Friday, June 30, 2006

7-01-06 OU News

Coaches can challenge one play per game

When Bob Stoops disagrees with a call this season, he can do more than argue with officials or burn a timeout in hopes the play will be reviewed.

The NCAA is giving Stoops and every other Division I-A college football coach the right to challenge one call per game and request that it be reviewed by instant replay.

Peterson adds fuel for Sooners' revival in '07

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops may have some concerns about his team for the upcoming season.

None of those would involve running back Adrian Peterson.

Stoops and Peterson were on a teleconference with national college football writers and broadcasters Thursday.

Yes, Stoops admitted, there is some concern about a young team being ranked No. 1 or very high in the polls. Tulsa World

Baseball Ranked No. 9 in Final Poll

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma baseball team recorded its highest top-25 finish since 1995 on Friday as Baseball America released its final poll. The Sooners earned the No. 9 spot after coming within one win of advancing to the program's 10th College World Series appearance. Sooner

7-01-06 Miami Dolphins News

Ex-Virginia LB Brooks draws Dolphins' attention

Nearly a year after selecting defensive tackle Manny Wright in the fifth round of the supplemental draft, the Dolphins are apparently considering a similar route to bolster their linebacker corps.

Dolphins General Manager Randy Mueller and scout Bill Baker attended a recent workout of former University of Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Brooks' agent Greg Williams said that his client also went to Michigan State to talk with psychologist Lon Rosen, who Dolphins coach Nick Saban often employs to conduct character-related interviews of players with off-field issues. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Saban's plea: Be careful

Dolphins coach Nick Saban preached caution after Marty Booker sprained his ankle on a diving catch and Daunte Culpepper also made a diving play at minicamp.

The two diving plays might have looked impressive, but for coach Nick Saban's goals, he'll pass on both. Miami Herald

Right Place, Right Time
Second-year coach Nick Saban's Dolphins overhaul is ahead of schedule

The Saban-izing of the Miami Dolphins took hold late last November, in the aftermath of a desultory 22-0 loss in Cleveland. It was the Dolphins' fourth defeat in five games, and it left them with a 3-7 record. Worse yet was the way that they lost. "We couldn't get anything right, and we were dominated," recalls defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday. Minutes after the game first-year coach Nick Saban entered the locker room, turning it silent. The players had known Saban less than a year. Hired to replace Dave Wannstedt, he had retooled the roster, changed the schemes and established rules and discipline that most veterans hadn't experienced since college. "Not a guy you want to get in a bad mood," says Zach Thomas, a sixtime Pro Bowl linebacker, "or he'll be on you all day."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mariners Take Seconds!

The Seattle Mariners finished up their series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night using some ninth inning heroics. Trailing 2-1 in the ninth Raul Ibanez hit a homerun to tie the score and Kenji Johjima tripled to set up the go-ahead run. Yuniesky Betancourt's two-out single drove in pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist to give the Mariners their fifth consecutive victory and 10th in 12 games.

While the Mariners were finishing up the sweep of the Diamondbacks the Texas Rangers were finishing up getting swept by the San Francisco Giants. Seattle is now in sole possession of second place and officially breathing down the necks of the Oakland Athletics, just two games behind.

It’s Ronnie Brown’s Team Now!

What impact will the absence of Ricky Williams have on the Miami Dolphins in 2006? I say a positive one because now the NFL will see the full potential of Ronnie Brown. Brown won’t have to share the backfield with Williams any more making him the full-time feature back.

Dan Pompei of The Sporting News agrees with me. He lists Brown as one of the leagues bust out players in 2006.

Rivals Name Peterson & Alexander First Team All America released their Pre-Season All American Team and Rufus Alexander and Adrian Peterson have been named to the first team.

Senior linebacker Rufus Alexander led the team in tackles (102) last season. He also had a career-high five sacks to go with nine pass break-ups, two fumbles forced, one interception and one fumble caused. He already has been named to several award watch list including the Chuck Bednarik Award.

Junior running back Adrian Peterson led the Big 12 Conference in rushing last season despite missing all or most of four games. He is on the watch list for the Maxwell award and will be one of the pre-season favorites to win the Heisman.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Jayhawk Q&A With Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood from the Lawrence Journal-World was gracious enough to talk some Jayhawk and Big 12 Football with us. The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off a 7-5 season where they won the Fort Worth Bowl over the Houston Cougars.

My Opinion on Sports: Former Sooner offensive coordinator Mark Mangino is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Jayhawks. Give us your thoughts on his tenure there in Lawrence.

Ryan Wood: It's been a slow but steady process. While Mangino didn't come in right away and wow anybody with a 10-victory season or anything, he is making Kansas a respectable football school again. Attendance is improving, win totals are improving and KU fans are excited about more than basketball now. So he's definitely doing his job.

My Opinion on Sports: Kansas had one of the top defenses in the Big 12 last season. What can we expect from the 2006 defensive unit?

Ryan Wood: The 2006 defense is going to be different, and almost surely a step backward, but I don't think it's going to be a liability. Only three starters return, but one, CB Aqib Talib, has everything NFL scouts want to see in a cornerback. Furthermore, the front 7 has a lot of talent even if they don't have a lot of starting assignments. Don't expect 2005-type numbers, but do expect Kansas to field a decent defense once again.

My Opinion on Sports: It seems as if every school in the Big 12, except Iowa State and Oklahoma, is looking at putting a new quarterback on the field this season. Who is going to play qb for Kansas and what should we expect?

Ryan Wood: Kerry Meier, a redshirt freshman, is KU's guy this year. He's a powerfully built dual-threat quarterback that had a great showing in the spring game. He's got the bloodlines, too – his brother, Shad, is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, and his other brother Dylan is lining up to be Kansas State's starting QB. The question is how big of an impact those inevitable freshman mistakes will make in the scope of a game. In the long run, though, Kerry will be a good quarterback in the Big 12.

My Opinion on Sports: In a recent column you predicted the conference to finish like this; South - Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma State; North - Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Kansas State. Share your reasoning behind picking OU and Nebraska to win their respective divisions.

Ryan Wood: I think Oklahoma, top-to-bottom, matches up comparably with Texas in terms of talent. I picked OU over the Horns for two reasons: 1) Adrian Peterson is healthy and the best RB in college football, and 2) Rhett Bomar is way ahead of any UT quarterback in terms of savvy and skill.

As for Nebraska, their front seven on defense just looks nasty, and the offense keeps getting better and better as they get more acquainted with the west-coast style that Callahan implemented. On paper, they have more talent than any Big 12 team by a good margin.

My Opinion on Sports: Who wins the Big 12 Championship Game between OU and Nebraska?

Ryan Wood: I'll say Oklahoma 24-20.

My Opinion on Sports: You picked the Jayhawks to go 7-5. Which bowl game do you see them winding up in?

Ryan Wood: It's hard to get a feel for predicting bowl games, because what teams which bowls pick depend on so much more than record. My number one guess would be the Independence Bowl, but another game like the Insight Bowl wouldn't surprise me, either.

My Opinion on Sports: You can check out more of Ryan’s thoughts and opinions on the Kansas Jayhawks and the Big 12 Conference at the Lawrence Journal-World. Thanks for your time Ryan. I really appreciate it!

Ryan Wood: No problem. The blog looks good.

Thanks for the compliment Ryan! We'll see you around basketball season.

To discuss Ryan’s Q&A and his Big 12 picks head to the Ryan Wood thread on the My Opinion on Sports Message Board.

Check Your Six!

For the second night in a row the Seattle Mariners were the only AL West team to win pulling them another game closer to the top spot in the AL West. The Mariners are just a half game behind Texas for second and only two games behind the Athletics for first.

Kenji Johjima came up huge again in Tuesday night’s game against Arizona by breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth by knocking in Jose Lopez. It was Johjima’s first of two RBI’s on the night and it sparked the Mariners to their second double digit run game in two nights.

The Mariners have enjoyed playing the National league while the rest of the AL West has not favored as well. The one time division leading Rangers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and the once streaking Athletics are 5-5 over their last 10. Meanwhile the Angels have fallen to six games back. Right now it appears to be the Mariners division to lose.

World Cup Fans

Are you following the World Cup? Come to the forum and add to the conversation or start your own thread on the message board.

Duke Now Offering Drunken Boat Cruises?

Okay, you are the athletic director at one of the most prestigious schools in America. Your star basketball player was just cited for DUI and your entire Men’s Lacrosse team was rocked by a scandal that was the result of a part where booze was as abundant as Cameron Crazies when the Tar Heels are in town.

So how do you squelch the rumors that drinking is getting out of control amongst the Dukies? Certainly not by getting on a boat with your drunken son, right? It what could be one of the worst timed accidents in boating history Duke AD Joe Alleva suffered a gash on his head, that required 42 stitches to close, when his son J.D. ran the boat aground on a rocky embankment.

Investigators took the younger Alleva to jail on the misdemeanor DWI charge, and he was released on $500 bail. He is scheduled to appear July 25 in a Person County court.

"I am thankful that the incident involved only one boat, that no one was seriously hurt and that my son was able to locate an occupied home on the lake with gracious people willing to assist us," Joe Alleva said in the statement, which made no mention of his son's arrest.

The statement also said father and son were "trying to navigate our way back to shore in dark, rainy conditions" when the boat crashed. Investigators with the Wildlife Resources Commission said that speed, weather and time of day could have contributed to the crash but that alcohol also was a factor.

At the time of the accident, the boat was traveling through a low-speed, no-wake zone in the southern part of the lake. Judging from the damage, Sharpe said, the vessel was moving at least 18 mph -- far faster than allowed. Boats should be idling through the area to comply with the law to not create rippling waves in the high-traffic spot, said Lt. Robert Sharpe of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

.500 Baby!

The Mariners won a slugfest 11-7 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night to even their record at 39-39 and pull within three games of the first place Athletics.

Seattle was the only AL West team to win on a night that saw the Rangers continue their slide, Oakland get blanked and the Angels get routed.

Seattle could use more nights like this but if they continue to play the way they have this month first place is just a matter of time. The Mariners are 10-2 over their last twelve games and have won 16 of their 23 games played this month.

Rookie Kenji Johjima was the Mariners hero Tuesday night going 2-4, scoring two runs and knocking in five RBI. The Mariners and Diamondback combined for a total of 22 hits.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sport or Not?

The question has been raised in the forum if poker was a sport or not? It’s been on ESPN but then so has the spelling bee. Add your opinions on the subject or start your own topic. Go to the forum.

Totally Losing It!

One of the great things about baseball is when a team manager (coach) loses his temper and gets tossed. It often results in shouting and kicking up some dirt. Sometimes the manager even throws some stuff. Very rarely does the manager yell at the up, get tossed, dive into second base then pick up the base and toss it into the outfield, cover home plate with dirt, toss bats onto the field then get a bottle of water and turn home plate into a muddy mess. Just when you thought he was done Joe Mikulik stood behind the muddied home plate an mimicked the home plate umpire.

What did he earn for all this? A $1,000.00 fine and a seven day suspension. I would say it was worth it but you have to see it for yourself. Check out the video.

"This ain't my first rodeo. ... I didn't touch anybody. I never bumped anybody. ... I actually cleaned home plate for them, so they should give me a tip for that."
Asheville Tourists manager Joe Mikulik

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Forum Needs You!

Your presence is requested on the message board. Right now there is some fantasy football and Texas Rangers talk going on but what do you want to talk about? Join in on the conversation or start your own topic, it's up to you! Head to the forun

Sexson Powers the Mariners

Richie Sexson was unstoppable Sunday afternoon going 5-for-5 with two homeruns to power the Mariners past the Padres 9-4. He hit an RBI single in the first, homered leading off the fourth, singled in the fifth, hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth and then doubled and scored in the ninth. He had three RBIs and scored three runs.

The Mariners are only a game under .500 now and remain just four games out of first place in the AL West. Seattle’s road trip continues Tuesday when they visit the Arizona Diamond backs for a three game series.

The month of June has been good to the Mariners who have won six of the seven series they have played in sweeping the Angels and the Giants.

The Rangers have released their grip on the division lead and I really don’t expect them to get it back. The Athletics do scare me but June has been their month the past couple of seasons and they are prone to take a nose dive as well. With only four games separating them don’t count out the Mariners!

AL West Standings
W L Pct GB
Oakland 41 34 .547 --
Texas 40 36 .526 1.5
Seattle 38 39 .494 4.0
LA Angels 34 41 .453 7.0

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Opinion on Sports Forum

It’s still under construction but the My Opinion on Sports Forum is now open. The forum is your place to post your own opinions about the world of sports and discuss topics not found on the main site. Start your own discussions and post your own topics. Check it out!

Blog Poll Round Table – Hypothetical Edition

I’m going to make my own attempt at a Blog Poll Round Table discussion. This is based on a hypothetical situation where you are the athletic director at your favorite school with the power to do anything you want. Here we go!

1. College Football brought up and interesting point on their site. If you are an athletic director in search of a new football coach, who makes your shortlist?

Here’s my short list;

Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia – Rodriguez has a good thing going in Morgantown and I think things will continue to get better.
Mack Brown, Texas – May be the best recruiter in the country and no has the championship monkey off his back.
Urban Meyer, Florida – One of the brightest young minds in all of college football.
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – Stoops brought the OU football program back from the dead, winning the national championship in just his second year. Since taking over the Sooner sideline in 1999 he has guided Oklahoma to four Big 12 Championship games, including three in a row (02-04), and three BCS Championship games.

2. On the flipside, if you had the ability to hand select the guy to coach your rival as they play your beloved team this fall who would it be?

Until last season I really didn’t mind seeing Mack Brown stroll the sidelines for the Texas Longhorns but it seems as if his coaching skills have finally caught up with his recruiting so let’s move to most over-rated coach in the Big 12, in my opinion, Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M.

Since coming to Aggie Land in 2003 Franchione has not had a winning season and has not beaten Oklahoma.

3. If your team were to leave the conference they play in which BCS conference would you put them in for immediate success and where would you put them for quality competition?

Oklahoma has faired pretty well in the Big 12 but if they were to leave the conference I would put them in the Big East for immediate success. West Virginia has become king of the watered down conference because of their team speed in a slower than molasses conference and I think OU could have the same success.

For quality competition it would have to be the SEC. I know that Tennessee was down last season but Florida, Auburn and LSU will all be very good this coming season and will boost the SEC as the best conference in America.

4. If you could take any one player from any team in America and put them on your team who would it be?

Auburn senior offensive guard Tim Duckworth! The Sooner offensive line will be improved from last season but I would take Duckworth’s leadership and experience in a heartbeat and add him to the OU line.

5. Which current starter would you be willing to give up for your newly acquired player?

Former starting quarterback now receiver Paul Thompson. He has great speed and his hands are under-rated but with the depth and talent that OU has at receiver he wouldn’t be missed and would definitely be worth trading off for a guy like Duckworth.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Who Would You Hire?

If you’re a Division I A.D. and you have to hire a new football coach who’s going to make your short list? College Football gets you started by giving you their top 50 coaches. Where you go from here is up to you. Here’s my short list.

Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia – Rodriguez has a good thing going in Morgantown and I think things will continue to get better.
Mack Brown, Texas – May be the best recruiter in the country and no has the championship monkey off his back.
Urban Meyer, Florida – One of the brightest young minds in all of college football.
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – Here’s what CFN had to say about Coach Stoops;

No one is perfect, and that obviously includes coaches. Keep that in mind as visions of the 2004 Sugar Bowl, 2005 Orange Bowl and the first half of last year dance through your head. Yes, Stoops has shown hints of vulnerability the past couple of years, but not nearly enough to cloud all the good that he’d bring to any program. When he got on board in 1999, the Sooners were riding an unusual six-year streak of .500 or worse finishes, yet it took Stoops just two years to elevate OU to the top of the NCAA mountain. And they’ve been meandering near the peak ever since. He’s tough, disciplined and among the best defensive strategists in all of college football. Stoops is a franchise head coach, who’d bring dignity, better recruits and elevated expectations to his next employer.
Seven-Year Record: 75-16 (4-3 in bowl games)
Seven-Year Record Before He Arrived: 37-40-3 (1-1 in bowl games)

Here are CFN’s Top 25 Candidates. Check out the complete list.

25. Gary Patterson, TCU
24. Tommy Bowden, Auburn
23. Mike Bellotti, Oregon
22. Les Miles, LSU
21. Paul Johnson, Navy
20. Mike Price, UTEP
19. Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
18. Pat Hill, Fresno State
17. Dan Hawkins, Colorado
16. Mike Leach, Texas Tech
15. Tom O’Brien, Boston College
14. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
13. Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia
12. Bobby Petrino, Louisville
11. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn
10. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
9. Jeff Tedford, California
8. Mack Brown, Texas
7. Jim Tressel, Ohio State
6. Urban Meyer, Florida
5. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame
4. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
3. Mark Richt, Georgia
2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
1. Pete Carroll, USC

Are the Knicks Better Off?

The troubled marriage between Larry Brown and the New York Knicks has ended in divorce and no one should be surprised. Anyone who keeps up with the NBA knows this has been coming and they should have seen Isaiah Thomas as the next head coach.

Thomas, possibly motivated by the success of Mavericks first year coach Avery Johnson, has been eyeing the position since taking over the Knicks front office. He has put together the current New York team and now he will lead it. It’s the whole “you made the bed now sleep in it” principle.

The question now for the Knicks is are they better off without Brown? Sure the in-fighting is over now but what does Thomas bring to the table. His resume includes a Hall of Fame career, leading the CBA into bankruptcy, a three year coaching stint with the Pacers where they never won a play-off series and a string or rash and questionable personnel moves with the Knicks.

On the other hand Brown is 1,010-800 as an NBA coach, guiding seven of his eight teams to the playoffs. He was the Coach of the Year in 2001 when he guided the 76ers to the NBA Finals and won his first title in 2004 when the Pistons stunned the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, becoming the only coach to win the NBA and NCAA crown.

Larry Brown and the New York Knicks was not a match made in heaven but Isaiah Thomas could be a worse disaster. Only time will tell but rumor has it that Spike Lee is wanting Nets season tickets.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mariners Sliding Closer

Why can’t Seattle play in the NL West? Oh yeah because they are an American League team. The Mariners swept the Giants earlier in the week and now have taken the first two games of their series with the Dodgers thanks to former Dodger Adrian Beltre.

Beltre went 2-for-3 Tuesday with a home run, double, four runs scored and two walks then followed it up Wednesday night by hitting a two-run double in the eighth inning to drive in the go-ahead runs sending the Mariners on their way to an 8-5 win.
The win was the fifth straight and 14th in 19 games for Seattle, who are 8-0 in interleague play -- all against the NL West.

The Mariners were the only AL West team to win on Tuesday night catching them up a game on the Athletics and Rangers. The Rangers were the only AL West team to lose on Wednesday night moving Seattle another game closer to second place and still only four games out of first.

I still say that the Rangers are going to collapse after the All-Star break and could be starting now. The Padres are a game away from a Rangers sweep before hosting the Mariners beginning on Friday.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Heat Take the Title

It didn’t turn out to be the most competitive NBA Finals ever but it was one of the most entertaining and controversial. The series turned from Heat vs. Mavericks to NBA vs. Mark Cuban. I believe Cuban may have a legitimate argument but in the end the Mavericks have only themselves to blame and not phantom fouls.

Mavericks fans in all of your complaining don’t forget the game four collapse, the missed free throws down the stretch of game five and the missed jump shots of game six.

In the end congrats to Shaq, Wade, Pat Riley and Kobe haters everywhere for the first NBA Championship in Heat franchise history.

Sooners Release 2007 Football Schedule

The 2006 football season can’t get here soon enough for me but the 2007 season marks the renewal of the Oklahoma/Miami series. No doubt these two teams can’t stand each other yet have also had their fair share of success. Since 2000, Miami ranks No. 1 nationally with a winning percentage of .864, with Oklahoma No. 2 at .860. By wins during that same span, OU ranks first with 68, while the Hurricane is No. 3 with 64.

2007 Schedule
North Texas (Sept. 1)
Miami (Sept. 8)
Utah State (Sept. 15)
at Tulsa (Sept. 22)
at Colorado (Sept. 29)
Texas at Dallas (Oct. 6)
Missouri (Oct. 13)
at Iowa State (Oct. 20)
Oklahoma State (Oct. 27)
Texas A&M (Nov. 3)
Baylor (Nov. 10)
at Texas Tech (Nov. 17)

Pair of Sooners on Hendrick Watch List

Oklahoma's C.J. Ah You and Larry Birdine are on the preseason 42-member watch list for the Hendricks Award. The list for that honor, which goes annually to the nation's top collegiate defensive end

Mariners on the Move

First the Rangers lost to San Diego then the Athletics got blanked by the Rockies and the Angels lost to the Giants. It all set up for Seattle to close some ground in the AL West standings if they could beat the NL West leading Dodgers.

Mission accomplished! Adrian Beltre hit a two run dinger on his first at bat and then belted a double. Combine those hits with two walks and Beltre crossed the plate four times Tuesday in the Mariners 9-4 win over the Dodgers.

The win coupled with the Rangers and Athletics losses moved the Mariners within four games of the division lead so Seattle needs a few more nights like tonight.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Alexander, Peterson and Bomar on Watch Lists

The pre-season college football rankings are out and now so are the award watch lists. I think it’s all trivial at this point but the nominations of Alexander and Peterson are no surprise. All I’m going to say about Bomar is that if he is a finalist for the Maxwell the Sooners would have had a great season.

Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander has been named to the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the nation's top defensive player. Alexander led the Sooners in tackles last season when he was a consensus All-Big 12 pick. On Wednesday it was announced that OU's Adrian Peterson and Rhett Bomar are on the preseason list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top overall player. Alexander, a 6-1, 231-pound senior from Baton Rouge, La., was the Sooners' top tackler last season with 102, including 17 for loss. He had a career-high five sacks to go with nine pass break-ups, two fumbles forced, one interception and one fumble caused.

Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Rhett Bomar are on the first watch list issued for the 70th Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the top player in college football. Peterson was a finalist for the honor in his freshman season of 2004 and was on the watch list last year as well. Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski made the announcement. Peterson has already eclipsed 3.000 rushing yards (3,033) in just two seasons at Oklahoma. He is the first Sooner back to accomplish that feat. Last season, he missed all or more than half of four games yet still rushed 220 times for 1,108 yards, the highest total by any Big 12 running back. Bomar set OU freshman marks for completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns last season. He hit on 167-of-308 tosses for 2,018 yards and 10 touchdowns. After leading the Sooners to a 17-14 victory over No. 6 Oregon, he was named the offensive MVP of the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Q&A With The Voice of the Sooners

I had the opportunity to do a Sooner football Q&A with the “Voice of the Sooners” Mr. Bob Barry Sr. who called Oklahoma football and basketball games from 1961-1972 and then rejoined the Sooner broadcast team in 1991 and has become a legend in sports broadcasting .

Thank you, Mr. Barry for taking the time to drop in and talk Sooner football with us.

My Opinion on Sports: A few publications have the Sooners tabbed as the #1 team in the country and Athlon picked them to win the national championship. How do you feel about that?

Bob Barry: Publications are published to sell copies. Realizing that, Athlon has a reputation in my mind and that of others of being rather sensational. Also they try to get out their prediction first each year. I take their prediction as a compliment of coach Stoops and the entire OU football program. I think the Sooners have a shot at a National Title but to pick them pre-season as #1 is a bit shaky. They are top 10 without a doubt.

My Opinion on Sports: The main criticism I have heard about the 06 Sooner team is the offensive line. I think this unit is more experienced than the one that started last season and will make the offense more potent than in 05.

Bob Barry: My opinion about the offensive line comes from Coach Merv Johnson who is a former long-time great offensive line coach. He feels that the offensive line has potential to be excellent. The down-side is lack of depth, but because of that lack of depth, the offensive lineman got extra work during spring drills so they will be ready.

My Opinion on Sports: Share your thoughts on new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. How will he be different from Chuck Long?

Bob Barry: I think Kevin Wilson did a great job calling plays in the Holiday Bowl win over Oregon. Especially in the later stages of the game he made crucial calls that kept the offense going. I think he has a knack for what plays to call. His style in my mind is that he is a bit more of a chess player than coach Long was; in reference to letting one play set up another.

My Opinion on Sports: Looking at OU’s schedule, if you weren’t the Voice of the Sooners and could only attend one game this season which one would it be and why?

Bob Barry: That is easy. Texas this year...any year! OU/Texas is the high point of the regular season for me. Texas is nearly always loaded with talent and the Sooners have so many Texas players on their squad it is a great great battle every year. I love the game being played in the Cotton Bowl during the Fair.

My Opinion on Sports: Barring injury will Adrian Peterson win the Heisman Trophy?

Bob Barry: There is little doubt Adrian Peterson goes into the pre-season as the Heisman favorite. If he does what we all think he will, he has a great chance to win it. Of course an injury would change the odds.

My Opinion on Sports: Care to make your own prediction on the 06 Oklahoma season?

Bob Barry: I think the Sooners will win the Big XII and have a chance to play for the national title. Early non-conference games at Oregon and against Washington are important tests. The Sooners will learn a lot about themselves in those games.

My Opinion on Sports: In addition to the football team you are also the voice of the men?s basketball team. What are your initial thoughts on new men's basketball coach Jeff Capel?

Bob Barry: I have not visited with coach Capel more than about 5-minutes when he was first named. He has so much to do in these early months since he was named. I don't want to bother him until he gets all of his personal and business taken care of. As the season nears I will contact him and hope to get to be friends with him. All I have heard from those who have worked with him is very positive. Easy to work with and a fine man.

Moyer Pitches 500th Game

The Seattle Mariners completed a three game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 5-1 win on Sunday to stay within five games of first place Oakland but the story of the game was 43-year-old Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer.

Going 8 full innings giving up six hits and one run Moyer became only the 44th pitcher in history (and only the 12th lefty) to make 500 starts. With only an 85 mph fastball he will have the fewest complete games of those 44 with only 29; Tom Glavine is next at 55, fewest shutouts with 9; Bobby Mathews is next with 20 and the fewest wins with 208; Rick Reuschel is next at 214*. You can truly say that no other MLB pitcher has done so much with so little.

The Mariners will continue their tour of the NL West beginning on Tuesday when they travel to the Dodgers and the Padres for back-to-back three game series then will begin a three game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks a week from Tuesday.

AL West Standings
W L Pct GB
Oakland 38 31 .551 --
Texas 38 32 .543 0.5
Seattle 34 37 .479 5.0
LA Angels 31 38 .449 7.0

Friday, June 16, 2006

Losing Streak Ends

The Mariners have stopped the bleeding, at least for now, with a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants Friday night. Seattle didn’t make up any ground in the division though because both Texas and Oakland were winners as well.

What the win did however was stop a three game losing streak that the Mariners were on and provide a much needed win before the team takes off on a nine game road trip on Tuesday.

The heroes of the game for Seattle were Ichiro who went yard on the Mariner’s first at bat of the game and J.J. Putz who picked up his 11 save in 12 attempts by striking out Barry Bonds with a breaking ball to end the game.

Seattle has two more games at home against the Giants on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gather to the Round Table

Smell that? College football season is coming! That means the BlogPoll round table discussions will become more frequent leading up to and through the season.

The latest discussion is brought to you by The Ciskie Blog. Here is how I answered the questions. How would you answer them?

Which preseason college football magazine is your favorite?

I’ve never met a preseason college football magazine that I didn’t like. Sporting News and Athlon are among my absolute favorites.

What team is being supremely overrated in the preseason rankings?

I know the guys over at Burnt Orange Nation are screaming Oklahoma at this point along with a few others but I’m going to hold up a big Texas sized mirror and say the Longhorn’s are overrated.

Hands down the best team in the country last season I don’t think the Longhorn nation realizes what they lost in Vince Young. Sure they appreciated him, even made a god out of him, but leadership like that can’t be replaced. He was the heart and soul of that Texas team and willed them to win in the Horse Shoe against Ohio State and in the Rose Bowl against USC. They don’t have anyone on campus who has that kind of will power. In fact, they don’t even have a quarterback on campus who has taken a Division I snap.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Longhorns will fall off the face of the earth. They will still have one of the best defenses in the country but as a team they will not be up to the caliber of we have seen the last three years.

Notre Dame and USC get in the conversation here as well. This Irish need to prove they know how to play defense and if any team lost more than Texas did with Vince Young it was the Trojans.

Turn the tables. Who is underrated?

The West Virginia Mountaineers! I jumped on this bandwagon last season and took a bunch of heat for it. I had them ranked high on my ballot all season and people questioned my sanity and football knowledge for it.

That is why I sat back with an ear to ear grin and watched them dismantle the Georgia Bulldogs, in Georgia’s own back yard, in the Sugar Bowl.

Guess what? Pretty much the entire 2005 Mountaineer team will be back in 2006. They have a more than favorable schedule and if the stars align just right they could find themselves in Tempe in early January.

LSU should get mentioned here as well. I can’t stand Leslie Miles but the Tigers will have a really good football team again this year and should make a return to the SEC title game.

Which conference will be the best in 2006?

I hate to say it but the SEC will be the strongest conference in the county this season. I think LSU, Florida, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee could be ranked all season. The SEC has been snubbed in the BCS Championship game in the past but will have a strong enough conference this season that could end the BCS drought.

Don’t be surprised to see two SEC teams playing in BCS bowl games this year.

Which "non-BCS" conference will be the best in 2006?

I’m going to say Conference USA although it is a tough call. I think Houston will be the crown jewel of the conference this season but Tulsa, Central Florida and Southern Mississippi will be solid teams as well.

Which non-BCS conference team will have the best season?

The Utah Utes are going to have a great season. It will be the second season apart from Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham will have a stout defense that could rule the Mountain West Conference.

Defensive back Eric Weddle and defensive lineman Kelly Talavou are both candidates for National Defensive Player of the Year.

Let's get your first read on this one...who will win the H*i*m*n? Oh, by the way, players whose last names begin with the letter "Q" are ineligible.

Brady Quinn will be driving the Notre Dame hype machine but I going with the best running back in America. Adrian Peterson!

A’s Sweep the Mariners

Things are so bad for Seattle right now that a drunken pitcher who spent a night in jail this week beat them on Thursday.

Esteban Loaiza earned a win Thursday after spending one night in jail this week, and Oakland beat the Seattle Mariners 9-6.

"I was thinking about a lot of stuff, but when I got to the ballpark I just wanted to stay positive," Loaiza said. "I can't say much but I can say I'm sorry for what I've done for my teammates, for the Oakland Athletics, major league baseball and the fans. It can happen to anybody and I don't want it to happen to anybody else. I'm sorry for everything."

Loaiza faces drunken driving and speeding charges after police clocked his Ferrari exceeding 120 mph on a freeway near San Lorenzo. He was jailed early Wednesday after he failed a sobriety test, California Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Wright said. The right-hander was released from jail later that day and is scheduled to appear in court July 14.

Oh yeah, I was only Loaiza’s second win of the season.

Road Looks Long for Mariners

Seattle dropped it’s second game in a row yesterday losing 7-2 to Oakland. For what ever reason the Mariner’s bats are not working, Seattle has managed just 12 hits and two runs in the first two games against Oakland.

The Mariners need to find a way to hit the ball on the road or it will be a long two weeks. Seattle plays 10 of their next 13 games on the road. That’s 10 losses unless the Mariners figure out how to swing the bat and put runners in scoring position.

Big 12 Biggest Games in 2006

Athlon recently released their Key Games for the Big 12 during the 2006 football season. While I really can’t disagree with any of Athlon’s selections it inspired me to come up with my own Top 12 Games of the Big Twelve Conference in 2006. Look it over and don’t be bashful about leaving a comment.

My Top 12 Big Twelve Games in 2006

12 – Baylor @ Oklahoma State, November 11th – There is a legitimate chance that both teams will be at five wins going into this game. The loser of this game will have no chance to go bowling.
11 – Texas @ Nebraska, Oct 21st – Texas could be heading into an ambush in Lincoln.
10 – Kansas @ Missouri, November 25th – The Border War will be high stakes this year. On the line will be the Jayhawks bowl season and Gary Pinkel’s job as the Tigers head coach.
9 – Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State, November 25 – State pride is all the Cowboys will have left to play for at this point of the season but that hasn’t slowed them down in Stillwater before. Sooner fans still remember the near miss in 2004 and the 38-28 upset in 2002.
8 – Texas Tech @ Texas A&M, September 30th – This is the best chance that both of these schools has had to be the top dog in the state of Texas in years. The winner of this game has the inside track. All they have to do is knock of the Longhorns.
7 – Nebraska @ Iowa State, October 7th – The winner of this game will take the Big 12 North Crown, mark it down.
6 – Texas A&M @ Texas, November 24 – An Aggie win here could make Coach Fran the king of College Station. A loss could get his house put up for sale.
5 – Oklahoma @ Oregon, September 16 – Rematch of the 2005 Holiday Bowl. If the Sooners escape Eugene with a win the only thing standing between them and the Fiesta Bowl is an October 7th showdown with Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
4 – Colorado @ Georgia, September 23 – Buffs coach Dan Hawkins has a better shot at winning this time in Athens than he did last season with Boise State. Still not much of a chance though.
3 – Nebraska @ USC, September 16th – A win here would be a huge feather in the cap of Huskers coach Bill Callahan. The Trojans will be looking to get the bad taste of the Big 12 out of their mouths after their Rose Bowl loss to the Texas Longhorns.
2 – OU/Texas, October 7th – The Longhorns kicked the Sooner monkey off their back last season after losing five in a row to OU. This year’s Red River Shootout will be anyone’s game and a lot of fun to watch. The winner should be on their way to the Big 12 Championship game.

1 – Ohio State @ Texas, September 9th – No doubt the biggest non-conference game of the season for the Big 12, an early season loss to the Buckeyes could send Texas into a panic and a quarterback controversy.

That’s my list. What would you add to it or take away from it?

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Which One’s Which?

Famous last word’s for former Oklahoma State football coach Les Miles but can also be used as a question to decipher who is the celebrity and who is the sports figure. Everyone else has their celebrity/sports figure look alike so why not me? Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Del Harris and actor Barry Bostwick are below. You tell me which one is which?

I have to be honest with you. I can’t watch the NBA Finals without thinking about the old show Spin City.

Sooners Announce Football Game Times

The University of Oklahoma announced today that its Sept. 9 home football game with Washington will kick off at 2:30 p.m., and be televised by ABC. Starting times and television plans have also been announced for Oklahoma's season opener against Alabama-Birmingham and the regular season finale at Oklahoma State. The Sept. 2 UAB game will kickoff at 6 p.m., on TBS, while the Nov. 25 Bedlam match-up will start at 1:30 p.m., on FSN. Washington is one of two Pacific-10 Conference opponents on the OU schedule for 2006. On Sept. 16, the Sooners play at Oregon in a game that also was picked up by ABC and set for a 2:30 p.m., (CT) start. OU Athletics Director Joe Castiglione said he likes the starting times that have been announced thus far. "Within the bounds of our conference contracts, we always put forth our best effort when it comes to kickoff times," Castiglione said. "To the extent that we can positively influence the decision-making process we have. We are delighted with the times we have been given to this point. "The exposure afforded our program through network and national cable games is of tremendous value to us in so many ways. The opportunities we have already realized for the upcoming season will help keep the Oklahoma name in a prominent position." -

Good News from Dolphin’s Mini-Camp

Len Pasquarelli writes on that although Miami Dolphin’s qb Daunte Culpepper’s status for the opening game against the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers is still uncertain he is making huge strides in his recovery.

“Not yet eight full months into his recovery from extensive surgery to mend the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments of his right knee, Culpepper is carrying himself remarkably well during the Miami Dolphins' offseason workouts and, blessedly, can get to the bathroom on his own now.”

Pasquarelli also says that the talk of newly acquired quarterback Joey Harrington starting the season in place of an injured Culpepper is beginning to die down as well.

“How close is Culpepper to being fully rehabilitated? Well, no one here, at least publicly, attaches any kind of percentage to his current status, but 80-90 percent would be a viable guesstimate. And the rhetoric about how he might not be fully functional for the Sept. 7 prime-time season opener at Pittsburgh, and how the "other" veteran quarterback acquired during the offseason, Joey Harrington, might have to start, seems to diminish every time Culpepper walks onto the field.”

I have to admit that I was not initially excited about the Dolphins trading for Culpepper because of the injury but the more I hear the more I can’t wait for September 7th.

"For the most part, physically, I feel great. I'm coming along, moving along. It's a day-by-day process, and it's a lot of work. But I'm just glad to be able to go out, go through the practice and not have any setbacks so far. I feel pretty good."
Daunte Culpepper

No Offense for Mariners

Five hits and no runs, that’s all you need to know about the Mariners 2-0 loss last night to Oakland. Seattle actually got the tying run on second base in the ninth inning last night with no outs but couldn’t finish.

On the positive side, Texas lost 5-2 to the White Sox so Seattle didn’t lose any ground on the first place Rangers.

The Mariner’s three series winning streak is in jeopardy tonight. If they lose it will be the first series that Seattle hasn’t won since playing Texas May 29-31. If Seattle pulls out the victory tonight then it will set up a rubber match tomorrow night for the series victory.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wildcats Suspend Clayton for Opener

Because of a misdemeanor battery conviction Thomas Clayton, Kansas State's leading rusher last year, has been suspended for the season opener Sept. 2 against Illinois State.

Clayton, who will be a senior, was convicted Friday stemming from an incident last September in which he struck a university parking services employee with his car.

Clayton rushed for 637 yards on 137 carries last season. He will be sentenced July 10, could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

It makes you wonder how these guys are able to attain a college education at their level of stupidity.