Around the Big 12: Week 3

Last Week: 5-4

Overall: 5-4

Good week for the Big 12! Considering the shit week Texas (they didn’t deserve to appear last week) and Baylor (re-upped shit week) had in week 1, this week has the league pointed in the right direction. As i’m sure you know, OU continued to carry the league this week with an enormous win at Ohio State (31-16). However, don’t over look the big win from TCU over Arkansas in Fayetteville (28-7). For a conference unfairly seen as Oklahoma and the Nine Dwarfs, TCU taking out a solid SEC team by three touchdowns on their own field is a big deal. Stacking these two big wins is a good start, but the Big 12 can really build on the resume in Week 3 as many teams take this show on the road.

#9 Oklahoma State @ Pittsburgh (anOSU -13.5)

Yeeeeah Oklahoma State had no issue with South Alabama last week. Come at me, @FreezingColdTakes. anOSU brings a great offense and more than a serviceable defense into Heinz Field, where they’ll meet a Pitt team reeling after a rough loss at Penn State. Unfortunately for Pitt, this is a bad team to come home to. OSU 42-13

Kansas @ Ohio (OHIO -8.0)

Sorry for jinxing you last week KU. It doesn’t get better this week. OHIO 17-7

Delaware State @ West Virginia (No line)

It’s cupcake szn in West Virginia! This one is gonna be very, very, very ugly. WVU 63-3

Iowa State @ Akron (ISU -10)

Seriously, WHY DO YOU NEED TO GO TO AKRON, IOWA STATE? YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. God, I hate the fucking Big 12. ISU 21-10

Baylor @ Duke (DUKE -14.0)

I KNEW IT BAYLOR. I WANTED TO, BUT I COULDN’T. YOU STILL BLEW IT. UTSA?? DEAR GOD. THIS IS WORSE THAN THE DEATH PENALTY. THAT WOULD HAVE AT LEAST BEEN A CLEAN, MERCIFUL DEATH. NOW YOU HAVE TO ROT AWAY WITH NOTHING BUT C.A.B. FLAGS TO DRY YOUR TEARS. DUKE 45-10.

(PS. See y’all next week. Get the Vitek’s ready.)

SMU @ #20 TCU (TCU -18.0)

Iron Skillet time! The lamest rivalry with the dopest trophy is back for another edition. every once in awhile, SMU shows up and plays TCU tough. I think it’ll be tight for a half, before TCU’s offense picks up steam to close it out. TCU 28-13

#18 Kansas State @ Vanderbilt (KSU -4.0)

Gamblers, lock this shit right now. K-State, always disrespected is getting 4 points on a lesser team? Not only that, but in a venue that will probably be split with how well K-State travels. The Wildcats put away Vandy easily. KSU 24-10

Arizona State @ Texas Tech (TTU -7.5)

All the points! You get a touchdown, you get a touchdown! This one will be a firework show in Lubbock. Strap in, it’ll be fun. TTU 56-52

Texas @ #4 USC (USC -16.5)

Texas is back folks! Well, at least back to being in this column. Tom Herman has a knack for winning big games, but Southern Cal in the Coliseum is just too much. USC 38-27

Tulane @ #2 Oklahoma (OU -33.5)

Fresh off the big win in the Horseshoe, will the Sooners come out hot against Tulane? Of course. This one is easy. OU 52-3

Game Week: Tulane @ #2 Oklahoma

Alright we are back in Norman and ready for a stretch of more cupcakes! After last week’s thrilling win, the Sooners get an easy one in Norman against the Tulane Green Wave. This one would be more interesting if we were playing at Tulane in New Orleans, but after Columbus my bank account is thankful for the breather.

Who Are the Green Wave?

tulaneTulane is a team from the lower end of the American Conference from New Orleans. They are 1-1, with last week’s game ending in a narrow loss at Navy, so maybe Tulane is on somewhat of a rise. But what you really should know is that this is their alternate logo:

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LOOK AT THIS LIL GUY. BE CAREFUL, HE MIGHT YELL AT YOU WITH HIS LIL MEGAPHONE OR SPLASH YOU WITH HIS LIL FIST!

Last Time We Met: Never

Oh shit new opponent! Thank god, I didn’t want to spend too much time writing this one.

Why You Should Care:

It’s a night game in Oklahoma! We don’t have many games in general, but with recent years featuring more and more 11 AM kickoffs, why not show up and tailgate all day or drink on the Corner? Plus tickets are cheaper than Pay-Per-View, so why the hell not watch a solid Sooner win.

 

Columbus

“Alright folks, it’s time to get out!”, an Ohio state trooper bellowed out to the few left in Ohio Stadium. Other than the Pride of Oklahoma, still scattered on the field after their postgame concert and stadium workers, i’m pretty sure my group of friends was the largest group left in the cavernous old stadium. We agreed; it was time to get wrecked on High Street. But in that time span from final whistle to The OU Chant, none of us wanted to leave. As we took one last glance, my travel buddy and Bar Review veteran Mike Bussow blew a mocking kiss and shouted out to the stadium “God bless the f*****g ‘Shoe!”

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We had done it; Oklahoma beat Ohio State in Columbus, and we were apart of the lucky few to take part in a weekend for the ages.


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We rolled into town in the mid afternoon. It was a brutal drive; 14 hours through the dead of night in a 2013 Honda Pilot, the official automobile of The Schooner Blog. Most of the time was spent listening to Pardon My Take or Revisionist History, two podcasts that couldn’t be on more opposite spectrums.  The crew was me, my girlfriend Derielle Keiser (if you don’t know her, this is her name and not a typo. If you do, learn how to spell her name dammit), Bussow and Kyle DeFord, all people who have been on or will be on Bar Reviews. 

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After dropping off Bussow and DeFord at their places, Derielle and I went straight to the place we desperately needed: The Land Grant Brewery. Both Columbus and the state of Ohio have great breweries, and this one was my personal favorite in Columbus. Land Grant wasn’t afraid to get weird (One of their beers tasted just like Gatorade; it was awesome), but also has solid offerings for everyone. They had a relaxing taproom, solid prices and a great range of beers. I recommend the Creamsikölsch, a Kölsch with vanilla and orange. It was one of the best and most unique beers i’ve ever had.

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Photo courtesy of Witte.

Once we left the brewery we hit up a Columbus treasure, Schmitt’s Sausage Haus. A friend of mine named Brandon Witte, noted 5th generation Sooner, invited us up to the top floor of Schmitt’s, which his Dad had rented out for a bit of a Sooner Alumni party. It was amazing; here we are, 1,000 miles away, surrounded by Sooners. Not only that, but the food was to die for. The bratwurst, the meatloaf, all of it was good. But it all paled in comparison to this red sausage known as the Bahama Mama. Seriously the best sausage i’ve ever had. If you closed your eyes, your brain would have told you that you were in Europe.

After that, we hit the bars across from Ohio State on High Street. Almost immediately you could tell this bar scene is far different from Norman. There are a ton of bars, and all of them were packed. I mean, Logie’s, Saturday night, line all the way to Tea Cafe packed. And why wouldn’t they be? Ohio State’s undergrad enrollment is over twice that of Oklahoma’s. It showed.

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A blurry ass photo of Ethel and Tank.

We made our way into one of the big 3 bars on High Street, Ethel and Tank and reunited with Bussow. It was a solid bar with good deals if you could find them. My go-to drink here was easily the 3 dollar Landshark Lager tallboys. Don’t try to go for anything other than wells unless you are down for paying 11 bucks for a Crown and Coke. Overall, not a bad bar, got pretty drunk and ended up at Waffle House. Not a bad first night.

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We woke up the next morning in time to catch Corso picking Ohio State on Gameday and went straight to Hounddog’s Pizza. Derielle’s next door neighbor got engaged here, so how could I say no? This place had wild options including fries on the pizza and hot sauce as the sauce. We stayed conservative and had a normal meat lovers, washed down with an ice cold Yuengling.

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Some of our friends started pregaming started at 2, so we filled up our flask with shitty apple whiskey and headed back to good ol’ High Street. There we met up with Slater and Michelle, two good friends who drove up separately, but made it in too late for bars. They were at Ohio State’s jaw-dropping student union, one of the most impressive campus buildings i’ve ever seen. We didn’t stay long, as booze >>>> architecture. We went across the street to The Big Bar, which had a pretty expansive rooftop bar. The beer system was down, but they had reasonably good well prices so it didn’t matter much.

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An outdoor look at Ohio Union from The Big Bar.

Slater and Michelle had to go back to their hotel to drop off Michelle’s purse as it wouldn’t fit Ohio Stadium guidelines (shoulda read the article), so Derielle and I hopped onto the next bar.

The next bar, Trism, was easily one of the strangest things i’ve ever seen; it’s a juice bar by day, and a night club thing by night. There was an enormous video board style TV playing the Iowa State game. It hadn’t looked like it had caught on yet, but DAMN were these solid deals. $3 wells and $2 Bud Lights were the perfect move to get properly hyped for gameday.

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We stayed here a few hours, met up with Slater, Michelle and Bussow again, accidentally stayed some more and the ladies got frośe’s courtesy of Drunk Bussow. Finally, we made the trek to Ohio Stadium, properly fired up. We finished the flask on the walk for good measure.

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The first glance inside Ohio Stadium is the perfect blend of intimidating and awe inspiring. We were blessed by the OU athletic department with absolute fire seats. The stadium is old as hell, but like Owen Field you can tell it’s an incredibly meaningful venue.

The Ohio State band is legendary for it’s pregame performance, and for good reason. Script Ohio in Columbus lived up to every bit of the hype. But the biggest and strangest surprise? Ohio State invited our band to perform the traditional pregame. That only happens at bowls and OU-Texas, so it was a real treat.

However, my biggest takeaway from the stadium experience? We gotta have some damn beer in the stadium. It makes Football so, so, so, SO MUCH better to watch while double fisting Goose Island tall boys. Instead of restricting drinking, we should add more drinking. Make the damn call, Boren.

The student section atmosphere was wild. Home student sections never seem to have the same energy as road ones. When you get the diehards all together on the road, we band together and get loud. You lose the casuals that are just there for drinking and add those who are there for both occasions. It was a damn mosh pit after Parnell Motley’s interception. Someone almost got ejected for beer showers! I’d go nuts if every home game was like this.

As the game wrapped up and OU secured the win, it was all kinda hitting me at once. We really beat these guys. I think I mentally blacked out for most of the postgame celebration. The team ran up into the section with the traditional “Weeeee tooooooo deep, OU!” chant and we moshed again. Then, the damn flag plant. Easily the most badass thing i’ve seen live. The game was won, and every mile and minute was worth it.


Afterwards, we did what any sensible person who witnessed their team beat #2 badly would do and went straight to the bars. And, shocker, it was way more packed than the night before. The cops were shutting down lines, it was wild. It became rapidly apparent that I wasn’t getting an overall bar portfolio this trip. So went went right the hell back to Trism, our old haunt from earlier. Which STILL had $3 wells! The rest of the night consisted of double fisting wells, celebrating with other Sooner fans and partying on elevated surfaces. I’m pretty sure a random DJ set happened, but I can’t confirm.

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The next morning, we drug ourselves out of bed, picked up Bussow and DeFord, grabbed some breakfast and headed out on the long journey back, with a full season and limitless possibilities ahead.

 

About Last Night

I still can’t believe they did it. I know I said I believed OU would somehow win Saturday, but it’s hard to believe that when you are staring down the barrel of The Shoe. But the Sooners did it, winning 31-16. There is almost a season’s worth of content from last night, but for now let’s just look at the ballgame.

~ This Defense is going to be a problem for everyone else in the Big 12. For a conference perceived as being terrible at Defense, Oklahoma showed that there is at least one defensive unit worthy of battling it out with the big boys of the SEC and Big 10.

~ Lack of experience clearly reared it’s head early on. The Abdul Adams fumble, the backward pass fumble and missed field goal were all absolutely boneheaded moves. Thankfully, the defense was able to stop the Buckeyes from actually making anything substantial out of it.

~ Aside from dumb mistakes, Oklahoma controlled this one from the start. The offense moved freely and the defense bogged down JT Barrett and Ohio State. Once things got rolling in the 3rd, there was no stopping the Sooners.

~ The OU band played pregame, which is one of the more bizarre things i’ve seen on the road. Nice touch though.

~ Trey Sermon out of nowhere! Sermon got tons on touches in this one, something I really didn’t see happening much of at all this season. Aside from Abdul Adams, the running back corps looked very deep, with Sermon at the head of things. Samaj Perine and Joe Mixon would be proud.

~ This team might not lose ever again

MVP: Baker Mayfield. Was there any question? His statline was wild again, throwing for 27-35 with 386 yards, 3 touchdowns and no picks. You can tell Mayfield’s swagger carries this team. There is a no shits given energy to this team and it clearly makes the Sooners perform great under pressure. The flag plant was one of the best things i’ve ever seen and was a perfectly petty parting gift for this home and home series.

LVP: JT Barrett. I know this is just the two quarterbacks, but WOW has Barrett’s legacy taken a bit of a hit. He doesn’t even look remotely like his 2014 self. Ohio State fans have started to hate this guy the way Sooner fans hated Landry Jones near the end of his tenure. Clearly the “win now or get the hell out” culture is in Ohio too.

Prediction: OU 45, Ohio State 38

Reality: OU 31, Ohio State 16. OU’s defense held up better than I thought. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. I was right in thinking Lincoln Riley’s ballsiness would be a huge part of the OU offense’s success.

Up Next: Tulane back in Norman. We can breathe again.

Around the Big 12: Week 2

Needless to say, Week 1 wasn’t a great one for the Big 12. Aside from any school that had anything close to a challenge losing, Baylor decided to sink lower and lose to Liberty, which might not even be a real school. Things don’t get any easier Week 2 with some big showdowns coming up this week against non-conference foes. When we look back at this season, this week will be the one circled as the one the makes or break the Big 12’s reputation. Let’s look into the games.

#11 Oklahoma State @ South Alabama (Friday) OSU -28.0

Holy shit, how did this happen? The poor Pokes REALLY needed to go down to their place? Glad to see they finally upped that brutal strength of schedule. All jokes aside, Mason Rudolph and Cale Gundy’s brother need to be ready for a fight Friday. South Alabama upset both Mississippi State and ranked San Diego State, so they have the ability to play with the big boys. The Cowboys will win, but I think they fail to cover the spread here. OSU 38-24

Charlotte @ #19 Kansas State KSU -36.0

This one will be a blowout. Bill Snyder’s squad rolls on to 2-0 relatively easily, gets the cover too. KSU 56-3

Iowa @ Iowa State IOWA -3.0

Ah the battle for the shittiest rivalry trophy! Okay, so they got rid of that disaster, but I’ll never object to throwing that into a post. Iowa State has always been knocking on the door of being not terrible, but is this the season they finally beat Iowa? I say yes. ISU 21-17

East Carolina @ West Virginia WVU -24.5

Fresh off a loss to Virginia Tech, West Virginia should be hyped for this one. East Carolina has a reputation for playing spoiler, but I think West Virginia pulls away late. WVU 42-20

#23 TCU @ Arkansas TCU -3.0

Hipster Bowl II heads to “Fayettechill” as these two preppy student bodies collide. Last season’s game was an OT classic and i’m sure West 7th street that night was just as fun. I expect more of the same here, with the same result. The only thing more competitive in this game will be the debate on Dickson Street that night of who wore the better Birkenstocks/Croakies. ARKY 31-24

Central Michigan @ Kansas KU -5.5

The end of the world is upon us. Adding on with recent natural oddities like hurricanes and fires, Kansas will begin a win streak. Get your disaster shelters ready. KU 28-17

UT-San Antonio @ Baylor BU -17

Oh man, I want to pick UTSA so badly. Not only are they better than Liberty, but wouldn’t it just be so funny if Baylor laid two eggs in a row? I think Matt Rhule rights this team for one game, but it’ll be closer than Bear fans want. BU 28-24

#5 Oklahoma @ #2 Ohio State tOSU -7.0

The game you read a full article just to hear about! The Big 12’s non-conference reputation lies heavily on this one. Lose and the Big 12 is viewed for another year as the limbo between Power 5 and Group of 5 conferences. Win and the conference has a real shot at a national title again. I predicted the Sooners to win this one in my predictions piece earlier this year, but this will be tough. The ‘Shoe is a noisy snakepit unlike many seen before and the offensive line has a massive task to try to protect Baker Mayfield. Last season, Baker lost his composure like it was a simple police stop, which cost OU dearly.  This season, the wiser Baker gets his revenge and OU becomes a verified contender with a Heisman moment touchdown to seal it. OU 45-38

Game Week: #5 Oklahoma @ #2 Ohio State

Alright, here we go. No more cupcakes (for now), no more bullshit. We are hitting the gas hard and heading right on to Ohio State. This without a doubt is the toughest game on the schedule and probably the most daunting road game OU has played in recent memory. So whether you are one of the brave few headed up north or staying in the Norman, here’s what you should know before Saturday’s big game.

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Who are the Buckeyes?

Well this is a pretty dumb question to anyone that knows college football, but nothing wrong with some background. Normally, any school that specifically puts “THE” in front of their name come off as a lame and try-hard move, but Ohio State can back up their arrogance. Historically, OU’s football program has few peers, and Ohio State is one of them. With eight national titles, seven Heisman Trophys and 35 Big Ten titles, Ohio State is a titan of the sport. Basically, they have the ego of Texas with the clout to actually back it up.

Last Time We Met: September 7th, 2016 in Norman. Ohio State 45, OU 24. 

Ugh. This one was brutal. A massive storm rolled through Norman and delayed kickoff for over an hour, which apparently absolutely killed any momentum with both players and fans. Momentum or not, Ohio State was simply the better team that day. The Oklahoma secondary was as weak as i’ve ever seen it, allowing Noah Brown four touchdown receptions and anything anyone wanted.

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Ohio State’s defense was out for blood that day, clearly motivated by Austin Kendal’s boneheaded “basic defense” comments earlier that week. Baker Mayfield truly looked like a walk-on, throwing two picks and looking flustered throughout the entire game. It was reminiscent of the Clemson game the in the Orange Bowl the year before; OU was simply out of it’s league. Since then, the Sooners haven’t lost a game, holding the longest active win streak in the nation. Only time will tell if they can hold up to the challenge this time.

Ohio Stadium:

Ohio Stadium, more commonly known as The Horseshoe, is one of the great cathedrals of college football. The ancient stadium is enormous, with the ability to seat up to a little over 104,000 fans. In a move that clearly was made by the idiots who accidentally set a river on fire, the stadium is decked by letter (A deck, B deck and C deck), rather than number (100 level, 200 level, etc).

From some general research i’ve found that the OU sections will be in 6c, 8c, 10c as well as 4AA, 6AA, 8AA and 10AA. So basically if you got student tickets you are either very lucky, or will be need an oxygen tank to watch the game.

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OU sections are circled in yellow. Photo Credit Ohio State Athletics.

It looks like there’s some pretty bad construction (sounds familiar) around campus, so several roads and parking lots are blocked off. I’d recommend leaving for the game early and taking an Uber or Lyft. There is also what appears to be a strict bag policy that even outdoes most NFL stadiums so ladies, be prepared.

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Photo Credit to Ohio State Athletics

Shitty bag policy aside, Ohio State serves beer in the stadium! Miller Lite and Coors Light are the two best selling beers in the stadium, but they also offer local beers from Land Grant Brewing and others.

College Gameday

espn-gameday-notre-dame.jpgCollege Gameday is coming! If you have any interest in waking up and watching college football’s weekly Groundhog Day live, more power to you. I’ve already done it, prefer sleep and will be too hungover. ESPN will be setting up in The Oval, Ohio State’s version of the South Oval I guess. The Oval is located Southeast of Ohio Stadium, and by the looks of it, isn’t hard to find. Here is a map anyways. Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 2.05.51 PM.png

Get ready y’all. This is going to be one hell of a time.

OU-UTEP: Quick Reaction

Some games, there isn’t too much to write about. If I could, i’d just put “OU 56, UTEP 7” and call it a day, but here I am anyways. This one went pretty much as scripted. Baker and the electric Lincoln Riley offense rolled over poor UTEP, just as everyone expected. That being said, it was impressive to see some of the young blood on display. Those filling the holes left from Perine, Mixon and Westbrook look like they might have potential, but potential does nothing for you a week from now in Columbus.

• Baker Mayfield clearly hasn’t lost a step. After setting the QBR record last season, Mayfield got off to a hot start throwing for 329 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and only one incompletion (which was 100% pass interference). All in one half. Wild.

• Speaking of that second half, we finally got to see some Kyler Murray! He looked pretty good for someone who hasn’t seen the field in over a year. UTEP is hapless, but Murray was competent enough to lead several scoring drives. While Murray is known for his speed, most of his highlights came through the air. Overall, nothing to get too excited about, but he didn’t blow it so that’s positive!

• Abdul Adams got the start and most of the carries, but Rodney Anderson, Trey Sermon and even Dimitri Flowers got touches. The running game appears to have reloaded.

• Tight ends are BACK. Mark Andrews had a career day and seems to be Mayfield’s next main target. It wasn’t just Andrews; Grant Calcaterra had a few big catches, including a touchdown.

• That first UTEP possession was ROUGH. Running defense was pretty porous and UTEP scored quick. But other than that, the defense played a decently complete game. But still, this is UTEP.

• Not a great game for the student section. Pair brutal heat with a water bottle shortage and you have a thin section.

MVP: The big cloud that passed over the stadium in the 2nd quarter. Seriously, this beat out Baker’s day. Such a relief.

LVP: Whoever threw the dip spitter on the field. Cool, you dip bro.

Prediction: OU 52-6.

Reality: OU: 56-7. Not too shabby! Standard OU blowout.

Up next: Ohio State in Columbus. The journey begins.