This week we bring Oklahoma's blog Crimson and Cream Macine to you for a blogger Q&A session. Matt at C&C answers a series of questions from the guys here at CN.
We've created a method for CN and C&C users to get in on the action, as Matt has created a "Ask A Sooner" fanpost encouraging Husker fans to ask any questions they might have.
A similar fanpost has been created by yours truly at C&C for Sooner fans looking to ask us questions. I say "us" because if you're a member of Corn Nation, your user name and password will work at C&C provided you join their site.
There's nothing that says we all can't have decent, civil conversations going back and forth betwen Husker and Sooner fans on each of these sites. If nothing else, it'd be a good break from the constant barrage of crap we're enduring right now in other media. Maybe that's just what you need!
On to the Q&A!
Bo Pelini was on the Sooner staff in 2004; made it to the BCS title game, but got blasted by USC. How do Sooner fans view Pelini?
Pelini had such a short stint in Norman that Sooner fans really didn’t get to know him that well. Here’s what we do know about him – a) he was a very good defensive coordinator and b) he and Bob Stoops are very good friends.
Oklahoma and Nebraska are such respected rivals that we (Sooner fans) couldn’t stand Bill Callahan. Not only did he seem lost on the sidelines but he also showed little to no respect for the tradition of Nebraska and this rivalry. You don’t get that with Pelini. He appears to have a firm grasp on the reigns in Lincoln, has embraced the Husker tradition and will bring the respect back that this rivalry deserves.
What’s your view on the Nebraska - Oklahoma rivalry, and what was your (combo) earliest/best memory of a Nebraska - Oklahoma game?
I grew up in the mid-70’s/80’s so for me Thanksgiving meant OU/Nebraska with the Big 8 championship usually on the line. I guess my earliest memory of the series would have been when the two teams played in the Orange Bowl in January of `79. I really don’t remember much of OU’s loss in Lincoln a couple of months earlier (call it selective memory) but I can remember sitting on the living room floor with a plate of snacks on the coffee table and my dad saying repeatedly, “See, this is what happens when we don’t give the ball away!” as Billy Simms ripped off run after run.
There are so many fond memories of this series (and they aren’t all good) but my best I guess would have to be the 200 game. Because of the formation of the Big 12 Oklahoma hadn’t faced Nebraska since 1997 and hadn’t beaten them since 1990 which means that they were riding a seven-game losing streak which was the longest in the history of the series for Oklahoma.
Nebraska jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the Sooners settled down to score 31 unanswered points to rout the Cornhuskers. The following Monday Oklahoma was the #1 team in the nation for the first time since 1987 and after more than a decade of futility OU football was back.
It’s possible that Oklahoma will not make the Big 12 title game. If they don’t, but still get into a BCS game, would that be considered a successful season by Sooner fans?
Yes and no. It would be a successful season because only successful teams make it to BCS bowls but it has been stated over and over again that Oklahoma football plays for championships. People like to make a big deal of Oklahoma dropping consecutive Fiesta Bowls but part of the sting of those losses was taken away by Big 12 championships. At the end of the season the 2008 Oklahoma Sooners could be summed up as a very good team but not a championship team. That will be a tough pill for many Sooner fans to swallow.
Nebraska’s offense was able shut down Tech’s offense by playing ‘keep away’, holding the ball for around 40 minutes on offense. It kept the game close and we took it into overtime? Can you foresee the same happening to Oklahoma?
I’m not saying that it isn’t possible or even probable but I would be surprised if it happened that way. The problem is how quickly Oklahoma can score. The Sooners have the highest scoring offense in the conference but are only around the middle of the pack when it comes to time of possession. What that means is that OU scores quickly. Nebraska’s opening drive could be a 6 minute touchdown drive but then the Sooners could respond with a two minute scoring drive and suddenly you are back to square one.
With the holes in the middle of Oklahoma’s defense it is very possible that Nebraska could have some long sustained drives but the bigger challenge is going to keep the Sooner offense from answering. Now, with all of that said, I do think that is the best way to game plan against the Sooners.
What about this game worries you the most?
Oklahoma’s defense being susceptible to the big plays is what worries me the most. There have been so many problems since Ryan Reynolds went out and the Sooners are still looking for answers. They seem to have begun the process of moving on without Reynolds by replacing him with redshirt freshman Austin Box but there is still going to be a big learning curve. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it until I see something change. If I am an opposing coach I attack the middle of OU’s defense until they prove that they can stop me.
I usually hold my official prediction until I post the game thread but I am thinking in the neighborhood of 38-28, OU.