Posted on: September 5, 2009 12:24 pm
STILLWATER, Okla. -- They're serious about football. They're serious about Mike Gundy. And they're serious about T. Boone Pickens.
And all of it is related today, the day the Cowboys open what could be the biggest football season in school history.
Understand, while some of the rest of the country has mocked Gundy for his "I'm a man" hysteria, and while some have wondered what Pickens could possibly have been thinking by donating nearly $200 million to the OSU athletic department, people here aren't questioning squat .
And I get it.
The campus is beautiful. The stadium is immaculate. And Gundy is a rock star. Or, given his background, a country star. Whatever -- he's huge here. One tailgating section paid homage to Gundy, and to whoever the tailgating fan was, by sporting an enormous birthday sign that proclaimed, "I'm a man! I'm 40 today!"
More than three hours before kickoff, the parking lots are filling up. These people are serious about this football team, and Pickens made it possible, and Gundy made it come to fruition.
So if you're one of the people who have mocked Gundy or questioned Pickens, have at it. But in Stillwater, they're not mocking or questioning. They're supporting. Because they're grateful.
Posted on: September 5, 2009 9:56 am
STILLWATER, Okla. -- And I'm dead serious.
This game looked good when it was assigned to me a few weeks ago, but the more I look at it, the more handsome it gets. It's kind of like me in that regard. Moving on ...
This is the biggest season-opener in Oklahoma State history. It's possibly the biggest game in OSU history, although any number of rivalry games with Oklahoma probably deserve that billing for now.
But No. 9 OSU has never (before now) started the season in the Top 10, and it has never played in a stadium as majestic as the one recently refurbished with money from booster T. Boone Pickens, and then when you add in the fact that the opponent isn't San Jose State (no offense) but No. 13 Georgia? With its own issues in the post-Stafford/Moreno era?
This game is huge. Not locally huge. Nationally huge.
And there are more subplots and twists and turns and rumors and all sorts of crazy s--- that I haven't even mentioned, but I'm saving some of that for my game column later. Please come back? I promise it'll be worth your while.
Even if the writer is only me.
That was an attempt at humility. Needs work, I know.
Posted on: March 21, 2009 3:42 pm
It's the press, people.
Pittsburgh looked bad against East Tennessee State's pressure, what with Pitt PG Levance Fields (perhaps) still battling his groin injury. Fields said Friday, and repeated Saturday, that his groin is OK. "I told you yesterday I'm 100 percent," he said Saturday. "So I'm 100 percent today."
He better be. And he better be better than he was against ETSU, which forced him into five turnovers and eventually forced the ball out of his hands. Pittsburgh went other routes to handle the ETSU pressure -- and the Cowboys are quicker and stronger than ETSU.
"I expect them to see a press," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said of his players. "A 1-3-1 is what (OSU) has shown. We've handled presses well throughout the year. And ... we handled it much better in the second half of the last game."
Right. When Fields stopped handling the ball. Weird.
There's your key to the game. You're welcome.