Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Changes (2019 Edition)

Good news for 2019: there are only good changes this season at Memorial Stadium!

Beers

First and foremost: ALCOHOL! Yes, this season Oklahoma jumped on the “drinks at college stadiums” train, and we are all the better for it. While OU has been pretty mum on the specifics, there are a few details we can infer from last Spring’s pilot program.

We Are A Budweiser Stadium

Sorry Coors and Miller fans, the Bud Light will be flowing this season. Anheuiser-Busch has a stanglehold on most arenas and stadiums, and OU is no different. Judging from what saw during basketball season, here are some beers you can expect to see:

  1. Bud Light/Heavy (duh)
  2. Michelob Ultra
  3. ZiegenBock
  4. Shock Top
  5. LandShark Lager

What About Crafts?

Last season, we saw a lack of local craft beer at basketball games and the Spring Game. However, I’d be willing to bet COOP Ale Works will be available. You can get several of their beers, such as the F5 and Horny Toad, at Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma City Dodgers and Oklahoma State games, so I’d expect to see the same in Norman.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CLAWS?!?!

Ah yes, the big question of all of this: what spiked seltzer will keep OU’s Greek Life in the stands and away from Campus Corner? Will it be the meme-worthy White Claw, or the less catchy Truly?

The answer? Neither.

Anheuser-Busch’s horse in the seltzer race is Bon and Viv’s SpikedSeltzer, a label that is very much on the back burner. I’d expect them to push this at Owen Field this Fall.

Wi-Fi

There is actually reliable wi-fi in stadium now! So you can check scores, make live bets and drop your hot takes in stadium now. Yay Millenials!

Reminders From Last Year:

Metal

Walkthrough Metal Detectors

This is probably the most impactful change made last season. If you have been to a recent NBA, NFL or OU basketball game, you should know about these and how the process works.

If you don’t, listen up now because I swear I’ll be pissed if I end up behind you in line.

When you are in line, make sure you know to take all your metal items out and have them ready to put in the little bowl. Or even better, bring as few metal items as possible. If you aren’t sure what to remove, here is a helpful graphic from OU Athletics to educate you.

Metal detectors

Big reminder for everyone in route to the student section: buy plastic flasks, not metal. Your boots can’t save you now.

Clear Bag Policy

This one goes out to the girls and weirdos who bring backpacks to the game. Like the NFL and various other college teams and leagues, OU has implemented a clear bag policy. This means that non- clear bags and purses that are larger than 6.5 x 4.5 are banned. This means that you either have to ditch the purse or take it back and neither option is good.

Before you go, be absolutely sure that your clutch fits 6.5 x 4.5. Don’t guesstimate, because that will lead to you being almost 100% wrong and missing the first quarter because you had to turn back to your tailgate/home/car.

Attached below is an official bag policy graphic, if the explanation wasn’t clear enough.

Clear bag

Top 10: Things I Miss About Gamedays

College Football is back in just 17 days and while I am thrilled for the new season, this stretch of the off-season easily is the most brutal.

Sure, training camps are going on, but at this point, there aren’t enough videos of Jalen Hurts tossing the rock around in shells to make this wait any easier. So, maybe a little hackneyed Top 10 list might be just the thing needed to blow off a little CFB hype. 

Nothing tops College Football Gameday, for a million different reasons. The bands, tailgates, incredibly unique traditions across the country, all of it is just unlike any sport on Earth. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the whole sport makes it nearly impossible to replicate a Gameday. Hell, every Spring we attempt to do it with glorified scrimmages and even then it can’t match up. 

Sure, some of the things you do on gameday you can do any day. But on Gameday? It’s just different. Here are my Top 10 things I miss the most about College Football Gamedays, in no particular order. Let’s get this going.

img_2547

Waking Up Early For College Gameday

This is going to be a big-time unpopular opinion. I get it, sleeping in on Saturdays is a fantastic feeling. But college football is my perfect alarm clock, whether or not your team’s game kicks off at 11 AM or not. The best way to start a Saturday is to wake up, get a deep breath of crisp morning air, slap a ribeye on the grill, make your final bets and flip on College Gameday. It’s the perfect way to start the best days of the year. 

As for the show, yeah I know it isn’t as good as it used to be. Still, it’s a great way to start the day if you have nothing better to do.

Walking Up/Down The Ramp For The First Time

There is just something special about those first steps into the stadium every game. Whether it’s a warm welcome home to your home field or the thrill of seeing something new, nothing is quite like the slight emotional crescendo of seeing the seating bowl for the first time, with the field a perfect glistening shade of emerald.

Grilling (And the Smells That Come With It)

Most tailgate duties aren’t fun. Hauling stuff, setting up tents, having to pay the satellite bill/grab propane/ dealing with backlash for making pancakes for an 11 AM game.

However, manning the grill is a designation of honor, one that comes with utmost trust and respect. It’s a duty of pride and of much importance. However, even if you aren’t the grillmaster or operating a tailgate at all, the collective smell of a Gameday is a treat all its own. 

Cheap, Cold, Beer

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about college football that makes a nice, cold, Busch Light into a can of heaven (keep in mind, this is coming from someone who loves to track down craft beers). I love a nice IPA or Stout as much as anything but on gameday the most expensive I’ll go is Michelob Ultra or a Shiner Bock if I’m feeling fancy.

Unless someone bootlegs Yuengling or St. Arnold’s Lawnmower into the state, of course. Nothing beats those. 

(The jury remains undecided on whether or not White Claws will be improved by Gameday, will update)

natty-light-is-giving-away-1000000-to-help-grads-pay-off-student-loans

Catching Up With Old Friends

This might be a preemptive “old man/postgrad” selection, but whatever. Sure, these are the same people you just hung out with for the past four (or five) years, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’ll just be more fun to bring back a bit of the glory days (okay sure I’m only like three months graduated but still). 

Getting Big Upset Updates on the Out Of Town Board

One unique thing about most stadiums is that no matter how much you upgrade the cell service, the second you enter. This leads you to rely on the ye olde method to get score updates for upsets and “special interest games”: the out of town scores ticker. 

Is this the most convenient way to get updates? Of course not. But there is something so exciting about collectively getting a score update that matters and the tension that builds as you wait for the random North Texas-Tulsa type updates to move along for the good stuff. 

Pregame Bands (Mainly, The Pride of Oklahoma)

Yeah, this is a massive nerdy pick, but I don’t care. At home, the pregame performance is one of the most exciting moments of the day for me. No matter how much the stadium, university players, or I change, I know that this moment will always bring me right back to the days of being a kid in Section 7, Row 49. It’s just awesome to me. 

On the road, the pregame band offers something different. It’s a showcase of the uniqueness of college football: no team does the exact same thing.

Celebrating a Big Play

The stakes for OU usually don’t get very high. Few teams play the Sooners tight, so either the situation is:

  1. OU is blowing out an inferior team, excitement is low, people leave for the bars early out of boredom.
  2. OU is struggling against an inferior team, people are beyond pissed and excitement is tempered by nerves, people leave for the bars out of annoyance. 
  3. OU is playing a good team and excitement is high. People still leave for the bars for some reason. 

So whenever a truly BIG play happens in a good game that isn’t marred by the Sooners underperforming, it’s a truly thrilling moment.

Is this an obvious pick? Maybe. I still miss it. 

The Intro Video

This one has lost stock over the years, but it still is a big moment of Gameday. When properly done, the intro can send the crowd into a frenzy. Check out some of these classic intros and tell me you aren’t at least a little hype for college football (also watch how the trailer music and style evolves from that of a PS2 cutscene into a Christopher Nolan Batman trailer).

(Also shout out to 2003 when we thought using a Nickelback Elton John cover was a good idea, OOF)

Gambling

It isn’t for everyone, but damn I miss gambling on college football. Setting a slate of games for a full day and tracking it adds so much more intrigue to the overall scope of college football. Hell, even when money isn’t involved it’s intriguing: sometimes I legit rooted harder for Weekend Spread picks than ones with money on them.

Do you have a tradition of your own you’re looking forward to this season or have an idea for another Top 10 list? Comment below or Tweet us @SchoonerBlog and we’ll get back to you. This will be an exciting season, so stay tuned.

Also, follow The Schooner Pod here or wherever you get your podcasts!

Need to Know Changes at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

It’s 2018 and Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has finally caught up to the modern world.

Sadly, the changes made in the offseason to stadium don’t include beer sales or a re-entry policy, but just more red tape making your gameday that much more of a hassle in the name of safety. While it isn’t the most glamorous topic of all time, this blog could be the difference maker in making or breaking your experience on Saturdays in the fall.

Metal

Walkthrough Metal Detectors

This is probably the most impactful change made this season. If you have been to a recent NBA, NFL or OU basketball game, you should know about these and how the process works.

If you don’t, listen up now because I swear I’ll be pissed if I end up behind you in line.

When you are in line, make sure you know to take all your metal items out and have them ready to put in the little bowl. Or even better, bring as few metal items as possible. If you aren’t sure what to remove, here is a helpful graphic from OU Athletics to educate you.

Metal detectors

As a result of these rule changes, expect to leave a little earlier than you would have in previous years. Yeah, you can’t drink as much, but you can sacrifice that for football.

To accommodate these new changes, the doors now open two hours before kickoff. This shouldn’t change your routine unless you are a pledge marking off territory in the student section or an oddball who loves warmups, empty stadiums and jock jams from the mid 2000s more than drinking beer.

Big reminder for everyone in route to the student section: buy plastic flasks, not metal. Your boots can’t save you now.

Clear Bag Policy

This one goes out to the girls and weirdos who bring backpacks to the game. Like the NFL and various other college teams and leagues, OU has implemented a clear bag policy. This means that non- clear bags and purses that are larger than 6.5 x 4.5 are banned. This means that you either have to ditch the purse or take it back and neither option is good.

Before you go, be absolutely sure that your clutch fits 6.5 x 4.5. Don’t guesstimate, because that will lead to you being almost 100% wrong and missing the first quarter because you had to turn back to your tailgate/home/car.

Attached below is an official bag policy graphic, if the explanation wasn’t clear enough.

Clear bag

 

10 Predictions for the 2018 Season (Part 2)

(In case you missed it, here is Part 1)

6. Bookie wins Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, but is robbed of Player of the Year

Like pretty much every OU fan that has been paying attention, I’m all in on Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles. The five-star defensive back from IMG Academy is Florida has the potential to be an absolute game changer on a defense that really needs one.

Bookie possesses an insane defensive IQ paired with nuclear athleticism. In spring football, he played a wide range of defensive back positions, so he might move around a field a bit depending on how other personel shakes out.

If he lives up to the (well deserved) hype, you can consider him a shoo-in for Freshman DPOY.

7. Drake Stoops will contribute

Will he be good? I have no idea. (I swear this prediction isn’t based on that one hand catch in preseason camp).

To say Drake Stoops is undervalued is an understatement. A walk on from Norman North, Stoops is apparently getting attention in camp for more than just his last name. Despite his small stature, Stoops is a gritty receiver who gets the little things right. Realistic, it might take a year for him to see actual significant playing time with how deep the receiving corps is, but I could see him making a big impact in the slot.

8. The Sooners will win a record 4th straight Big 12 Title

This is a pretty down year for the Big 12 in terms of elite teams. Despite this, I actually see this being a pretty great year for Big 12 parity; I think we will see some major cannibalization between positions 2-7. Perennial top dogs TCU and Oklahoma State are going through rebuilding years, Texas isn’t fully back, and I think middle of the road teams like Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech will be improved.

The one team I believe has major upside to break from the pack is West Virginia. They’ve been a trendy pick to win the conference this year with the return of Will Grier, but I’m just not sold yet. I think the rest of the conference is too good for them to finish without at least two losses and playing a late season Oklahoma offense in back-to-back games won’t be easy.

It’ll be a wild race to the finish, but you gotta take the safe bet in the Sooners winning their 12th (!) Big 12 Championship.

9. Oklahoma gets left out of the College Football Playoff

Scheduling elite home and homes is massively important in the Playoff era. Even if you drop an early game to an elite team, if you win out the rest of the way the committee has tended to offer a bit of an amnesty for the loss. Win the game and you have a sort of “get out of jail free” card.

The Sooners benefitted from this last season after the signature win in the Horseshoe against Ohio State helped wash out its baffling home loss to Iowa State. This season, Oklahoma doesn’t have that luxury.

While the schedule isn’t weak by any means (For example, no November games against The Citadel; Looking at you, Bama), it isn’t entirely impressive. Unless UCLA or FAU goes on an unsuspecting tear, OU will have to rely on winning out or a Big 12 team separating from the pack to produce its signature win.

Unfortunately, I don’t see either happening.

Even if OU survives its schedule with one loss, they will have to hope the Pac 12 champion falls apart (probably Washington, who opens against Auburn) as well as another conference failing to get two teams into the Playoff. I think the worst case scenario happens, sending OU to the Sugar Bowl. At least it’s in NOLA!

(Playoff predictions? Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Wisconsin. Yawn.)

10. OU avenges its Rose Bowl loss in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia

Damn would this be a good one. In their only meeting ever, the Sooners and Dawgs produced what was probably the best non-championship Playoff game to date. If OU missed the playoff, this would easily be the best timeline.

Georgia is going to be as good as they have ever been, but I think Alabama and Tua Tagovailoa are going to pull through to win the SEC, despite concerns about linebacker depth. Their toughest non-conference opponent (other than the yearly rivalry game against Georgia Tech) is Middle Tennessee State or UMass, take your pick.

Maybe I just want to end this relatively pessimistic series of articles on an optimistic note, but I just have a feeling that things would turn out differently in this one. This Sooners team has the skill and ability to compete with anyone when motivated and healthy. I would just see them coming out on top and avenging last season’s loss.

Still wouldn’t make the squib kick any easier to take though.

10 Predictions for the 2018 Season (Part 1)

Despite having some success on my preseason predictions last season, I would be lying if I said I felt confident in coming anywhere close to getting it right this season.  I’m usually wildly optimistic about the Sooners pretty much every year, but with some significant roster changes and a second year head coach, the crystal ball seems much hazier than last season.

So while most of these will probably be wrong, at least we might end up having a good laugh at this article in a few months.

kyler

1. Kyler Murray will win the starting QB job

Sure, Kyler Murray has seemed to be the obvious choice at quarterback this season pretty much since he transferred into Oklahoma. But considering that we are just ten days out without a starting quarterback announcement from Lincoln Riley, I think the job is legitimately up in the air.

I’m sure Austin Kendall is a fine quarterback. He redshirted last season, so we haven’t seen much of him since 2016 when he backed up Baker and dropped some questionable bulletin board material before the Ohio State game. While he looked like a “basic” quarterback in most of his snaps, a lot has changed since then. He probably has improved.

However, if anything this just shows me that Murray might not be the elite we think he will be.

Don’t get me wrong, Murray is without a doubt a supreme athlete. We saw quite a bit of the Texas A&M transfer last season, usually in strategic situations, such as coming in for an “injured” Baker against Ohio State or being apart of a baffling two quarterback set in the biggest game of the year (pardon me while I scream into a pillow). However, we very rarely saw him throw in volume, with the one exception being the season opener against UTEP (10/11 for 149 yards and one TD).

Replacing a Heisman winner is a tough act to follow, but replacing the most accurate quarterback in the history of the game? That’s damn near impossible. I suspect that the passing aspect of Murray’s game is the thing holding the decision back, but in the end Murray just has too much upside to pass up.

(Edit: that was easy.)

2. OU will not cover the spread in any of the first four games (FAU, UCLA, Iowa State and Army)

Not exactly a murder’s row, I know. But with OU riding high from last season’s massive success and the relative lack of a brand name opponent, I can see Vegas putting the Sooners as a high favorite for most of these. While I don’t think Oklahoma will lose any of these games (more on that in a moment), I think all of them have the potential to really put a scare into the hearts of everyone in crimson.

FAU, for reasons I’ll go in great depth on next week, is an upset waiting to happen. UCLA lost star quarterback Josh Rosen, but gained a genius head coach (in college, anyways) in Chip Kelly. Iowa State not only beat OU last season, but is playing this game at home with key contributors David Montgomery and Kyle Kempt returning along with one of the best defenses in the Big 12. Army runs the triple option, which should worry anyone who watched the Rose Bowl last season.

Despite this, I firmly believe that OU is better than all these teams. There aren’t any Ohio States lurking this time around. However, the Sooners must grow up quick in order to survive September unscathed.

rodney

3. Rodney Anderson will be a dark horse Heisman candidate

One of the biggest surprises from last season was the sudden rise of tailback Rodney Anderson. After several season ending injuries, we finally got a good look at the Katy, TX product in 2017.

Early on, Anderson was just okay, with the bulk of the carries going to then freshman Trey Sermon and Adbul Adams (who transferred to Syracuse after the season). Hell, he didn’t even receive double digits carries until the Red River Shootout.

From midseason on, Anderson became an absolute workhorse for the Sooners. In a blink of an eye the man turned into Adrian Peterson with 100+ yard games in six of his last nine games, culminating in a 201 yard, two touchdown performance for the ages in the Rose Bowl.

While Anderson is a powerful downhill back, his ability to contribute to the passing game makes him a multifaceted back that is brutally hard to stop. Good luck to Big 12 defenses trying to figure him out this season.

4. The Sooners will go undefeated in rivalry games this season…

It’s late August and as is tradition the wave of sports writers and bloggers have emerged from their hole like its Groundhog Day to shout to anyone who will listen that “Texas is Back”! Of course this ignores the lack of a strong quarterback, proven success and apparently only having “some” elite players.

I’ll give Tom Herman this, despite being a total asshat, at least he’s honest.

Texas has made strides towards being a respectable team. But I’m not buying the yearly declaration of Texas as a playoff contender or even a conference contender. With that being said, I think Texas will bring a really good record into the Red River Shootout, giving the game the hype it deserves.

I also think the Sooners will match that hype, avoiding the usual grogginess we’ve seen the previous seasons. It’s always hard to tell who wins this game, but I have a motivated Sooner team handling the ‘Horns and sending the flag into the heart of the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma State has had a long period of consistent success rivaled by very few. However…this is going to be a definite down year for the Cowboys. While they still have star tailback Justice Hill, I think the loss of Mason Rudolph and James Washington will prove too hard to replace this season, especially if Taylor Corneilius is “the guy” in Stillwater. They won’t be bad, but this won’t be the year for them (it usually isn’t).

5. …but will lose 1-2 stupid games

The schedule sets up really well this season for Oklahoma. Which honestly is the first big warning sign that something bad will happen.

For the first time in over a decade, OU has seven home games, which is a huge blessing from the schedule gods. Not only that, the Sooners only play two games out of Oklahoma and Texas, traveling to Iowa State and West Virginia. I think they handle both.

But as is tradition with Oklahoma football, there is always a sneaky upset around the corner. This year, I’m predicting that one (or even both) of OU’s usual suspects, Kansas State and Texas Tech, will upset the Sooners in a game they should win.

K-State is always tricky. I just don’t trust Bill Snyder, especially in Norman. The Wildcats have beaten the Sooners two out of the past three games at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and are bringing in an improved team. After surviving a scare in Manhattan last season, the Sooners better be ready for the Wildcats.

As for Tech…anything can happen in Lubbock. On top of the fans are the most ruthless I’ve ever seen, the Red Raiders actually have a defense now to go along with their pass happy offense. They aren’t great by any means, but Jones AT&T Stadium has had its share of season wrecking games.

12 Big Season Predictions That Will Be 100% Accurate

It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally game week in Oklahoma. Thanks to two early losses last season, it’s been nearly a year since the Sooners have been in contention for anything bigger than a mediocre crystal bowl or a women’s gym natty. That being said, it’s time for some high stakes football again. So to open this season, here are 10 predictions that will probably be as accurate as this article’s title.

1. Baker Loses Another Heisman

But he’ll get close again! Baker will have another great season, but his numbers won’t be as good as last season. Pair that with the already piss poor reputation of Big 12 defenses and we have a narrative that could sink this campaign.

2. Rodney Anderson has a breakout season

As is tradition, OU will reload it’s running back core this season. Losing two highly talented and experienced backs in Samaj Perine and Joe Mixon will be a blow early on, especially in Columbus. Abdul Adams should be a more than capable back in relief, but I think Rodney Anderson will have a huge impact come midseason.

3. OU beats Ohio State

This is where things get weird. I believe Ohio State is a better team on paper than OU. They are at home and they have Urban Meyer against rookie head coach Lincoln Riley. The game last season illustrated just how wide the physical athletic gap was in terms of speed and size, mainly on the defensive side. So, how do the Sooners bridge that gap in a year? My bet is that Riley throws convention out the window, and gets real weird with the playbook. One of Riley’s best traits as a playcaller is his ability to throw out crafty plays that use players in unconventional ways. I have a weird feeling that if this game gets close, the Sooners have an edge just on sheer ballsiness. Weird stuff happens in college football. That being said…

4. They miraculously lose at K-State for some reason.

21st century OU football seasons usually go one of two ways. Some years, they shit the bed early, get out of the national title conversation and through one way or the other, win the Big 12, go to a decent bowl game and then ride off into the offseason (I.E. 2006, 2010, 2016). Those are okay, at least my expectations as a spoiled fan are changed early enough to mentally settle for another Big 12 title. However, the seasons that piss me off are the ones where OU starts out on fire, beats a good team early on, shoots up to the top 5 and then collapses against a random ass team (2007 & 2011 Tech, 2015 Texas). Given the timing (right after the Red River Shootout), the opponent (The Manhattan Wizard) and it being away from Norman, I think the Sooners slip here.

5. Chix and Styx is going to be a terrible bar (RIP Chimy’s)

Honestly i’m not opposed to a wing place on Campus Corner and the old Chimy’s layout is almost too great to fail. BUT HOW AND WHY WOULD ANYONE NAME IT THIS. It’s impossible for me to have any optimism that Chix and Styx will even remotely fill the shoes of the GOAT, Chimy’s. Bring back the legendary DP Shootouts from the Chimy’s era and then we can talk success.

6. Kyler Murray Will Play a Decently Major Role

I have no idea how, but I just have a feeling Lincoln Riley finds a way to get one of the best athletes on roster on the field this season. This one is a pure hunch, clearly some seriously well thought out Journalism here at The Schooner.

7. Some drunk dude in the student section will call for Lincoln Riley’s head after the first offensive drive

And then promptly ask his friends if they want to go to Logie’s, which they will probably do.

8. OU avenges its one loss in the Big 12 Championship

The Sooners always seem to heat up in the second half of the season, and that’s what I think happens here. The young receiving corps will grow up by the time the bigger back half games come around. After taking a theoretical loss to K-State earlier in the year, holes and issues should be covered up enough for OU to take home Big 12 Title #11.

9. OU makes the Playoff

This one is going to be tight again. There will be three one loss teams; OU, USC and Ohio State. The problem? Alabama has two losses and gets in over one of them. It’ll be some crazy shit, but the Big 12 finally catches a break and adding the Big 12 Championship somehow pays off. However…

10. The season ends against USC in the Rose Bowl

Just our luck right? Well knock on some damn wood because somehow we’ll end up playing the hometown team, as is tradition. Unlike 2004, this will be a close game. Sam Darnold vs. Baker will be an all time duel, but it just isn’t enough. Baker Mayfield walks off like so many other all time great Sooner quarterbacks before him; title-less. That being said, the new direction Lincoln Riley turns the program in leaves an optimistic end for the Sooners.

Or maybe not, idk I just started this blog a day ago 🤷🏼‍♂️