live to play in as a coach and a player — the kind you remember long after your playing days are over.


Adrian Peterson’s Quest for the Heisman!

October 5, 2006

Week 5 – AD gonna send the Longhorns to the butcher! 

RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
AD descends upon Big D with his best chance of 2006 to close the gap on Smith, while maintaining his cushion on the line of contenders forming in the rear view mirror. Unlike last year, when he had an injured ankle and Vince Young was still an amateur, Peterson is completely healthy and the main attraction of the annual Red River Rivalry.
Last Week: Idle
This Week: vs. Texas
2006 Season: 117 carries for 643 yards and 7 TDs – 4 catch for 72 yards and 1 TD
Barometer: Steady


Matt Zemek breaks it down.

September 19, 2006

What more can be said?

Footbal Farce!

September 18, 2006

I’m not sure how to describe what I saw Saturday. A travesty? A farce? A sick joke?
The three calls made late in the OU-Oregon game by Pac-10 officials were both wrong and inexcusable. There’s no other way to say it, and some severe explaining needs to be done.
The Oklahoma – Texas Tech instant replay controversy last year was like a misdemeanor compared to this felony of a bungling by the officials. The plays were no-brainers. After watching a tape of the game over and over again, the truth still remains the same. OU was screwed.

On the onside kick, the Oregon player clearly touched the ball first before it went 10 yards. The illegal contact was then proven on what seemed like eight different camera angles.

But in a surreal moment right out of George Orwell’s 1984 — or any other futuristic novel where the people in charge dictate the “truth” to the masses — the referee came out and said, and I’m quoting here, “There is conclusive video evidence that the ball was touched by a receiving team (OU) player.”

Conclusive? Did the official in the booth somehow flip his channel to the LSU-Auburn game? Because he sure as heck wasn’t watching what I was watching.

Here was the referee, telling millions of people watching on television that they didn’t see what they just saw.

And lost in all of the confusion was that OU’s Allen Patrick actually recovered the football. Once again, the tape clearly shows the ball squirt out of the bottom of the pile — well away from any Oregon player — and Patrick simply picks it up and shows it to the officials, who proceed to ignore him.

Seconds later, seemingly to rub it in, a pass clearly deflected by an OU lineman was not acknowledged because the video was “inconclusive.”

The whole sequence was mind-boggling.

So what should be done?

First, there needs to be an investigation, because the game was handed to Oregon on a silver platter. Whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know. Basically, there needs to be open explanation to OU as to how this situation was permitted to occur under a system that was brought in to keep situations like this from occurring.

Second, instant replay has officially been proven a sham and needs to be discarded or drastically changed. If referees won’t overturn calls that are obviously incorrect, then why have the system at all? In reality, the plays weren’t even that close, yet somehow they befuddled the officials.

Third, college football’s timing changes have also taken a hit. With 45 seconds left – under the old rules – the Sooners would have had plenty of time to get into better field goal range. Under the new rules, where the clock starts at the kick and as soon as the ball is spotted, the Sooners managed one measly run and nearly let the clock run out before spiking the football.

And finally, the national media’s anti-OU bias was clearly displayed by an unwillingness to defend the Sooners.

“Well, if the Sooners would have played better defense, or made the field goal, they still could have won,” one national talking head said.


They shouldn’t have had to keep playing defense, and Hartley shouldn’t have had to hit a field goal.

And trust me, I’m not one to make excuses. I hate excuses. Can’t stand ‘em. I usually I just tell people to get over it and move on.

But in this case, I have to make an exception. The Sooners, who many predicted would lose to Oregon (including myself), came out and played extremely well for a young team on the road in a stadium as formidable as Autzen. Yes, they made plenty of mistakes. Too many to count, really. But they played well enough to win, and that’s all that matters. It’s a shame that a hard-earned victory from a young team had to be so obviously taken away.

So, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, “Somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do.”

Zach West is the sports editor and a journalism senior. His column appears every Monday.Photo: The football seems to be recovered by an OU player after an onside kick from Oregon during Saturday’s game. Photo provided

Sound Off!!!!!

September 18, 2006

“The instant replay was brought up to eliminate issues like this. And here, there are a number of issues that are clearly — looking at video — wrong,” Stoops said Sunday.

Let your comments be heard Football Nation!!!

Matthew Zemek “Oklahoma: don’t riot or do anything destructive tonight … “

September 18, 2006

“Memo to the people of the fine state of Oklahoma: don’t riot or do anything destructive tonight … even though you’d be justified to feel like doing something violent. After all, this game was violently taken away from a deserving bunch of Sooners by inept officiating and even more inept replay evaluators.”

 Trust me Matthew, my neighbors probably thought we were having an earthquacke after hearing me stomping around and roaring like a rogue elephant……

Pac-10 commissioner reviewing the plays!

September 18, 2006

“Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said Saturday night that both the onside kick and pass interference call will be reviewed by the league.”

Well that is reassuring! If it’s anything like the review the Pac – 10 officiating crew saw, we can count on them swearing that it was Elvis who touched the ball first!