Around the Big 12: Week 9

Last Week: 4-1

Overall: 30-10

That .750 percentile though!! Somehow i’ve done pretty decent this season in straight up picks. Against the spread? Ehhhh let’s ignore that.

Anyways, this is going to be an interesting weekend in the Big 12. The championship race is starting to come into picture, teams are getting pushed down the ladder to bowl eligibility, all the usual midseason bullshit.

#4 TCU @ #25 Iowa State (TCU -6.5) 

GOD BLESS THAT #25 NEXT TO IOWA STATE! Seriously, this one is hard to pick a side to root for. On one hand, Iowa State’s rapid rise makes our loss look far less shitty. One the other hand, we need as many big wins as we can get, and TCU would be a crown jewel of a win. In terms of how the two sides match up….tough call here. TCU is the better team, but Iowa State is so damn squirrelly. I just can’t stomach picking them this time. TCU, 31-28

Kansas State @ Kansas (KSU -24.0)

Get hype for the biggest rivalry in college football!!! Kansas was described by Dan LeBetard earlier this week as “the most incompetent thing that I’ve seen in major sports”. And honestly, it’s really hard to disagree with him. There is no excuse for this team being this bad in a major conference. They haven’t scored in two games. They needed a damn running clock to let the suffering end last week. I mean, Jesus. Kansas State, 55-3.

Texas @ Baylor (UT -8.0)

Baylor just can’t get it done. Despite being 0-7, they keep getting juuuuuust close enough to getting that coveted first win. This game against Texas might just be the game they get. And honestly, with Sam Ehlinger having spaghetti brain, I think this is the one they get. Baylor, 24-21.

#11 Oklahoma State @ #22 West Virginia (OSU -7.5)

The Big 12 cannibalisation continues! It’s a big time quarterback battle in Morgantown as West Virginia fans finally get to see if Will Grier is better than Mason Rudolph. I think Grier outperforms Rudolph, but fails to get the win. OSU, 52-49 (OT)

Texas Tech @ #10 Oklahoma  (OU -14.0)

Are you ready for a damn shootout? Honestly, just forget about getting mad at Mike Stoops at this point. You should know exactly what you are going to get here. Shoddy defense and ton of points and yards. I think OU wins, but not without 85,000 people pulling out their hair in frustration. OU, 48-45.

How to be Disappointed by OU Football, Even When You Can’t Make it to the Games

(Editor’s Note: Anonymous Sooner is a United States Marine, former one-off writer at Total Frat Move and is now the official Schooner Blog foreign correspondent. Foreign, as in being farther than Iowa.)

Before I start, yes I know this blog is all about traveling around the big 12 (and possibly the country, because we all know that OU will somehow stumble into the playoffs, and continue to disappoint even without Big Game Bob! yay.)

This article is about what to do when you can’t make it to be disappointed in person! We’ve all been there; you’re in the student section trying to convince someone, who probably hates you, to give you their flask, to help maintain your blackout. On the field, OUr team “who doesn’t lose at home” loses at home. Cue “fire mike stoops chants” (shameless plug for #FireMikeStoops.) Anyways back on track, sometimes you do something stupid and can’t make it to games.

For example, let’s just say you joined the Marines. (lol who would be dumb enough to drop out, and do that.)

Let’s cover some of the situations you may find yourself in as a fan who may be frequently cut off from the world.


Scenario #1

You are attending a summer camp with 85 of your new friends. At this summer camp, you have no access to the outside world other than letters (like from the post office, the whole thing is very 3rd world but with less human rights/dignity) The only thing comforting you is the fact that “this is OU’s year!” (funny how the past 10 years have been OUr year but I can’t seem to remember winning the natty?).

Every week you would hear about the game two weeks prior, and every week you would have a moment of happiness knowing that at least OU had won. Then one week in late October you didn’t hear about the game. Certainly, the letter must have been lost in the mail, as the game in question was Red River. You began to run through scenario but just couldn’t figure out how badly we had beaten Texas.

Finally, you are reminded that you are a Sooner fan, and Baker and crew had shockingly (not shockingly) lost. At least you got a “job” at the end of the summer camp! Yay…


Scenario #2

You are now a year into your “wonderful” new “job”. Surprisingly, it’s not as fun as it originally sounded. You begin to notice that your job has a terrible habit of making you take “business trips” every fall.

The only fact comforting you as you spend all day pointing a gun at “helping” foreigners in an exotic location is that OU football NEVER disappoints! Strangely, four weeks into the season OU is 2-2? Certainly, the guy who told everyone scores and records earlier must have been wrong.

Fortunately for you, later that day a helicopter is taking you back to the “yacht” that you and your co-workers are staying on. (just the common perks of your “wonderful” “job”; helicopters, “yachts”, exotic foreign travel, and frequent Saturdays spent with the Boys). When you get back to the yacht, obviously you go straight to the computer to check the scores. (at this point, you remember that there is a grenade in your pocket that definitely should have been turned into the armory so you have to go back across the “yacht”…).

Finally, your turn on the computer search “ESPN NCAA Scores Oklahoma” and wait for the satellite internet to load. 25 minutes later you can confirm that OU is 2-2. Oddly enough, people still claimed that it was OUr year and argued that OU should have been in the playoffs. (full disclosure, “people” is me).

(yay for “helping” people in your totally fun helicopter)


Scenario #3

You now spend most of your time working in an office watching drones in *lol you thought I was going to tell* “helping” people. Then your “job” decides that you should take a “business trip” to a desert! (obviously, this occurs mid football season) Prior to your trip, you watched as OU steamrolled the competition including an impressive away win at tOSU! (yo this is OUr year!)

Lucky this “business trip” should only take a few weeks, and looking at the schedule all the games you will miss are going to be cake walks! Through regular updates with the real world, you find out that OU is still rolling through the competition. (can you say longest active win streak?)

Surprisingly enough we struggle against a no-win Baylor, but hey maybe we were a little too relaxed, and Baylor returned a few solid players. Good thing the next game is ISU in Norman, essentially a bye week before Red River! Honestly, you would be surprised if it wasn’t a shutout. (lol #FireMikeStoops)

Looking back after 21 years of life as an OU football fan, you should have known better.

Two days after the game you find out that Baker and fam are now creating new and exciting ways to disappoint! A home loss to a double-digit underdog! yay!! Surely, it is impossible for someone reading this blog to just now find out that we lost at home to ISU, but if you just found out, I’m sorry it had to be like this.

Hey, at least we beat Texas.


If you have made it here to the end of this article: first off, you might be alone because this was flaming shit, and second, i want you to always remember a few important things.

  1. Never put money on OU against a double-digit underdog (unless we already have our token loss to one that season)
  2. Never join the Marines.
  3. Lastly sober, in the desert, in a foreign country is no way to find out about an OU loss. (drunk in the stadium is my preferred method)

Now you have a basic idea as to what it is like to be disappointed by OUr football team even when you are cut off from the world. Hey, there’s always next year! #FireMikeStoops

(P.S. (I know what you are thinking, and fuck you I wrote for TFM so I can use as many parentheses as I want.)) 

Game Week: Texas Tech

It feels like an eternity since the Sooners have been back in Norman, where we lost saw them laying an egg against Iowa State. So, how have circumstances changed where we are now, three weeks later?

Well, for starters OU hasn’t looked like it has fixed much. The consistency problems are still there, the defense isn’t quite up to par and the Sooners are eking out games that should be comfortable wins.

The team OU lost to that day, Iowa State, is randomly good now, cracking the AP Top 25. The last time the Cyclones did that, people still liked Nickelback un-ironically. This is kinda important, as what was a catastrophically bad loss now might just end up being mediocre.

Elsewhere in college football, several other teams got upset, leaving the playoff door back open for Oklahoma. With that being said, the quality of play needs to raise if OU wants any chance at winning anything meaningful this season.

Up next? Another tough game, this time against Texas Tech. Get ready for points.

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Who are the Red Raiders?

Texas Tech and Kliff Kingsbury are hitting their annual wall. This team started out hot, winning against Arizona State and performing decently well against most of their competition. Until playing Iowa State last weekend that is (can relate).

I can talk about football, but there is something drastically more at stake here; your health.

With the tortilla tossers coming into town, I find it to be my civic duty as a blogger to warn you guys about Raider Rash. It’s real, it’s violent, and it could be coming for you if you aren’t careful.

What is Raider Rash, you say? It’s actually just syphilis, but considering 1 in every 4 students at Texas Tech has an STD, as well as an active syphilis outbreak in Lubbock, the danger is certainly there.

So if you end up making moves on some “fine ass” visiting Tech student at Logie’s this weekend, don’t forget to use a condom. Or better yet, just don’t bang a Tech student.

Last Time We Met: October 22nd, 2016 in Lubbock. OU 66, Texas Tech 59

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I enjoy the high powered offenses in the Big 12, but goddamn this one was too much. Not only was this one rare, it was record setting; both teams set the NCAA record for total combined yards, racking up 1,708 yards (oddly enough, OU and Tech had the exact yard total at 854).

Red Raiders QB Patrick Mahomes matched the NCAA passing yard record with 734 yards and Baker Mayfield set the school passing touchdown record with 7 TD’s in the game.

I was actually at this one; the experience was exhausting. From the shitty fans, to the lack of a visible video board in our section, to the mind-numbingly bad defense all around, it was almost more than I could bare. Definitly a night to remember.

Why You Should Care

It’s win or go to the Alamo Bowl. Even if Tech is 4-3, every game matters now and this team can lose any game on its schedule at this point. With that being said, a national title technically is still in play, so there is plenty of reason to show up and get loud.

Plus after a full day of drinking and being around obnoxious Tech fans, you should be more than hyped for this one. It’s a damn conference night game against a non-KU Big 12 team; those don’t come around often anymore.

I suggest pregaming at 6 AM Saturday morning.

Manhattan

There are some places that you know exactly what you are going to get. You expect greatness out of Columbus, Ohio, you expect dust and not much else in Lubbock, Texas, and so on.

With that being said, there are a few times you find a place that completely shocks you, like I did this weekend in Manhattan, Kansas.

I’m not a big Kansas guy. I’ve always considered it as the state with “the less cool side” of Kansas City, or the state you drive through to get to Colorado, or the state with equally shit liquor laws, or the state with an obnoxiously good basketball team (Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on me that i’m an Oklahoman and virtually everyone thinks my beloved home state sucks ass). I always imagined Manhattan being much of the same.

Oh was I wrong.


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Manhattan isn’t a big travel destination for Sooner fans, especially the week after the Red River Shootout. Which of course makes sense that only Derielle and I made the trek up I-35 through the vast scape of wheat fields that is Kansas. After the 4.5 hour drive through the Middle of Nowhere (a name Kansans proudly claim; it even has a Snapchat filter), we rolled into our traditional first stop: the local brewery.

Strangely enough, we had to cross the local homecoming parade to get there. Once did, we ran into a real gem at Tallgrass Brewing’s Tap House.

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Tallgrass, based in Manhattan, is a sneakily large operation that ships throughout the Midwest. Have a few of their beers and you can see why. There is a little of everything and plenty for the non-beer snob (AKA Derielle). The Blueberry and Raspberry Jam beers were incredibly refreshing; some of the best fruit beers i’ve had. Both Buffalo Sweat (Stout) and 8-Bit Pale Ale are staples that are perfect for those looking for more complex beers.


After the brewery stop, we went straight to meet up with an old friend of Derielle’s who happens to go to Kansas State. This guy, who for privacy’s sake i’m just going to call Tim, was just awesome. He had us over for burgers and after about a quarter .750 of my Crown Royal and his Even Williams, we became fast friends.

I had to go back to the AirBNB and finish an online test, but after that Derielle and I went back to scoop up Tim and head on out to the bars. Tim was our tour guide of sorts; the seasoned vet showing these outsiders the ropes. Oh and he was near blackout at this point, as we had fallen behind with my nerdy detour.We parked back at our AirBNB and strolled over to Aggieville.

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Aggieville might be the best bar district I have yet to see this season. Everywhere you could want to go in The Little Apple (and honestly everything they have in Manhattan) is right on a few blocks of Moro Street. The street was very similar to Campus Corner’s layout, but with one twist; all the bars were legit college bars.

Manhattan knows what it is. It’s a small college town that should cater to college kids. You won’t find any highrise pizzarias or nightclubs here, just good old fashioned bars with cheap drinks and open dance floors. It was beautiful.

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Stop one was a bar called Johnny Kaw’s Yard Bar, a relatively new addition to Manhattan. We got in early, so the bar was relatively dead, but you got the gist of what Yard Bar was about. The bar focused on your traditional bar games mixed with a few tailgate games with ample space for both. For the record, I don’t recommend beer pong in Kansas wind, it doesn’t end well.

  • Weird sidenote about Kansas State; they exclusively call 16 ounce tallboys “pounders”. As in, every bar refers to them as pounders and you can’t get one by calling it any other name. I don’t know if this is just me, but this baffled me.

We hopped around a couple bars, downing pounders and absurdly cheap wells and tried to find a bar with enough of a buzz to stay put for the evening. The memory is understandably hazy, but around the time we hit the original Johnny Kaws, our tour guide and noted drunk runner Tim vanished. Luckily, he made it home safe and not naked in the neighbor’s yard.

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Anyways, my top two favorites for Best Manhattan Bar are between Original Johnny Kaws and a really cool dive called O’Malley’s. Kaws had a great set up; a bar in the front, a bar in the side room and what can only be described as a freshman play pen called “The House Party”. Yeah, I know that sounds lame but imagine Logie’s but if you put all the 18+ underclassmen in a special section and out of your way? Not too bad if you ask me.

Kaws has a trait that a lot of my favorite bars tend to share; openness. Unlike seemingly every bar in Norman that tries to put as many useless barriers up from easy walking, Kaws just clears everything out and promotes free roaming. It’s a thing you wouldn’t expect helps as much as it does, but trust me it creates a way more fun experience.

O’Mally’s was also a pretty great option. While not as wide open as Kaws, O’Malley’s had tons of bars up and plenty of charm to overcome any overcrowding. The walls were covered in marked up dollars from all around the country, ala Edna’s in Oklahoma City. I even added one for the loyal 48 people that read this mediocre blog.

 

After our barhopping adventures, we went on the search for the perfect drunk food. In this case, it’s the wonderful Varsity Donut Truck, which serves a Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese worth missing the final bar stop for. Try it with bacon for full effect.

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We drug ourselves back to life the next morning completely exhausted from the night before. Any hard form of pregaming was out of the question; a beer at lunch would suffice. We made our way back out to Aggieville the next morning for some recovery food and settled at Keltic Star, a proper British pub. In an attempt to be cultural, next-day-drunk me ordered the bangers and mash, which was a tad bit of a mistake. Pro-tip; just go for the layup.

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Once we finished our lunch, we made our way back to Tim’s house to park and walk over to the game thorough campus. K-State’s campus has a very European feel with a ton of limestone and castle looking buildings everywhere. Their student union sells beer in it’s bowling alley (a sentence i’m not happy about writing about a non-OU school #MakeCampusWetAgain).

 

We finally made it across the endeavor-like trip across campus (super spread out) and arrived at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (or BSFS), which is as described, in the middle of nowhere. The Wildcats seem to have a good tailgate culture, but we didn’t know anyone tailgating and opted out. That being said, there was ample space to tailgate and it was rowdy.

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BSFS wasn’t anything particularly special. It was kinda small and really just some big stands kinda put together by walkways. Just meh. It was however connected to the Bramlage Coliseum, which made the perfect rain-delay hideout.

 

The K-State fans were nice, if not extremely quiet with the exception of the student section which was loud the whole game. While the atmosphere was nice I guess, K-State constantly crowed about being the “Best Fan Experience in the Big 12” which in my mind translates to “Most Surprising Fan Experience in the Big 12”. Everything they did was met with “oh hey that’s kinda cool”.

They also did the pledge of allegiance in pregame, which was weird. I guess when you have a middle-school nickname like Wildcats, you do middle school things.

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That’s the thing about K-State game days; they just take you by surprise so much that you automatically appreciate them more on sheer surprise alone.


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Two bad visuals

As you all know, the game started as a frustrated funeral to a previously well hyped season and ended in that all too familiar blend of excitement and stressed out relief. Kinda like peeing after holding it in for too long; a nice, soothing burn.

On our way out of town, Derielle and I stopped at a Wendy’s. Not only was it was the best damn Wendy’s ever, but it was the first time I sat down and took a breather all weekend. It dawned on me right there, that this season long road trip had only two more planned stops.

Much like the act of eating at Wendy’s, it was both exciting and a little depressing.

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Quick Reaction: Kansas State

Jesus, we really did this again? Seriously, if you want to know what happened tonight, just reread any of the past three Quick Reactions in reverse.

Instead of starting fast and falling about late, the Sooners just came out really flat. So many of the issues plaguing Oklahoma reared their head early. The offense couldn’t finish drives and the defense looked flat out porous.

The season looked dead in the water.

After being down 21-10 in the first half, the Sooners stormed back with 18 unanswered points and finally looked like who we thought they were. Of course, this is OU so naturally they had to give up another two touchdowns by the end of the evening. Baker Mayfield was incredible, leading the Sooners on two big drives to answer the Wildcats.

  • If I see another backup quarterback play against OU I might shit a brick.
  • For as bad as OU looked, Baker was incredible yet again. The man has balls of steel.
  • Play-calling was absolutely bizarre in the 1st half. It looked like a bored 1st grader calling plays in NCAA 14.
  • Good Jordan Thomas, nice to see you again.
  • There was some serious fuckery going on in the end zones tonight. Three would be touchdowns were called off or ended up going against the Sooners. That interception on the CeeDee Lamb target was just absurd and that near-catch later was even crazier. Weird day in Manhattan.

MVP: Rodney Anderson. My preseason breakout player of the year broke out this week, scoring two touchdowns, including the 22 yard game winning run with 7 seconds left. With Abdul Adams still out and Trey Sermon mysteriously vanishing, Anderson took on the brunt of the carries today and did pretty well.

LVP: WHOEVER KEPT CALLING THE DAMN WILDFLOWERS PLAY. So Lincoln Riley I guess. Seriously, that stretch was one of the worst play calling streaks I’ve ever seen. Why take the best player in the nation off the field? Don’t drink and coach, kids!

Up Next: Texas Tech in Norman. I’m not sure my heart, my liver and the Owen Field scoreboard can handle this.

Bar Reviews: Jax Bar at Blackbird

Formerly a cajun/soul food restaurant and bar, Jax isn’t as much its own bar as it is apart of a larger bar. Last December, it was absorbed into the larger Blackbird Gastropub complex, which like Jax is apart of the GL Dining Portfolio (This also includes Blu, Brewhouse and The Library; we’ll get to those later). While no longer it’s own restaurant, Jax now operates as the cozy bar of Blackbird, with it’s own feel and separate half of the building.

Sum up Jax in the length of a Tweet

Bobby: Need a place to catch your breath after getting suffocated at Logie’s? Come on down to Jax

Andrew: Google “most average Norman bar” and Jax is the first result. Google knows.

Derielle: ‪Jax’s is the best place for craft cocktails in Norman. Their Game of Thrones seasonal menu gives me life. And their wells aren’t bad either.‬

Granger: friends: “yall wanna leave logies/sevens/valero and go to jax???”

me:

 

Bussow: F*** it I’m going to Jax. *Skips 1:30 class, puts backpack down at bar*

Which night is the best night for Jax?

Bobby: Any night involving Logie’s. This is the perfect buffer between your pregame and Logie’s and the perfect nightcap for crazy Logie nights.

Andrew: Sunday or Monday night. It’s the only night where something better isn’t going on at another bar.

Derielle: Late on a Friday night is typically when you’ll get the biggest crowd. Even then it’s decently chill which is a nice change.

Granger: tuesday and wednesday nights in april when both nhl and nba playoffs are on.

@drewlawson rip in p.

Bussow: Here’s an underrated night: Sunday night baseball/football at Jax followed by a trip to the Deli. That’s the summer go-to. Other than that, Jax is the play anytime the back door at Logies is closed and I’m not trying to wait in line with the 8-5 football team.

Favorite thing about Jax?

Bobby: There is plenty of space to get your whole group together. Want to chill out on a couch? They have a cool couch area downstairs. Have a Last Supper sized crowd? Bring them up to the second floor room and watch the game. It might be the most comfortable bar on campus.

Andrew: It’s not Logies.

Derielle: Their super comfy couches in the back are the best place to hang out with a group. Also their Brewhouse Beers are super cheap during happy hour.

Granger: when you automatically connect to their wifi>>>

all jokes aside, if youve never wrote a paper / studied at jax then youre missing out. nothing quite like the rush you get while sipping on double wells at the bar on a tuesday trying to cram the past four weeks of a course before your 10am test the next morning.

Bussow: Bar tabs upstairs. Someone’s going to eat shit trying to go to the bathroom every time.

Least favorite thing about the bar?

Bobby: Jax is mostly dead, which isn’t always a bad thing. But when half your crew are girls and want to bail because Brittany and Nicole don’t think Jax is “lit”, you are going to have a hard time keeping them there.

Andrew: Every girl I’ve ever seen at this bar has been with her boyfriend. Worst place on CC to shoot your shot. Trust me.

Derielle: There’s a lot of times where you can walk in and there’s no one there except for the employees which is a little unnerving. Things also get expensive if you try and get too fancy

Granger: that annoying loud group of fifteen girls that seem to rent out the upstairs for sarahs (generic basic chick name) bday every single time you just wanna sit at the bar and watch sports.

Bussow: About once a week, everyone in Norman realizes Jax is a damn good bar and it gets packed with the Sevens/Logies crowd. F*** that night.

What is your go-to drink here?

Bobby: A rotation of Brewhouse Wheat and Amber. Cheap and made fresh in Norman.

Andrew: Drinks are trash. Get you some loaded queso fries before you wander over to the best bar on CC (Sugs).

Derielle: The Brewhouse Amber Ale is always a winner along with their Vodka Sours

Granger: double tall wells after after 9pm every day of the week.

Bussow: Double Ginger-Vodka short. Got damn do they make some good mixed drinks. No soda, actual mixers. The drinks make you feel WRI, then the tab says $17.62 after 5 drinks. That’s the moment you fall in love with Jax.

Around the Big 12: Week 8

Last Week: 4-1

Overall: 26-9

Oh hey y’all. So about last week…I switched out my Texas prediction. Here’s the Twitter proof.

Anyways, the real problem with the Big 12 is starting to show. There aren’t enough middle ground teams to boost the overall record quality of the league’s record. Tech and WVU are both legitimate top 25 teams, but both aren’t good enough to beat the upper echelon of the conference, which will inevitably drop them out.

The cannibalization has started folks.

Kansas @ #4 TCU (TCU -39.0) 

This is the most bizarre series. Despite being one of the best teams in the Big 12 since joining, TCU hasn’t beaten Kansas by more than 14 points. Weird shit happens in these games, so roll with Kansas and the points. Hell, throw 50 cents at KU and the money line for shits and giggles. TCU, 41-24

Iowa State @ Texas Tech (Tech -7.0)

This is a tough one. While Tech has proven several times this season they aren’t the pushover they used to be, Iowa State has the more impressive win. Fortunately for Iowa State this is an 11 AM so there is about a 10% chance the town of Lubbock will be awake in time for kickoff. Iowa State, 38-35

#23 West Virginia @ Baylor (WVU -9.5)

Baylor continues to melt down. I don’t even know what to say here. WVU, 56-14

#10 Oklahoma State @ Texas (OSU -7.0)

This is a sneaky good game! With a loss here, Texas’ season goes into full meltdown mode. On the flipside, any playoff hopes (and Big 12 title hopes?) are over for the Pokes if they lose this in Austin. Tom Herman finally gets his big win. Texas, 48-42

#9 Oklahoma @ Kansas State (OU -14.0)

 

I was really worried about this one in preseason. This just seemed like a good year for Kansas State, with the strong finish last season against A&M and a solid overall regular season performance.

But on closer examination, this team really isn’t anything special at all.

Trap games for OU now are about blown coverages and weird schemes. K-State doesn’t have a breakout receiver or linebacker at quarterback. They have officially run out of Lockett brothers. This game will be perfect for OU to right the ship. OU, 31-3.