Oklahoma got skunked by Texas. Tulsa got dragged by Navy.
Thank the college football gods for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who didn’t just keep winning last week but continued to provide first-class entertainment courtesy of their head coach.
It’s good to laugh after what we saw in Dallas Saturday. So let’s rewind to the tail end of Mike Gundy’s press conference last Monday afternoon, when he let ship that he celebrated OSU’s win at Baylor with “a couple Diet Cokes.”
Diet Cokes? After THAT win? C’mon, man …
“I’ll give you a good story. You’ll like this,” Gundy said. “I was talking one time to a guy. He was an older gentleman that went to the doctor to get his wellness check. The doctor said, ‘Do you drink? Do you smoke?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I drink.’
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“The doctor says, ‘One drink a day? Two drinks? Once a week?’
“He said, ‘I’ll drink a glass of wine in the evenings.’
“The doctor said, “OK, that’s not bad.’
“What he failed to tell him was it was a 32-ounce Styrofoam cup …
“For me, I take a normal size glass … I’m gonna say 12 ounces. And then I fill it with ice. And this is really kind of the Joe DeForest plan. Fill it with ice. And then you put your Diet Coke in it. And then you fill the rest with whatever you want. And that’s what I do.
“Now, that’s if we win. If we lose I just go to bed. Or I don’t fill it with anything else if we lose because then it’s no fun.
“But I learned that from Joe DeForest. He’s the one that taught me that. It’s his fault.”
We could spend the rest of this column debating what exactly Gundy pours into his 12-ounce glass besides ice and Diet Coke. I’m gonna go with Cowboy Bourbon. You know, for obvious reasons.
Or we could just thank DeForest, now North Carolina State’s safeties coach but once a lieutenant on Gundy’s early OSU staffs, for his underappreciated but never duplicated contributions to Cowboy football.
So that’s one laugh out of Stillwater last week. Let’s get one more in …
OSU linebacker Mason Cobb showed up for postgame interviews Saturday in a sweet No. 55 Bob Fenimore throwback jersey. The university passed them out to players last week in recognition of Fenimore’s Ring of Honor induction at halftime of the OSU-Texas Tech game. A very nice touch.
Anyway, one of the intrepid Hutchens twins from O’Colly Sports noticed Cobb’s postgame wardrobe choice and asked him what he knew of ol’ No. 55.
“We have a big thing about him by the locker room,” Cobb said. “Reading that … He played both ways. He must have been a dawg.”
Yes, Mr. Cobb, let’s just say Bob Fenimore was the original OSU football dawg.
OK. On to the deeper stuff …
Remember how we said last week that watching OSU and OU play football was a study in coaching contrast? It happened again over the weekend, and not just by virtue of the Sooners’ horror show against Texas.
Texas Tech opened the game in Stillwater with an onside kick, which was freaking awesome and surely would have worked … Except OSU’s Demarco Jones signaled fair catch as soon as Tech bounced the kickoff diagonally.
“As soon as they kick it, if you show fair catch, they can’t catch it, Gundy remarked. “Pretty smart, huh?”
Good on Gundy’s staff for having their players ready in the moment.
And good on the staff for getting Jones, once a three-star cornerback out of Booker T. Washington, to buy into what is now Jones’ three-year special teams contribution.
Give that kid a game ball for Saturday’s 41-31 win.
This isn’t just deep, this is all-time depths for the Sooners …
I don’t know how to explain what’s happened to OU football since it left Nebraska one of the toasts of the country Sept. 17. You can ask all you want, but there’s just no comprehensible reason for one team to plummet so far so fast.
All I’m left with is that fall and the carnage from it.
You know those national bowl projections that are so fun to scour every Sunday and Monday? They had the Sooners in the College Football Playoff Sept. 17. That wasn’t even a month ago.
The first projection I cracked Sunday morning was Jerry Palm’s for CBSSports.com. He had OU playing Iowa in the First Responders Bowl. Seriously, I had to look up where they play the First Responders Bowl (SMU’s Gerald Ford Stadium).
No really. We’re talking deeeeeep …
Here is the defensive damage report from the Sooners’ last three games:
Total points allowed: 145
Total first downs allowed: 93
Total yards allowed: 1,762
Here are OU’s FBS defensive rankings as a result:
First down defense: No. 118
Third down defense: No. 88
The Sooners just played Texas, TCU and Kansas State of 2022, not Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State of 2016. That’s Brent Venables in charge of the defense, not Mike Stoops.
And still here lies the depth of OU’s despair.
No kidding, you could give me the rest of my life and I wouldn’t be able to fully explain what has happened in three silly weeks.
Not that you asked but …
I would have jumped back into the Brayden Willis-centric Wildcat formation when OU reached Texas’ 10-yard line on its second drive Saturday.
I would have bled the play clock to 0:05 no matter what offensive formation I used.
I would have sent more than three linemen at Quinn Ewers.
I would not have called timeout before Texas’ third-and-11, and Ewers’ 16-yard scramble against that 3-man rush, with 1:42 left in the first half.
This is all quibbling, though. Saturday was as unwinnable a football battle the Sooners have ever fought.