Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gresham Done at Oklahoma

Bob Stoops finally let the cat out of the bag today at the weekly OU football luncheon when he stated that the Sooners star TE Jermaine Gresham will be entering the NFL draft.

"No, Jermaine will not be coming back next year," Stoops said.

Most Oklahoma fans have realized that Gresham's announcement of departure since his injury early this season has been inevitable. But, what probably shocked the media more than anything today was the direct nature that Stoops used when breaking news about Gresham's plans.

TBB believes that this is clearly the right decision for the young TE for multiple reasons. The injury that Jermaine suffered was simple and should have no future lingering effects on the knee. But, there could be lingering effects on Gresh's reputation as a durable player. At a position like TE this is even more of a factor than most. If Gresham were to come back another injury would easily damage his reputation and probably classify Jermaine as a guy who couldn't deal with the physical demands of the NFL. 

Also, Gresham has personal reasons to enter the NFL and make money for his family. For a player like Sam Bradford, a real money situation at home doesn't exist. If Bradford suffered a career ending injury tomorrow there would be no consequence other than the end of his football career. And as much as we at TBB hate to speculate it's already known that Jermaine's family is in some kind of need of the money that the talented TE will be receiving after completing his contract.

What is interesting about this particular situation is that Bob Stoops has told "The Boomer Blog" personally that the only player that he has ever advised to leave early was Sooner Alum Roy Williams. TBB believes that although outside factors are clearly at play here it's not to say that Bob Stoops didn't believe that Gresham might have been so talented that he was above the competition level of the NCAA.

We at "The Boomer Blog" wish Jermaine Gresham the best in the NFL draft, as well as with his career in the NFL.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rearrange 'Em

A bye week is hard for any college football fan, and "The Boomer Blog" has not been immune to the boredom bug that plagues fans when their respective teams take a week off. So, due to a lack of actual football stories we're giving you our solution to the conferencing problems in college football.

Each conference consists of 12 teams and two divisions. Previously Pac-10 and Big Ten teams either had an advantage over other conferences or suffered for never being able to play for a conference championship game. 

Pacific Coastal Conference






Oregon State

Boise State



Arizona State





Dropped from the Pac 10

Washington State

Added to the Pac 10

Boise State



* Rivalries are kept with Arizona, California and Oregon schools.

The Big South

Original Conference: Big 12

Southwest Divivion



Texas Christian

Texas A&M

Texas Tech

Oklahoma State

Deep South Division


Louisiana State



Mississippi State




Iowa State


Kansas State



The entire Deep South devision and Texas Christian.

*Oklahoma will be able to renew a Nebraska rivalry by scheduling OOC.

South East Conference







Florida State


South Florida


South Carolina


Georgia Tech


The Big Atlantic

A conference dominated by private basketball schools. The academics of this conference are unparalleled by any other Big Six conference. 



North Carolina

N.C. State


Wake Forest

East Carolina

Atlantic Division

Boston College




West Virginia

Virginia Tech

*West Virginia loses almost all rivalry games but were previously misrepresented geographically. Less traveling and similar weather conditions for football games.

The Midwest Conference





Kansas State

Iowa State


*Iowa and Iowa state can now schedule other OOC games without worrying about scheduling each other.

*This division should exist.


Notre Dame






*Notre Dame actually joins a conference and keeps almost all rivalries intact, save USC whom they would have to schedule OOC anyway.

Big East


Penn State


Ohio State

Michigan State










Thursday, September 24, 2009

Off Week

The Sooners have the weekend off to regroup before traveling to South Florida to take on an old rival, Miami. Because of a lack of new news coming out to Norman, "The Boomer Blog" will be sizing up the Miami Hurricanes to give Oklahoma fans a preview of what they're coming up against.

The Breakdown

Oklahoma Offensive Line V. Miami Defensive Line.
Edge: Miami
Although Oklahoma's front five have been looking progressively better in the weeks since the BYU game, this line is still the achilles heel of this offense.

"The Boomer Blog" is still sure that you'll be seeing a much improved offensive line later in the season, and a bye week might be exactly what James Patton needs to figure out who his two best guards are.

Oklahoma Defensive Line V. Miami Offensive Line.
Edge: Oklahoma
This one isn't even close. Oklahoma's front four are absolutely as good as it gets and next weekend they're going to face a Miami offensive line that was the question mark for the Hurricanes coming into the season. 

Miami faced good linebackers this season when they played Florida State and they faced a great DE in Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech but really haven't faced a complete defensive line like they're going to see next Saturday. You can quote us on this one when we tell you, "The match up between the Oklahoma D-Line and Miami O-Line will win Oklahoma this game."

Oklahoma Receivers V. Miami Defensive Backs
Edge: Miami

The majority of the OU receiving corps have looked lack-luster the past few weeks. Ryan Broyles might but up Heisman contender numbers this year, but other than Brandon Caleb the Sooners really don't have anybody out there to catch the ball. This is evident by a few missed TD passes from a few players last week who will remain unnamed (mostly because everyone already knows who they are).
If the Canes have anything, it's athletes. And having great athletes almost always means you have great defensive backs. These guys are young but TBB has faith that our receivers are definitely outmatched here.

Oklahoma Defensive Backs V. Miami Receivers
Edge: Oklahoma
Miami's receivers are almost all unproven underclassmen. In the same breath, they're still receivers recruited by Miami from the South Florida area which means they're big and fast.
Brian Jackson and Dominique Franks have been good this season and Quinton Carter has proved in every game why he's the man at free-safety (and probably should have been last year).

Oklahoma Run Game V. Miami Run Defense.
Edge: Oklahoma
It has to be the Sooners here. DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown are the best running tandem in all of college football. Add in the fact that Oklahoma has been getting some surprise production from Jonathan Miller and Jermie Calhoun, and you're talking about a running back stable that would probably only be matched by Georgia Tech and USC. 
The O-line might slow the Sooners down here against a pretty good Miami front seven. But the fast pace of the offense should compensate for the problems up front.

Oklahoma Run Defense V. Miami Run Game.
Edge: Oklahoma
Take the front four we've been talking about and add run-stuffer Ryan Reynolds, Keenan Clayton and Sophomore sensation Travis Lewis and you have one hellova run defense. The Sooners have given up 41.7 YPG on the ground so far this season and although it's unlikely numbers will be that low against Miami, it's also unlikely they're going to be all that much higher. This means the success of the offense will be resting squarely on the shoulders of Jacory Harris...

On the other side of the ball, Junior RB Greg Cooper is the man that can do it all. Oklahoma is going to have to scheme to keep him contained in the run game, as well as in pass coverage. Remember who caught the game winning touchdown in Tallahassee? That's right, it was Cooper.

Landry "Stache" Jones V. Jacory Harris
Edge: Jacory Harris
"The Boomer Blog" is now hearing that Sam Bradford has a strong chance to play next Saturday with news coming in from a broadcast station in Mississippi that Bradford will be traveling to Alabama to visit with an Orthopedic Surgeon James Andrews this weekend to be cleared. At the same time it would be foolish to count our chickens before they hatch so we're going with Jones to start. Both freshman quarterbacks have been impressive for their respective squads so far this season. But, Harris has faced better competition and by his efforts has managed to put himself in the Heisman race. 

With that being said, Jacory Harris has never faced an opponent that is going to put more pressure on him than Oklahoma. These boys aren't weak up front like Georgia Tech and they won't be missing tackles in the backfield like Florida State did a few weeks back. If Harris isn't ready for the pressure this game goes to Oklahoma and Landry Jones.

Head Coaching Matchup
Edge: Too close to call.

Additional Advantages

Oklahoma's inability to play on the road...
The Sooners have, quite honestly, played piss poor ball on the road in the past few years. Throw all the BCS games in with the losses to Texas, as well as losses at Texas Tech and Colorado and you have what would have to be considered one of the most bipolar football teams in the NCAA.

In Oklahoma's defense, this game coming against Miami seems to be a little different than other regular season road losses. Most importantly, this IS NOT a trap game; Oklahoma circled this game on their schedule before the season started. Also, Sooner coaches have made it abundantly clear to the players that one more loss will mean the end of the road.

Miami's rough four game stretch...
By the time these two teams meet in Miami, the Hurricanes will have already faced Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks. The likelihood of a team making out of a schedule like that completely unscathed is pretty slim. Miami will only have seven days to get ready for Oklahoma. The Sooners will have been preparing for the Hurricanes for two weeks by that point. 

As stated above Sam Bradford is on his way to Alabama as we speak to meet with Orthopedic Surgeon James Andrews. Now most Oklahoma fans will immediately assume that Bradfords trip to see Andrews will be to do some sort of season ending surgery to prepare for the combine, but that thinking is false. Sam is making a trip south to see if the talented surgeon will clear him to play in time for the Miami game. TBB is hearing sources say this is probably due more to Bradford's insurance policy than anything else. Surely there are stipulations in a multi-million dollar policy that state that Sam must be cleared to play after suffering an injury such as this, and who better than Andrews to clear him?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: Addressing Concerns

Ryan Broyles will be Oklahoma's key to success in 2009.

Oklahoma is back to winning football games. And although this particular win came against a lowly Iowa State team it might have been just what the Sooners needed before a face-off with in-state foe Tulsa this weekend.

So what did we find out this weekend? Well, to start, if you have to play a backup quarterback Landry Jones is about as good as it gets. The young quarterback from New Mexico went (18-32) on Saturday with 286 yards of passing, three touchdowns and only one interception. These statistics might not seem impressive until you consider that Jones was slinging the ball around in the rain and every receiver not named Ryan Broyles was dropping balls left and right. "The Boomer Blog" was there... it was wet. Those in attendance can also attest to a fact more telling than any game stat. Landry Jones flat out commanded the offense Saturday in the win against Idaho State.

TBB is also expecting that Jones will be playing later in the season than most Sooner fans would like to believe. "The Boomer Blog" is pretty familiar with what it takes to rehab a dislocated shoulder and after talking to a number of individuals that have suffered similar injuries it is the consensus opinion of this blog that Sooner fans will be seeing Landry Jones face off against the Hurricanes in Miami.

Speaking of Ryan Broyles, the Sooners found their new go-to guy in the game against Idaho State. Broyles had seven catches for 155 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, TBB believes that (due to situations outside Oklahoma's control) the speedster from Norman has become and will remain the most important part of the Oklahoma offense in 2009. Yes that's right, "The Boomer Blog" is saying it right here, right now and you can quote it. Ryan Broyles is more important to the success of Oklahoma Football than Gerald McCoy, DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown, Trent Williams and even (Gasp) Sam Bradford. Now that Oklahoma has found a legitimate replacement in Bradford's absence and Broyles has emerged as the only receiver the Sooners can count on, Oklahoma's ability to stretch the field will depent completely on the play of Ryan Broyles.

Oklahoma has also established what might be the best run defense in the country. Although it will be noted that the Sooners have faced two opponents with sub-par running attacks, the fact that Oklahoma has allowed a total of (-6) rushing yards in two games is impressive.

The Offensive line is still a problem, and TBB is expecting that will be the case until the Sooners take their bye week after Tulsa. Left tackle, center and right tackle are basically set with Trent Williams, Ben Habern and Jarvis Jones, respectively. The problem is with the guards, which was evident in the early goal line situations in which the Sooners failed to punch the ball in on multiple two-yard attempts. James Patton and Kevin Wilson decided to run the guards by committee Saturday in hopes of finding a productive duo to aid in the run game. The most successful combination, surprisingly, included Steven Good at left guard and true freshman Tyler Evans at right guard. Although the Sooners also found success by rotating senior Brian Simmons in at left guard.

Although Tyler Evans stepping up this season as a true freshman is a welcome surprise, "The Boomer Blog" is taking this situation with a grain of salt by realizing that Evans' emergence is clearly due to lack of production from upperclassmen guards. True Freshman are often able to step up in skill positions (receiver, running back, defensive back), but positions on the offensive line usually require an upperclassman who, over the years, has become accustomed to the physical nature of the position. Sooner fans will have to hold their breath in hopes that Evans' learning curve is a little shorter than most.

Looking to the schedule

In a weekend where a lot of well known teams went down in major upsets (Oklahoma State and Michigan State), one team escaped a game that surely would have made the biggest upset headline of the weekend. With little time left on the clock Florida State recovered a fumble and punched in a score that allowed them to narrowly elude a loss to Jacksonville State.

So what does this mean for Sooner fans? On September 7th, Florida State took a game down to the wire with future Oklahoma foe, Miami. "The Boomer Blog" was witness to what seemed like it could have been the game of the year, with both teams putting on offensive clinics. And if it weren't for poor clock management and Christian Ponder's inability to hit a wide open TE in the end zone, Florida State would have come away with a win against the Hurricanes.

Now, "The Boomer Blog" takes no stock in the belief that the transitive property is a reliable indicator of things to come. But, outside factors aside, the win that Miami got away with in Tallahassee might not be as impressive as once thought and Oklahoma is looking better by the day.


- TBB is not one to "toot it's own horn," but would like to point out that Senior Wide Receiver Adron Tennell was not seen on the field Saturday. At the same time TBB would like to say that it was hoping that the prediction would be wrong. Tennell was suppose to become an elite receiver his senior year and the lack of development has hurt the Sooners badly.

- After considering leaving the Sooners for reasons still unknown, Jameel Owens has finally decided that he will continue his career at Oklahoma, at least for now. "The Boomer Blog" won't speculate the specifics of the situations but clearly Owens' lack of play time has played a factor. Regardless, it seems as though Owens will remain a Sooner for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Looking Forward

After an uncharacteristic loss to BYU, the Sooners are coming into the second week of the season with a lot of questions. But, to the surprise of most Oklahoma fans, some of these problems might be easier to solve that they looked to be last Saturday. Here are five points "The Boomer Blog" has for Oklahoma fans that might brighten their current outlook on the '09 season.

1. The loss to BYU isn't as bad as it looks.

Vince Lombardi famously said, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser." But, I don't think Coach Lombardi is very familiar with the current BCS system. Looking back on the debacle in Dallas, there are a lot of factors that make this a "good loss" for Stoops and Co.

- Save a few defensive stands Oklahoma never played well in this game. "The Boomer Blog" sees this as a positive factor if the Sooners make great strides in improving by time of the kickoff in Miami. As fickle as college football is, if OU wins the game in Miami the game against BYU could begin to be considered a "fluke." And if the Sooners end up knocking off Texas the game will certainly be considered as such.

- "If you're gonna lose, lose early." These words are famous in the era of the BCS and were never more true than the loss Oklahoma suffered against Texas in Dallas last season. Remember who ended up playing for the Big 12? You can't lose any earlier than the first game of the season.

- The Sooners have the edge over all one loss Pac-10 and Big 10 teams. If you're still looking for Oklahoma to make it into the BCS you have to remember that the Big 12 championship game has played a major roll in giving the Sooners the nod in recent BCS history. Once again "The Blog" will make reference to the '08 season when Oklahoma played for the national title while USC was on the outside looking in. We lost the game, but the situation proves the point.

- Oklahoma 13, BYU 14. It was a one point loss. If you're going to lose a game you can't lose it any closer than that. 

- Injuries. If you turn on your TV right now and tune into Sports Center you're not going to see replays of Oklahoma losing the game to BYU because that's not the story of the game. The story of the game has become the injuries the Sooners have suffered in recent weeks. 

Now, "The Boomer Blog" is not saying that the injury to Bradford caused the loss in Dallas. In fact, it's the personal belief of this blog that much like a few years ago in Lubbock, Oklahoma should have easily won with or without it's star quarterback. But, we're also not saying that everybody else doesn't think so. In all likelyhood the majority of college football fans believe that the game would have been all but won if Bradford would have played the second half. Regardless of how poorly the Sooners had played up until that point. Playing the blame game will work in Oklahoma's favor and this loss will become permanently associated with the injuries of Sam Bradford and Germaine Gresham.

2. Cory Brandon is out.

Somewhere out there Cory Brandon is still jumping offsides. 

Now, it is the firm belief of "The Boomer Blog" that college football players are not professional football players and shouldn't be treated as such. In this case we will make an exception by throwing Cory Brandon totally and completely under the bus. The Oklahoma offensive lineman cost the Sooners for six penalties in the game Saturday, and that's not including the two that were declined. 

Now in all likelyhood the young lineman was doing his best. But sometimes your best isn't good enough for this team. Enter Jarvis Jones. "The Blog" has been confused all along as to why Jones has not started at right tackle, but now he'll get his chance. Jarvis is a prototype tackle with great lateral movement and good feet who will fit the line perfectly when he steps in in place of Brandon this weekend. Expect Wilson to go back to Steven Good at right guard as he will have ample time to step up his game before Miami. Your line will be looking something like this.

LT: Trent Williams
LG: Brian Simmons
C: Ben Habern
RG: Stephen Good
RT: Jarvis Jones
TE: Brody Eldridge

Depth will still be a serious issue in close games.

3. Receiving corps weren't as bad as they looked.

It might not have looked evident in Saturday's game, but there are some Sooner receivers that stepped up and made some nice plays. Most Oklahoma fans are hung up on the fact that Adron Tennell flat out didn't play well. We ask these Sooner fans, "did that really surprise you?" 

Yes, Oklahoma receivers had problems stretching the field against the BYU secondary. But, what most fans don't see is that without the threat of Jermaine Gresham the BYU defense was able to take some chances and really got a stranglehold on this offense. BYU could blitz a few more linebackers and drop a few more in the secondary, leaving the middle of the field completely open. 

Brandon Caleb was one receiver in particular that had a nice game considering the situation, and he's a name Sooner fans will know well by the end of this season. And remember, Ryan Broyles is still Ryan Broyles. There's a reason the talented receiver from Norman had over 500 yards receiving last season.

Expect to see a lot of a guy that "The Boomer Blog" predicted would get some real playing time this season, DeJuan Miller. Don't be surprised if Kevin Wilson uses DeJuan Miller to let Tennell know he needs to put up or shut up. "The Blog" won't be surprised if Miller wins the job, regardless of what Tennell does.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gresham Update: 9.8.09

The Boomer Blog is now expecting that Gresham will be out for the season. The talented pass-catching TE will have his knee scoped this week, but unlike previous predictions the outlook is becoming less positive by the day. 

Stoops and Wilson still have not updated Gresham's recovery time, and as it often is with this coaching staff, no news is bad news. "The Boomer Blog" is predicting that the soonest Gresham could be back would be by the Big 12 Championship game, which is looking unlikely for the Sooners anyway. But, on a positive note, "The Blog" is predicting that Gresham and Bradford will return to Oklahoma and continue to play for the Sooners next season.

After watching BYU defeat the Sooners in Dallas it has become evident that Gresham might be more important to the success of this offense than Bradford. Oklahoma clearly had problems with stretching the field against the Cougars who have now provided Sooner oponents with a winning defensive game plan to put a stop to this offense.

The Gresham Injury Effect:

"The Boomer Blog" is ever the optimist. And in the spirit of optimism will now be predicting the starting lineup for the 2010 football season. Injuries to Gresham and Bradford have shaken things up as far as who will likely be entering the draft early. If "The Blog" knows Bob Stoops he'll be preaching to his players early about rejoining the team for the 2010 season in hopes of improving draft status.

* Denotes players whom "The Boomer Blog" believes will consider the NFL draft.

LT: Jarvis Jones
LG: Steven Good
C: Ben Habern
RG: Tyler Evans
RT: Josh Aladenoye
TE: James Hanna
WR: DeJuan Miller
WR: Brandon Caleb
SL: Ryan Broyles *
QB: Sam Bradford *
FB: Brandon Crow
RB: DeMarco Murray *

Other Key Offensive Players: SL Mosis Madu, RB Jermie Calhoun, WR Cameron Kenney, TE Trent Ratterree, QB Landry Jones, LT Jeff Vinson

DE: Jeremy Beal *
DT: Adrian Taylor *
DT: Gerald McCoy *
DE: Frank Alexander
SLB: Austin Box
MLB: Tom Wort
WLB: Travis Lewis *
FCB: Dominique Franks *
SS: Sam Proctor
FS: Quinton Carter
BCB: Demontre Hurst

Additional Key Defensive Players: DE R.J. Washington, DT Stacey McGee, DT Justin Chaisson, DE David King, LB Ronnell Lewis, LB Jaydan Bird, SS Javon Harris, FS Marcus Trice, DT Jamarkus McFarland, LB/? Joseph Ibiloye

Some of the above predictions might seem bold but you would have to believe that Gresham's injury and Bradford's loyalty to the Sooners will play major rolls in their possible return to Owen Field in 2010. It seems to be a stretch to say that Gerald McCoy will be coming back next year to play with the team. But, the Oklahoma City native will have one year of eligibility following the 2009 season and there is nothing thus far that would lead us to believe that McCoy won't consider the opportunity to stay with Oklahoma.

The 2009 Sooners are looking like underdogs atleast one other time this season against Texas. The point of showing the possible 2010 lineup is to show Sooner fans that if these guys decide to come back next year they will easily be the class of a weaker Big 12 and would possibly be the class of the entire league. Think about it. How many teams can you think of that will return talent like this next year? Here's to dreaming Sooner fans.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gresham Out?

It has been confirmed earlier today that Oklahoma's dominant tight-end Jermaine Gresham will be sidelined for the game against BYU in Dallas this weekend. This raises the question of how long Gresham will actually be out with what is currently be talked about at a knee injury. More importantly in the minds of Oklahoma fans, will Gresham be ready for the Red River Rivalry in Dallas? 

Right now those who are "in the know" are saying that Gresham has suffered a right knee injury with definite carlalige damage and could have suffered damage to the miniscus as well. This means, more than likely, Gresham will be out 4-6 weeks after getting his knee scoped and giving plenty of time to heal. Those of you who know Oklahoma's schedule realize that the showdown in Dallas comes in a little over six weeks, which would make Gresham's return likely. But, as Sooner fans will remember with DeMarco Murray, coming back from a knee injury isn't easy. 

Gresham's injury also raises questions at the tight-end position. Brody Eldridge was moved to Center earlier this week which means that Sophomore TE Trent Ratterree will be seeing alot of the field Saturday. Sooner fans will also see a lot of Sophomore TE James Hanna, who has proved himself to be a target not unlike Gresham. The Sooners likely will not struggle with the Cougars on Saturday, so there is no need for Oklahoma fans to panic yet. But if Bradford's biggest target isn't 100% by October 10th the Sooners will be hurting against the Longhorns.