Tag Archives: Joe Mixon

Who Decides Who Possesses the Moral Character to Work in Sports?

There’s been a considerable amount of rhetoric being flung around lately about who gets to have a job in sports. Damien Bowman recently wrote about the layoffs at ESPN.

[Bowman: On ESPN, Layoffs, and Life’s Lessons…]

That article helped ignite a small fire on Twitter about who should and shouldn’t have been part of the layoffs at ESPN. How could Britt McHenry not lose her job?

Brian in Twinsburg’s wish eventually came true as McHenry was indeed a casualty of the layoffs at ESPN, but McHenry’s poor judgment shouldn’t have been and wasn’t a fireable offense. This isn’t meant to bully Brian in Twinsburg as many share his opinion. That opinion being that only “nice” people should have jobs and, more specifically, jobs in a sports-related profession. I have news for everyone. We all have coworkers that we wouldn’t have a beer with after work. And who knows, maybe some of those coworkers think you are that not-so-nice person.

But the attitudes of some of ESPN’s current and former employees is just the tip of this jump-to-conclusions attitude that so many people have today. The environment that places this attitude on full display is the NFL Draft.

Going into the 2017 draft, Florida’s Caleb Brantley and Ohio State’s Gareon Conley made headlines in a way that they wish they hadn’t. Brantley was accused of assaulting a woman and Conley was accused of rape but neither has been charged. Oklahoma’s DeDe Westbrook and Joe Mixon each have had allegations stick against them and each was still drafted.

[Botica: Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not for College Athletes Like Caleb Brantley]

Brenda Tracy, one of the leading advocates for victims of domestic violence and rape, believes that there is no room in sports for people like Brantley, Conley, Westbrook or Mixon.

When Tracy speaks about “setting the expectation,” I don’t believe her expectation is a reasonable one. I understand why she is the advocate she is and I don’t doubt her personal experience with rape. But when a person is as emotional about the topic as she is, is she the best person to be setting the expectation? This is an important question because her rhetoric suggests that she is unable to be impartial in matters of domestic violence and rape.

Should an athlete who has been accused of domestic violence or rape such as Brantley or Conley be held to the same standard as an athlete like Westbrook or Mixon? Accusations don’t equate to guilt. But even if an athlete has had charges in their past, should that ban them for life from playing professional sports? I say no.

The reason for my saying “no” is because it’s a slippery slope. Where is the line drawn? What is considered to be nice enough behavior to deserve a roster spot? Is an accusation against a person enough of a moral blemish to ban an athlete from playing? Tracy seems to think so. And if a person must be found guilty of a set of charges, which charges should be considered serious enough to ban an athlete from playing? That depends on the advocate leading the charge or their cause. Remember, everyone believes that their cause is the most important one out there.

How nice a person is should have no bearing on whether or not a person can work for ESPN. And the moral character of an athlete should have no bearing on whether or not an athlete is allowed to play sports. But this is the moral mountain that people are willing to live and die on. These advocates would be wise to be careful because the fall from that mountain is a long way down.

 

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

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Bob Stoops and Joe Castiglione Chose to Ignore the Joe Mixon Video

Prior to the 2014 season starting, Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon was charged with an “act resulting in gross injury” when he punched Amelia Molitor. Mixon was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to attend cognitive behavior counseling. In addition to the community service and counseling, Bob Stoops suspended him for the season. While the public was outraged at the apparent light consequences issued to the football player, it was tempered outrage since the video footage of the assault was sealed to the public.

All of that changed once the video was made available to the public.

I’ve gone on record many times saying that proof is imperative in situations like Mixon’s. And the proof that this video footage provides should be considered damning to not only Mixon, but to Stoops and Joe Castiglione.

Back in 2014, Castiglione and Stoops claimed to hold the Oklahoma athletic department and football program to the highest standard possible:

“As the university has demonstrated in the past, we are committed to winning the right way. As an example to others, OU sets the highest possible standards for its student athletes, coaches and staff.”

Now that the video has been made public, I dare anyone who has watched the assault to defend Stoops and Castiglione. They are not committed to winning the right way and OU doesn’t set the highest possible standards for its student-athletes, coaches or staff. It was easy for these so-called leaders to make these statements when the video proof wasn’t available to the public. But the video is no longer locked down and that changes everything. Remember that proof is imperative and the proof of what Mixon did to that woman is unquestionable. Stoops and Castiglione can no longer control the narrative.

Mixon can’t change what he did and I am not making excuses for him, but my primary gripe is now with Stoops and Castiglione. Stoops and Castiglione were gambling on that video never being released. If they were the only ones outside of law enforcement who had seen the footage, they could spin it any way they chose. They did just that and now look irresponsible at best.

If Stoops and Castiglione were the leaders they each claim to be, it wouldn’t have mattered if the video ever surfaced. All that would have mattered was that they had seen the punch that Mixon inflicted upon Molitor. If they had taken the video seriously, Mixon would have been kicked off of the team.

I’m all for second chances but those chances don’t have to come from the program that the guilty party was a member of when the crime was committed. This is one of those times and Mixon’s second chance should not have come from the Sooners. But Stoops seems to be running second and third chance U.

Stoops has given numerous players second chances including Dorial Green-Beckham, Frank Shannon. While neither of those players was charged with domestic violence, they are still examples of players that he offered redemptive chances to.

For an all-around astounding second chance that Stoops offered, look no further than Dusty Dvoracek. Stoops gave Dvoracek a second chance when he allowed the star defensive lineman back on the team after Dvoracek assaulted one of his friends which resulted in the friend being put in a coma. Stoops even successfully lobbied the NCAA for a medical redshirt for Dvoracek on the grounds that he was an alcoholic. That gave Dvoracek a sixth year of eligibility.

There are more examples of Stoops’ questionable decision making that could be acknowledged, but you get the point. Stoops, contrary to what he’ll say, is a win at all costs coach. And that is an attitude that seems to be supported by Castiglione. And if it’s supported by Castiglione, I can only imagine that it also comes with the support of David Boren.

Considering Stoops and Castiglione had seen the Mixon assault video prior to the rest of us, I can’t imagine that this will change anything. Mixon served his probation, went to his counseling sessions and took his glorified redshirt year. Now he’ll gear up to lead Stoops and the Sooners on a 2016-17 national title run. That’s the opportunity that is provided to a player who slugged a woman on video when his coach is Bob “Win At All Costs” Stoops.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

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Can the Oklahoma Sooners Crash the College Football Playoff Party?

Once the first 2016 college football playoff ranking was unveiled with all of the pageantry that ESPN could muster, college football fans had one more topic to argue about. Was Texas A&M deserving of its top four ranking or was Washington the more deserving team? It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now. That fanatical argument doesn’t matter because there is still a lot of football left to be played this season and chances are good that one of the teams currently on the outside looking in will sneak into one of the playoff spots.

Oklahoma could be that sneaky team.

With two losses on its resume, Oklahoma may seem like a long shot that only a Big 12 homer such as myself (no, not really) could hold out hope for. But there are a few two-loss teams that are ranked ahead of the Sooners and some of those teams could realistically expect to lose another game or two. So please, hear me out on this.

Oklahoma’s loss to Houston no longer looks like the quality loss that it once did. Losing to Tom Herman is no longer the badge of honor that it once was considered. But how about that loss to Ohio State? I’ll tell you how that loss to Ohio State looks. It looks like a proverbial quality loss. That loss continues to look better and better if Ohio State continues to play like it did against Nebraska.

As for what Oklahoma can control? The Sooners control their own destiny to a large extent and it all starts this Saturday as Stoops and his Sooners end the season against Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. All of those teams are ranked so all of those wins would strengthen the resume of the Sooners.

The Big 12 and Oklahoma aren’t known for suffocating defenses, but that’s just fine. The Sooners have the offensive fire power to rip through the remainder of the schedule. Baker Mayfield is torching opposing defenses with the help of Dede Westbrook. If the Sooners hadn’t lost to Ohio State, both of those players would be in the Heisman conversation based on the statistics that each are producing.

If having players the caliber of Mayfield and Westbrook weren’t enough for opposing defenses to deal with, the Sooners will have both Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine available against Baylor. If Perine stays healthy and Mixon stops throwing temper tantrums at campus parking lot attendants, the Sooners should have all of the pieces in place to scare the rest of the conference.

The Big 12 has a bad reputation when it comes to comparing its teams to the upper echelon of teams from other conferences. I’m as guilty of that as everyone else. But if you’re a Big 12 fan and specifically a fan of Oklahoma, none of that should matter. What should matter to you is that the Sooners do have a puncher’s chance to slide into the playoff. Could the team win the championship? Get into the playoff first and then we’ll talk about that.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

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Pre-season Top 10 Teams That Could Disappoint

By the end of every season there are teams that have been huge disappointments. There always seem to be a couple teams that make us question the purpose of pre-season polls, teams that start the year in the top 10 but tumble their way out of it by the end of the year. Many times it’s teams that look to be on the upswing from the previous year, but haven’t actually had a one- or two-loss season to make them deserving of a top 10 ranking. Other times it is a much tougher schedule or unforeseen factors that result in a team not living up to expectations. Based on projected pre-season polls, these are the teams I believe are the most vulnerable that will likely start in the top 10.

Oklahoma Sooners

There are plenty of reasons the Sooners would be ranked high to kick off the 2016 season. They’re coming off an 11-2 season that ended with an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is returning as well as maybe the best backfield in the country with Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. But much of this call is based on history. Oklahoma’s M.O. is that it does well when pre-season expectations are low (like 2015), but flames out when it begins a season in the top 10. If you’re looking for on the field reasons, the Sooners have to replace Mayfield’s security blanket with Sterling Shepard off to the NFL and the defense loses its best pass rushers. The Sooners also play arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation this year with games against Houston and Ohio State.

Michigan Wolverines

I don’t doubt that Jim Harbaugh will have the Wolverines competing for championships real soon, but it seems premature to have Michigan in the top 10 before the season even starts this year. Harbaugh is a great coach, but last year showed he just didn’t have the talent level to compete with the upper-echelon teams yet. The Wolverines lost at Utah to begin the 2015 season, were blown out by Ohio State, and their best win was probably..Northwestern? Harbaugh will get the most out of his talent and will have to work his QB magic with a new signal-caller. The Wolverines may win double-digit games, but with a schedule that includes road games against Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State, I wouldn’t expect a playoff appearance just yet.

Baylor Bears

Baylor had a fairly remarkable season when you consider the injuries it sustained at quarterback. Now that Seth Russell returns healthy, it could be other factors that derail the Bears season. The Bears lost a lot of key players on defense, including defensive linemen Shawn Oakman and Andrew Billings who could each be picked in the top couple rounds of the NFL Draft. The run defense could be an issue during a three-game stretch where the Bears play at Texas, home versus TCU, and at Oklahoma. It will leave Baylor having to outscore teams which has often the case over the past few years. The Bears will certainly have the skill position talent to do so, but only if there is enough room to work behind an offensive line that returns just one starter from a year ago.

Stanford Cardinal

It’s tough to put the Cardinal on this list, because they’ve been making prognosticators look bad and out-performing expectations for years now. They’ve become one of those teams you just expect to be good no matter what. A few years ago Stanford had to replace Andrew Luck, but was fortunate to have Kevin Hogan in line, who ended up winning 36 games as a Cardinal quarterback. Hogan certainly wasn’t the player Andrew Luck was, but it’s still difficult to assume you can just replace a QB who won that many games. It will help having Christian McCaffrey back, but we can expect at least some regression since it will be nearly impossible to repeat the once in a lifetime season the Cardinal running back had last year. The defense should be good, so the other part of this call is the schedule. It would be one thing if the new quarterback got to ease his way into the season. That won’t be the case. Stanford opens the year with Kansas State, then follows that up with three conference games, home versus USC, away at UCLA and Washington. If that wasn’t brutal enough, the Cardinal also have road games against Notre Dame, Arizona, and Oregon throughout the year. Stanford is unlikely to pull a USC and fall all the way out of the poll, but with that schedule it may be tough to stay in the top 10.

E-mail Jason at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JLindy87.

Featured image courtesy MGoBlog

Joe Mixon Could Get Away with Assault

An athlete getting away with things isn’t news nowadays. In fact, it’s more surprising if your favorite athlete has a completely clean record behind him. Even Peyton Manning has a negative perception surrounding him right now.

But this story about Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is disturbing on many levels.

Back in July 2014, Mixon got into an altercation with a female, whom he allegedly punched. The altercation occurred at a cafe near OU’s campus. Mixon was never arrested and he voluntarily surrendered regarding the alleged misdemeanor charge.

Since the altercation happened at a public place, a surveillance camera caught the act on tape. OU coach Bob Stoops, Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and President David Boren all reviewed the tape in District Attorney Greg Mashburn’s office shortly after. It was determined that Mixon’s actions were worthy of a full year suspension from the team, but he was allowed to remain on scholarship and rejoin the team in 2015, which is exactly what happened.

The whole issue with the situation is that not many people have seen this tape. Soon after it happened, a few dozen members of the media were able to view it due to open records requests, but they were not able to obtain copies.

Mixon entered an Alford plea, which allowed him to maintain his innocence, even though he knew a jury would have enough information to consider him guilty. He received a sentence of 100 hours of community service and some counseling.

The judge in the case has repeatedly refused to release the video, since it is not part of the court record. It initially appeared that the video was in fact part of the court record, but those statements were later backtracked as being mistaken.

Since the video did not result in an arrest, and Mixon was never arrested, it just means that we may never see the video. It’s not that we necessarily want to see what sounds like a gruesome video, but justice does need to be served.

We haven’t heard much from the female victim or the cafe itself, but can you blame them? They are dealing with a high-profile football player from a major university. They don’t stand a chance at retaining a good reputation if they try to bring Mixon down.

This is a classic situation of where we stand in college athletics right now. Depending on how good the player is, they may just get a slap on the wrist if they act out of conduct. Even physically assaulting a female only merits a one-year suspension. Oh yeah, and Mixon still got to practice with the team.

The legal system may never allow the video to be released. Based on reports from people who have seen the video, it’s probably a good thing for OU athletics that it doesn’t.

It sounds like it could be a situation similar to Ray Rice in the NFL. Rice looked like he was going to get away with just minor punishment for assaulting his then-fiancé. But then the surveillance video was released.

Rice was publicly shamed as the video spread like a wildfire across social media. It was one of the most brutal videos that I’ve ever seen. And I couldn’t get over the fact that Rice almost got away with it all.

I just hope that the Joe Mixon situation isn’t anything close to that. The fact is that he hit the woman, so he deserves to get the appropriate punishment from a legal standpoint and from the standpoint of being a student athlete. Unfortunately, that may never happen if the video doesn’t get released.

There are a lot of reputations at stake here. Not only will Mixon’s career be over if the video is released, but it could cause some big damage to Bob Stoops’ reputation and the reputation of high-level officials at OU as well. Luckily for them, they took some sort of action right away. But the big question is…was it enough?

E-mail Chase at chase [dot] holik [at] campuspressbox [dot] com and follow him on Twitter @chaseholik88.

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Does Bob Stoops Win At All Costs?

Oklahoma has been at or near the top of the college football world for the majority of the time during coach Bob Stoops’ tenure. Any time that happens, the thoughts always run through your head regarding how the program can sustain a high standard for so long.

Are they cheating? Are they paying someone off? Or are they just a well-coached football program that attracts talent and develops them every year? The same question can be asked about Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and other teams that are seemingly dominant every season. So what are those coaches doing differently? This article isn’t taking anything away from Bob Stoops as a coach.

He is one of the best coaches is OU history, and he deserves that distinction. However, if he’s not doing it the right way and not running a clean program, then shame on him. This issue got brought up again since running back Joe Mixon had his first media availability since he was charged with a misdemeanor for violence to a woman. Stoops suspended Mixon for a year, but now he’s back on the field as a productive player for the Sooners. Stoops contradicted himself when he said that there is no excuse for violence toward a woman. But he later said that Mixon deserved a second chance.

Oh really?

Does he deserve a second chance because he is a good person that simply made a mistake? Or does he deserve a second chance because he was your top recruit from a year ago and would really help your program win? There are very few coaches in the country that do the right thing when players get into serious trouble like this. Most of the time, if a star player gets in trouble, then he might be suspended for a game or two (but probably not if a big game is coming up). But, if a player that doesn’t make much of an impact gets in trouble, then there’s a better chance that he will be released from the program.

I can think of a few programs where Mixon wouldn’t be allowed on campus right now, much less getting ready to play in the national semifinal game in the College Football Playoff. But who is really shocked? Stoops has given several players a “second chance” because they are fantastic athletes. Nick Saban has done the same thing at Alabama. Credit Saban for getting rid of the “second chance” player if he gets in trouble again, no matter how good he is. Stoops may not run a dirty program from the standpoint of cheating (but I wouldn’t guarantee it), but he definitely doesn’t have the morals or ethics that many of his colleagues have when it comes to coaching.

Think about it…if a star player wants to come to OU or any other high profile program, then Stoops has a great chance of nabbing that recruit because of his track record, and most recently, the Mixon situation. “Second chance Stoops” is going to take care of his players, whether they drive drunk or beat up women. Why wouldn’t they want to go to OU over a program like Texas, where it’s one major strike and you’re out?

I’m not saying that every player for Oklahoma is a bad person, and Mixon may not be either. But Stoops is sending a really bad message across the country by allowing Mixon to play. But that same message is favorable to players coming out of high school or transferring, because they know their leash is longer than it would be at other schools. The action that Mixon took when he punched a girl in the face would get many people fired from their jobs. But Mixon gets to shine on the football field on his way to potentially playing in the NFL, making lots of money and very possibly doing the same thing again.

You might be able to excuse a petty theft or a minor misdemeanor, but that’s not what we are talking about here. This was a serious crime that should be taken seriously, instead of brushed to the side for a year and then avoided as much as possible after that. One day it’s all going to come crashing down on coaches that allow this to happen.

We saw it at USC a decade ago, we saw it at Penn State more recently. If Stoops is covering up things like this, then it will come to light eventually. Would you like it if your team won at all costs, including allowing criminals on the team and on campus to potentially put more people in danger?

Sooners Best and Worst Case Scenarios In 2014

In a little less than two weeks , college football  will have officially taken over our life’s as we know it. That means no more preseason polls, hype or fussing about who’s conference is better than who’s (Pac 12 may be the winner this year). That also means no more dreaming about undefeated seasons, because odds are it’s not happening. But before the preseason is over, lets look at the best and worst case scenarios for the team I write about, the Oklahoma Sooners.
The best case scenario is usually the only one fans think of. You’re either thinking about that one game against your rival where you’re certain your team is going to win or you might be looking ahead to this year being the year where it all comes together and you win it all. Perhaps you are a little more like me and your’e worrying about trap games; i’m looking at you West Virginia and Iowa State. Either way you are absolutely pumped.
Here i’m assuming that the Sooner’s current roster is the way it’s going to be on game day. No Frank Shannon, Baker Mayfield, or Dorial Green-Beckham.

Best Case Scenario – The preseason #3 gets a jump start against Louisiana Tech while Trevor Knight throws 3 touchdowns and rushes for another. Sooners win 55-7. The next week at Tulsa the defense takes over and so does the rushing game, the Sooners win this one 34-3. In a SEC showdown against (2-0) Tennessee, Big Game Bob delivers at home on the offensive side of the ball and win in dominating fashion, 49-14. After the bye week the Sooners start conference play at Morgantown where last time they narrowly escaped by one point. This time around, West Virginia doesn’t score a point and Oklahoma moves on to 4-0, winning 28-0. The Sooners start to get some first place votes, but stay at #3.
Oklahoma travels to play undefeated #17 TCU in the next week, and the Horned Frogs battle the Sooners until a last second field goal propels them to victory, 27-24. In the Red River Rivalry the following weekend, Oklahoma gets their revenge on #23 Texas and force 3 turnovers to win it, 38-17. Halfway through a perfect season, the Sooners continue their streak of always winning the game after Texas and beat #13 Kansas State in an offensive showdown, 42-38. Alabama loses, and the Sooners are #2 in every single poll. Trevor Knight gets more and more Heisman talk, right behind Jameis Winston and Leonard Fournette. After a nice week off, the Sooners play Iowa State in a cold Saturday night in Ames, Iowa. The Sooners barely beat the Cyclones, in a sloppy 20-14 performance. Oklahoma is now 8-0 looking on to play #9 Baylor in a battle for the Big 12 crown. Baylor keeps it competitive, but the Sooners close it out with a late pick six and win the game 41-33. They are now almost locked for the Big 12 crown heading into Lubbock. The Sooners are still riding their win against Baylor, but fall short against Texas Tech. Knight throws two interception and Keith Ford fumbles the football late in the fourth as Oklahoma drops to 9-1 and #6 in the polls.
The Sooners take out their anger on the Jayhawks and win that game by four touchdowns. In the bye wee after, Florida State loses to Florida and Penn State beats Michigan State while Alabama beats Auburn to get the Sooners to #4 in the country. In conference championship week, Oklahoma hosts OSU and sends them to 7-5 on the year, running their way to a 31-21 victory. That sends Oklahoma to the innagural College Football Playoff as the number three seed set up to play Oregon.

 
The Ducks start off strong with a 10-0 lead early, but the Sooners defense takes over after that and they tie it up at halftime. Knight proves clutch again in big games and the offense goes on a 24-7 run to end the game, 24-17. That sets up a National Championship game against Florida State. The Sooners score first and never look back, as Jameis Winston throws multiple interceptions in the second half . Big game Bob and the Oklahoma Sooners capture their 8th national championship while Knight gets player of the game after throwing for 3 touchdowns and leading the offense to a surprising blowout, 35-16.
13-1 record, Big 12 Champions, College Football Playoff Champions
 
Now for the less promising season that puts me in tears.
Worst Case Scenario – Oklahoma and Trevor Knight starts off shaky against Lousiana Tech, winning narrowly in the opener 24-20. The next week Oklahoma looks a little more comfortable the week after, and gets the job done against Tulsa, 35-13. Against Tennessee, the defense plays the best it has all year in a 31-7 beatdown in Norman. That sets up conference play where the West Virginia Mountaineer defense makes it a nightmare in Morgantown, the Sooners drop the conference opener 20-17, and fall to #10 in the polls. The next week isn’t so pretty either, but the Sooners beat TCU 28-20.
Against Texas the Sooners play the best they have all season, as Bob Stoops hasn’t lost a revenge game since 2009. The defense plays solid and OU wins 31-10. The Sooners rise to #8 in the polls and sit at 5-1. They play sloppy against Kansas State, but pull out the late field goal to go up 30-28 in the final seconds. They get a nice week off and are #7 in the country before heading to Iowa State. The Cyclones give the Sooners trouble on offense, and pull out the upset late 31-27. The loss sets Oklahoma back to #14 and a 6-2 record. The Sooners then host undefeated #4 Baylor in Norman, but in a high scoring overtime game Trevor Knight leads the offense in a 45-41 OT victory and keeps up their hopes for a Big 12 title. They climb back to #9, but not before they face Texas Tech on the road. Oklahoma loses a shootout, 38-34. They drop to 4-3 in conference play and #17 in the polls. They beat Kansas 24-3 heading into their final regular season game against Oklahoma State. The Sooners once again play a great against a rival and win this one 42-17.

At 9-3 and #14 in the country the Sooners get a bowl invite to the Valero Alamo Bowl against USC, where the Sooners get some revenge from the distant 2004 BCS National Championship against the Trojans, and win a sluggish battle 23-17.
10-3 record, Alamo Bowl Champions
Let me tell you, I was a lot happier writing the first part than I was the second as it took me back to the Landry Jones era of mediocrity.
 
12 days until gameday.

Oklahoma Football : Predicting Wins and Stats for the Season

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No. 3 in the country is a great start. Even if it’s right behind the team you just beat by two touchdowns. But there’s no reason to complain that the Sooners aren’t ranked high enough in the preseason coaches poll, after all I was shocked when I heard the news. I just thought the reigning SEC Champions and the Pac 12 favorites would be ahead, but I guess the Knightrider’s performance in the Sugar Bowl combined with the returning of 9 starters on a great defense made the coaches believe Oklahoma is absolutely back (back to getting preseason hype anyway).
But as for the actual season, the past couple of weeks haven’t been filled with good news. Five-star RB Joe Mixon is now suspended from the team, at least that’s what we are told until all the details come out. DE Mike Onuoha was also released from the team this past week as well. That’s a minor blow to the offense and the defense, but there’s also been news that the Sooners fully expect transfer WR Dorial Green-Beckham to play this season, which means Knightrider now has the best receiver in the country. Dangerous! Dangerous! Dangerous!
But until DGB is declared eligible or ineligible, these predictions are solely as if the current roster played today. So Sterling Shepard will remain the number one target as of right now.
I’ll start off with just predicting wins and losses right now. Every week I’ll post a prediction for the next game while also recapping the previous one based on what I saw during the game. So let’s not get to worked up into the preseason predictions and put the scores on there.
Oklahoma starts off with the non-conference schedule, through the Red River Beatdown, and ending with a stretch of some tough home games.
VS Lousiana Tech
@ Tulsa                      
VS Tennessee           W
@ West Virginia      W
@ TCU                          W
vs Texas                       W
vs K-State                    W
@ Iowa State              L
vs Baylor                     W
@ Texas Tech             W
vs Kansas                      W
vs Oklahoma State    W
________________________________
College Football Playoff vs Oregon W
College Football Playoff vs Florida State L
Okay I went too far with the playoff predictions. I have the Sooners finishing fourth in the nation at the end of the regular season, but beating undefeated Oregon in the first game of the College Football Playoff. Then losing to Florida State in the national championship. I also gave in to the November madness and gave Oklahoma a loss in Ames, Iowa. West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Iowa State scare me as far as trap games go. Either way, I think the Sooner’s will have a 12-2 season which would be their best since 2008. It would also have the Sooners hyped up entering 2015.
If Dorial Green-Beckham can play this year, then I would probably change the L’s to W’s and buy into the hype. Something I tend to do every preseason up until week 6 where all of my preseason predictions go down the drain. ( I had Oregon beating Alabama in last year’s preseason predictions and OU being in the Fiesta Bowl so I wasn’t too far off. Then again, I also left Florida State out of my top 25 because I thought their mediocrity was bound to last forever under Jimbo Fisher).
Offensive predictions :
So I’m not garaunteeing a national championship or an undefeated season, but I do think Oklahoma is bound to have a great season. That means I’m expecting Trevor Knight to play decent and the run game to remain a huge threat. My offensive predictions are also based on DGB not suiting up this season or Joe Mixon. I’m also assuming Keith Ford is the starting runningback, and Blake Bell is starting at tight end.
QB Trevor Knight : 2900 passing yards, 430 rushing yards, 26 PTD’s, 4 RTD’s, 8 Int’s 
RB Keith Ford : 900 rushing yards, 7 RTD’s, 100 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
RB Alex Ross : 250 rushing yards, 2 RTD’s 
RB/FB Dimitris Flowers : 150 rushing yards, 2 RTD’s 
WR Sterling Shepard : 1100 yards, 11 receiving TD’s, 50 rushing yards, 1 RTD 
WR Mark Andrews : 400 yards, 4 receiving TD’s, 
WR Michiah Quick : 350 yards, 2 receiving TD’s 
WR Jeffery Mead : 250 yards, 2 receiving TD’s 
WR Durron Neal : 400 yards, 4 receiving TD’s
WR Derrick Woods : 100 yards, 1 receiving TD
TE Blake Bell : 200 yards, 2 receiving TD, 50 rushing yards 1 TD 
Or something along those lines.
Defensive predictions :
Here comes the interesting part. I won’t predict straight up tackles, but i will predict sacks and interceptions. Which is essentially a flat out guess. Okay, here it goes.
S/CB Julian Wilson : 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 7 TFL 
CB Zach Sanchez : 3 interceptions, 2 TFL, 1 INT TD
CB Quentin Hayes : 2 interceptions 
CB Dakota Austin : 1 interception 
LB Frank Shannon : 1 interception, 4 sacks, 6.5 TFL 
LB Eric Striker : 1 interception, 8 sacks, 10 TFL 
DE Geneo Grissom : 4 sacks, 6 TFL, 3 FF, 1 FR
DT Charles Tapper : 2 sacks, 4.5 TFL, 1 FR
DT Chuk Ndulue : 1 sack 
And that is about as far as I’m going to go on the defensive side. Wasn’t as fun as predicting offense.
Special Teams Predictions :
Michael Hunnicutt : 45/45 XP’s, 21/23 field goals
Sorry Hunnicutt. Even after your bedlam touchdown I’m not sure if I’m bold enough to predict one.
Boy that was a fun one to write. Predicting and statistics are my two favorite things in sports, so I really enjoyed combining them both. Even if I come back to this at the end of the year and laugh my head off at all of these silly predictions.
 
Oh yeah, and by the way.
 
24 days until college football. 
 
 
 

Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon Being Investigated For Assault

It was almost a perfect offseason leading up to the 2014 Oklahoma football season. Then the news of Joe Mixon, the Sooner’s youngest and most talented weapon, being investigated for assaulting a woman and fracturing bones in her face. This happened late at night while celebrating Mixon’s 18th birthday. Not good news for the freshman running back or the Sooners. This shouldn’t be handled lightly, as it seems as serious to report that the police will arrest Mixon as soon as they find him. But we aren’t quite sure yet what happened, as some reports say Mixon was just in the group and didn’t assault her. Some reports say the eye witnesses said he did it, until there’s an official report we aren’t sure what happened.
But it’s more than likely not going to end well for Mixon.
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If Mixon is arrested for assault then I’m not sure he’ll ever play in a Sooner uniform. The most lenient I could see the Sooners being in this situation is suspending him for a year. He would have one whole year to think about his actions, which might be very good for him. One clean year would help the coaches know he’s serious about football, and the NFL scouts that might be watching from afar. If he serves jail time, then I’m not even sure he’ll play college football again. We won’t know until the full details are reported.
If Mixon was at the scene and wasn’t the one who assaulted the woman, then I’m not sure what would happen. All signs point to Mixon being the assaulter, but at 2:30 a.m. on Mixon’s 18th birthday I’m not sure anyone’s mind was clear. But no matter the circumstances, punching a woman should never be the answer. Which is why Bob Stoops punishment has to be enough for him to learn that.
You’re a college athlete for one of the premier teams in all of your sport. You have a chance to be the starter on possibly a national championship team as a freshmen and follow the footsteps of Adrian Peterson. You have to be smart enough to know just when to walk away from the situation. Something Mixon should have done when the woman was provoking (or not provoking, we can’t be sure yet) him on his birthday. I guess whatever the punishment, jail time or a suspension, Mixon will be sure not to do anything like this again.
The five star running back was from Freedom High School in California, and was competing with sophomore Keith Ford for the starting spot. The Sooners are a top 10 preseason team with almost all preseason magazines ranking them anywhere from first to sixth.