#JoeMixon the #MichaelPhelps of #CFB American Hypocrisy at its best

michael-phelps-mug-shotMichael Phelps, the undisputed greatest swimmer of all time  graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the twelfth and possibly final time. Although his athletic prowess is unquestioned, his antics outside of the pool has also been well chronicled as well. But for some reason the possession of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse and his arrest for DUI have been forgiven in exchange for 23 Olympic Gold Medals.

Once Phelps committed these heinous acts he was charged, sentenced, and eventually forgiven. His antics were explained away as bouts of immaturity and after he served a short suspension from the pool, Phelps endorsements and the media love-fest soon returned.

When the video of Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon was released I could not joe-mixon-plea-dealhelp but think about how differently  Mixon was being treated. Although Mixon’s actions were indefensible, the same folks who excused the actions of the ‘GOAT’ in the pool seem determined to prevent this troubled young man’s second chance at redemption.

So as the public execution of Mixon continues and folks call for this young man to be kicked out of Oklahoma and black balled from the NFL, think about Phelps. Each time you see an Intel commercial think about the privilege Phelps has received. Think about how quickly the American public dismissed his actions which could have cost you the life of your loved one. Were Phelps antics any phelps-faceless heinous or irreprehensible than Mixon’s? Is price of forgiveness paved in gold medals and record breaking peformances?

If Phelps can be given an opportunity to re emerge from his troubled past and become the ‘GOAT’, Mixon is more than deserving of the same chance. Is America is truly the land of second chances or is that a privedge only reserved for only aselect view?  Has Mixon played his last down in Norman? Is he really undraftable? Stay tuned…I know I will

Road2Arlington: Is Big Game Bob Stoops Back? #BoomerSooner

sooner magicFor over a decade the Oklahoma Sooners have been the epitome of inconsistency, boasting the talent of an elite program but falling short year after year time after time breaking the hearts of Sooner faithful along the way. But after the Sooners win over the czar of college football Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, the hype machine has returned, the Bob Stoops coaching hot seat has cooled and many believe that the Sooner Magic is back. And the losses and disappointing finishes have all but been forgotten.

The source of excitement in Norman is largely due to the growth of quarterback Trevortrevor knight and sterling shepard Knight who can extend plays with his legs and has the arm strength to make defenders pay for gambling. Although only 7 starters return on offense the cupboard is far from bare and players like running backs Keith Ford  and freshman phenom Joe Mixon may become household names at season’s end. Despite the Sooner embracing a next man up mentality the key to the Sooners National Championship hopes may be determined by the uncertainty at the wide receiver position. No one will contest the game breaking ability of receiver Sterling Shepard, but more playmakers will be relied on to play beyond their years. The concerns at wideout would all but be eliminated if Missouri  Tigers transfer Dorial Green Beckham is granted immediate eligibility.

Despite the uncertainty at wide receiver, the Sooners will boast one of the scariest defenses in the nation that may be able to win their fair share of games on their own. After eric striker hit on casey mccoyweathering the storm of inexperience and inconsistency the Sooners apparently figured it out. Blessed with both talent and depth the defense promises to be fierce, ferocious, and fresh. The Sooners may boast the best collection of linebackers in the country. Last season Dominique Alexander and Eric Striker gave opposing quarterbacks nightmares one jarring hit after the other. The defensive line led by Charles Tappner will be relied on heavily to give the talented yet inexperienced Sooner secondary time to get their barrings.

In the age of the aerial onslaught that now defines the Big 12 Conference one slight mental era in the secondary could be the difference of dreams of a national championship being realized or ruined. Conference titles and BCS Bowls games have become the norm during the Stoops era, but National Titles sooner fan cryinghave constantly alluded him. With an impressive cast of players returning, will things finally be different in 2014? Is Big Game Bob Stoops back or will Sooner fans be shedding more tears, yet again? Stay tuned…I know I will. Boomer Sooner

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Kevin Sumlin – Elite Coach or Weis 2.0

kevin sumlin and aggielandkevin sumlin and aggielandWhen Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference many did not expect them to be able to hang with the so called big boys of the SEC. Thanks largely to the once in a lifetime talent in Johnny Manziel and three elite offensive lineman (Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, and Cedric Ogbuechi) the A&M football program has outshined that team in Austin and is now the face of Texas football.

The Heisman winner and his stalwarts have reinvigorated gigem nation and Coach Kevin Sumlin‘s six year extension is a token of appreciation for rescuing the once proud program from the depths of mediocrity and irrelevance.

But did A&M jump the gun in offering Sumlin a six year extension? Haven’t we manziel magicseen this tale before, where an offensive mastermind starts with a bang but ends with a sizzle and the school is left holding the bill wondering what happened?

No one will contest Sumlin’s proven track record of success as a quarterback whisper that has been the mastermind of explosive offenses at Houston and as the quarterback coach for Heisman winner Josh Huepel and the 2000 BCS National Champion Oklahoma Sooners.

But didn’t the disgraced but now humbled Coach Charlie Weis have a resume that was just as impressive? Notre Dame awarded Weis with a jaw dropping 10 year extension because they thought Weis was the answer to their prayers after the infamous Bush push. But after abysmal showing in consecutive BCS Bowl games; folks charlie  not so weisrealized that they had jumped the gun in awarding an extension after only two years on the job.

Weis’s success was largely tied to quarterback Brady Quinn just like Sumlin and the reigning Heisman winner Mr. Football. May Sumlin be headed toward a similar fall from grace? Sumlin got his contract extension based largely on the performance and play of Manziel. Since his star quarterback is not included in his latest deal should folks in gigem nation have reason to be nervous?

manziel vs lsuIf the offensive struggles against LSU and Missouri are any indicators of things to come, the days of explosive offenses in Aggieland may already be over.

Life after Manziel will be mired in uncertainty, but then and only then will we know if A&M is here to stay or if Sumlin is merely Weis 2.0, a coach whose success had more to do with his quarterback and not with his play calling? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

The Bob Stoops Dilemma: A Victim of his own Success – Why Winning is no longer enough? #boomersooner

Thirteen years ago the Oklahoma Sooners welcomed Bob Stoops with open arms to Norman with high hopes of restoring glory to a once proud program.His hiring yielded immediate results with Coach Bob ‘Big Game’ Stoops bringing a National Championship back to Norman in only his second year on the job. During his thirteen years in Norman he has won seven Big XII Championship and accumulated an impressive 77-3 home record.

Despite his success it appears that Soonernation and Bob Stoops have come to a crossroad. Although Coach Stoops is nearly a lock  for nine wins every year and favorite to win a Big XII Championship every year so much more is expected. There was time when winning was enough but in Norman another nine win season and another Big XII Championship is expected and is considered by Soonernation to be underachieving.

Stoops has raised the bar so high in Norman that his own success has become his downfall. Although he has collected his fair share of awards and trophies besides their dominance in the Red River Rivalry the Sooners have failed to win when it truly counts: 1-3 in Title Games (55-19 to USC; 24-14 to UF;  21-14 LSU) 2-5 BCS Games; 7-6 Bowl Record.

When the Sooners leave the comfort of the Big XII and face non-conference foes with equal talent Bob Stoops fails miserably making several pundits question why are we paying $4 million dollars to a coach who chokes when it TRULY counts.

His struggles have put the Athletic Director, Joe Castigilone who hired him into a conundrum. Although you may be unhappy with his performance how do you fire a coach whose won 7 Big XII Championships? And if you fire him who do you get to replace him? There is no easy answer to either of these questions, there only hope is that Stoops leaves to take another coaching somewhere else.

However, the secret is out and although several prominent programs were looking for head coaches to fill their vacancies traditional powerhouse like his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes or former employer the Florida Gators did not even give Bob Stoops any consideration choosing instead to hire an unproven defensive coordinator in Will Muschamp and his Youngstown Ohio native Urban Meyer who had retired the year before due to health complications.

It appears that the Sooners and Bob ‘USED TO BE BIG GAME’ Stoops are stuck together and although they will have the talent to contend for the National Championship, Soonernation may have to continue to settle for another Big XII Championship, unacceptable losses (Texas Tech, BYU, and Baylor) and a poor showing in a BCS Bowl Game. 

On Saturday the Sooners were out-toughed and out-executed by Optimus Klein and the undermanned  Kansas State Wildcats. It looks like another disappointing and underachieving Sooner team. Will Coach Stoops and the Sooners ever be able todo what is unexpected and fulfill their promise of bringing the National Championship back to Norman? With Texas Tech next Saturday we shall see how Landry Jones and the Sooners respond. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

Road to the BCS Title: There can only be 1! Teams may appear better than they seem #bcstitle

We are only going into the fourth week of the season and several  sports pundits have prematurely deemed several traditional powers to be back among the nation’s elite after witnessing them demolish FCS pansies and outclassing undermanned programs. In the words of the Lee Corso from College Gameday I must say “not so fast!”

A few weeks ago Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban went on a tirade lecturing the national media on prematurely ordaining his team as a shoe-in to contend for the national title. Although his delivery rubbed many media member the wrong way his message was SEARS CRYSTAL TROPHY CLEAR, its far to early in a long 15 week season to foolishly overlook opponents and make grand predictions because in college football any team on any day can lose.

The road to a BCS Championship is long and arduous and despite many teams possessing the talent only two teams out of a field of 120 will get the opportunity to play for the crown of being the nation’s best. So far this season we have bared witness to dominant performances by Alabama and LSU but several other teams in the top 15 raise more questions than answers regarding their true legitimacy as contenders for the national title.

Future Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells once famously said “YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE” but despite several teams being 3-0 we still have no clue who they are:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) — Two very impressive wins over teams ranked in the top 10. The O-line gave up 6 sacks to WKU and suffered a costly injury when RB Fowler who was lost for the season. O-line issues must be addressed before their match-up with LSU Nov. 3rd
  2. LSU Tigers (3-0) — LSU regular season record remains unblemished with dominating performances over powerhouses Idaho, North Texas, and Washington. These wins have come at a huge cost losing 6 players due to academics and 3 to injuries including starting LT Faulk,  LB Tahj Jones, and RB Alfred Blue. The depth of the Tigers will be tested, the talent is there will inexperience be too costly
  3. Oregon Ducks (3-0) — like the Tigers the Oregon Ducks have survived a “tough” gauntlet of unranked opponents in TN Tech, Ark State, and Fresno State and have looked impressive in their wins over these ‘tough’ foes. The Ducks have barely broke a sweat in their wins but suffered two huge losses in G Carson York and All-American safety John Boyett. With a tough conference schedule awaiting the decision making of QB Mariota and a inexperienced O-line and secondary will be tested.
  4. Florida State Seminoles (3-0) — not one to avoid tough opponents the Seminoles paid Murray State and Savannah State for wins and put a shellacking on perennial powerhouse Wake Forest. These wins were costly losing All-Americans DE Jenkins to injury and Greg Reid to suspension.
  5. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) — the Bull Dogs survived a scare from the Missouri Tigers despite 6 players being lost due to suspension. Will the Dogs be able to just say NO TO DRUGS??
  6. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) — So you get nearly outclassed by UTEP and still find yourself in the top 10. Coach Stoops did not get the Nickname “Big Game Bob” for nothing…
  7. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0) — A pass interference no call from Vandy warrants being ranked in top ten
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0) — James Madison + Marshall = Heisman Frontrunner?
  9. Stanford Cardinals (3-0) — yes they beat SC but nearly loss to San Jose State only winning by 3
  10. Clemson Tigers (3-0) – 26-19 to Auburn who almost lost to Louisiana Monroe, enough said

As the quest for the Sears National Championship Trophy continues as the season progresses the rankings will certainly change and I am more than certain that a few of these teams currently ranked in the top 10 may not even finish the season in the top 25. Who will be those teams? Who will hoist the trophy at season’s end. Stay tuned… I know i will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

 

Countdown to College Football: OU Sooners – Coach Stoops, Aging Coach. Declining Program. #boomersooner

In 1999 Coach Bob Stoops assumed the challenge of returning the Oklahoma Sooners football program to one of the nation’s elite. During his tenure at Oklahoma he has won a national championship, coached a Heisman winner and countless All-Americans, won 4 Big XII Championships, and boosted the national exposure of the football program which has attracted five-star recruits from all over the country.

In spite of the accolades and an impressive 139-34 winning record, the shine from the BCS title that Stoops won 13 years ago has faded and seasons of unfulfilled expectations and poor showings in big games remain fresh in the minds of pundits and fans alike. This upcoming season the Bob Stoops era is on the line and if he is unable to maximize the impressive array of talent on his roster, it may be time for #soonernation to find themselves a new coach.

The Sooners will be led by quarterback Landry Jones who turned down millions from the NFL to return for his senior year in Norman. Considered a first round lock by most draft analyst little drop off is expected from a potent offense that returns play-makers at wide receiver in Kenny Stills and spring break out star Trey Moyer. Dominique Whaley returns from a broken ankle and leads a deep stable of running backs but there are huge holes along the offensive line due to two expected starters being lost for the season because of injuries. Although the Sooners lost a lot of senior leadership from last year’s team the firepower that they possess on offense will certainly put up a lot of points and set a few Big XII records.

Mike Stoops returns to Norman to salvage a defense that has played very poorly and has failed to live up to  expectations, despite the collection of five-star recruits on the defensive side of the ball. Their secondary has at times looked lost and have been consistently susceptible to big plays. In order counteract the spread offenses in the Big XII the defensive coordinator has installed a new defensive scheme which include a “2 linebacker 3 cornerback sets”. Along the defensive line the Sooners have a wealth of big bodies who have yet to fulfill the expectations everyone had of them as five-star recruits. Future first rounders Tony Jefferson at safety and Corey Nelson at linebacker will set the tone for the defense and may be up for postseason honors if they continue to play at an All-American level.

Thirteen years ago the Sooners won a BCS title and since then they have failed to meet the lofty expectations time and time again. Winning records used to be enough to keep your job, but losses to inferior teams and poor showing in BCS Bowl Games is no longer acceptable.

The time has come for Bob Stoops to make Norman, Oklahoma the Mecca of College Football once again, its been long overdue. Will the offensive line protect Landry Jones? Will the defense return to the days of dominance. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)