The Rose Bowl has become the most must-see bowl game of every year, and it’s not even close. Last year’s game was a thriller, and by now everyone has at least seen the highlights of the OU-Georgia game. If you read my first post below you’ll already see my predictions are almost perfect for 2018…...except for the predictions that have already played out. Those I was wrong about. But guarantee the others are correct. Anyway, if those two teams played ten times, I think they each win five times. They could not be more different in terms of style of play, but I think both teams are very evenly matched. Mayfield had another great game even with the interception, and overall the offense showed why they were the best in the nation this year. Now can we talk about the OU defense? When is OU going to find an identity on D? I’m so tired of hearing they are running a 4-3. Then it’s a 3-4. Then they change to a 50 defense. I’m not talking about in-game adjustments being made. Anyone who has followed OU the past 5-6 years knows they don’t do that. I’m talking about an actual scheme they stick with and can have success with. And then recruit the type of players that are going to thrive in it. The disparity between the offense and defense blows me away every year. And don’t tell me about how you have to recruit to play in the Big 12, and how you have to have smaller linebackers that can tackle in space for these air show offenses. You should be recruiting TALENT. Period. Bigger. Faster. Stronger. That’s all that matters. And OU has those athletes on offense, but hardly ever on defense, especially at linebacker. When’s the last time OU had an impact player at linebacker like Roquan Smith for Georgia? Maybe Curtis Lofton? Like 9 years ago. I’m not saying Beal and Murray were the reason OU lost the Rose Bowl, but if you can ever bring yourself to go back and watch that game, only watch those two on every play. You won’t like what you see. And the game winning touchdown? Nobody even got a hand on the runner. That’s hard to do. That’s like air balling a free throw. Oh wait, the Thunder have a guy that does that too. Never mind. Here’s the bottom line. I don’t care if you are playing little league football, high school, college, or in the NFL, if you score around 50 points, you should win.
I think it’s just time for Mike Stoops to go in a different direction. But if you’re Riley, how are you gonna fire or encourage Stoops to go elsewhere after the smooth transition you received from Bob Stoops? You can’t do that and he won’t. The only way Mike leaves is if OU rattles off a 7-5 record a couple years in a row, and that isn’t happening anytime soon. I know several teams would kill to be OU, and I sound like a spoiled fan, but sometimes when you are so close to being #1, that’s the hardest last step to take. Ever since the Bradford years, they’ve been a really good team, but several steps away (or a great defense away) from stepping into being a championship team. Once any person, team, company or business tastes success, they are going to want more. And then more after that. This is only natural and success should strive to make you hungry for more. Mo money mo problems. OU fans know what I mean.
Last thing….I liked how after the game while walking off the field Davin Bellamy was yelling at Mayfield to humble himself. Then in the locker room afterwards he said something like “I mean, all the flamboyancy. I carry myself the same way. Humble yourself.” Huh? You carry yourself the same way? Meaning you’re cocky too? But he should humble himself? Even after he put up 48 on you? Oh, ok. I liked Baker’s response to that in the post game interview. He basically said something like he can say whatever he wants because they won. Very true. This goes without saying but I’m gonna miss watching Mayfield play. He’s definitely one of those guys you hate if he’s not on your team, but trust me, you LOVE him if he is playing for your squad. The fact that he had to walk on is still just plain ridiculous to me. Fun fact. The last two Heisman Trophy winners OU has had, they didn’t originally recruit out of high school. How crazy is that? They offered Bradford late and only after a couple other Big 12 schools offered him, and everyone knows about Mayfield’s walk on story. But man, I’m gonna miss watching him throw, taunt, strut, grab, and make clutch plays. Do you, Mayfield. Now and hopefully in the pros. Mayfield forever.