clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Monday Morning Bulletpoints -- 10/27/14

Kickin' it Dante-style for Halloween.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

  • Happy Monday, Sooners fans! I tell you, I may have had more fun watching football this weekend – college or pro – than I have in the last few weeks. Sometimes a bye week just does a body good.
  • This is a sentiment put rather well by The Norman Transcript’s John Shinn: "Final five games will show if OU was slow to reach potential or overrated." Because that’s basically the "Where’s the beef?" question, right? I could opine, but I think Shinn does a good job of breaking it down, and I like to credit good journalism when I see it.
  • But that’s really the name of the game in this crazy sport of college football, isn’t it? Perceptions. And most importantly, preseason perceptions. I’ll go ahead and pick on ESPN’s Jake Trotter, because he’s sold his soul to Bristol, and deserves the permanence of his thoughts. But before that, a few thoughts on Canto XX of Dante’s Inferno….
  • Dante imagined in Canto XX, the suffering in Hell of those sinners who chose to defy God by claiming to look into the future. He imagined these poor souls, who dared to prophesize without Divine power, forced to walk ever forward, but with their heads twisted backwards. They forever see only behind them, but with their visions clouded by the tears than run down their cheeks and straight into their buttocks. (I hate Cliff’s Notes as a general rule, but I’ll link to it here because, hey, unpaid writer for fan-based internet sports site, you get what you get.) (Although if you’re worth an OU degree, you’ll just read the canto.) (Although I only took two semesters of Italian at OU, and can’t understand the stuff on the left. They gave me a degree anyway.)
  • Now, for your amusement, Jake Trotter’s preseason Big XII rankings as of 8/11, a mere two and a half months ago. I’ll address my reactions to the current reality team-by-team in the following bullets.
  • #1 OKLAHOMA: He can justifiably say, "Hey, I *did* say that having these four players being ruled eligible would help." He still put OU #1, though, so must have thought it didn’t matter.
  • #2 BAYLOR: "Oklahoma has fewer weaknesses, but Baylor has more star power." This far into the season, I’d say he’s wrong on both counts of his first sentence. Dante is slowly twisting his head to the left.
  • #3 KANSAS STATE WILDCATS: Okay, you’d think by the ranking that Dante might keep his head looking straight, but look at the rationale: it basically boils down to "We’ve thought they would suck each of the last three years, but they haven’t, so we’re covering our collective asses!" All right, you’re still not in the Eighth Circle, Trotter, but you’re not looking any further forward than you had been.
  • #4 TEXAS LONGHORNS. Here, Trotter’s head remains in the same leftward-looking position because it has spun a full 360 degree counterclockwise turn to end exactly where it started. That’s right, as of August 11th, Texas would end as the fourth best team in the Big XII. And this is even after he acknowledges Strong’s preseason purge and Ash’s health issues! In God’s eyes according to Dante, Trotter, you’re pretty much a lock for a date in the Malebolge.
  • #5 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS. Wow. My favorite pull quote from this one: "Assuming QB Davis Webb doesn't fall ill in the preseason and drop 40 pounds again like he did last year, the Red Raiders ought to be potent offensively. But they won't finish in the top half of the league unless somebody emerges to anchor a defensive line that got manhandled in 2013." Umm, Jake? #5 is in the top half of the league. Also, your predictions have all the credence of a Kleptomaniac’s Anonymous meeting telling the church they don’t know where the coffeepot went.
  • #6 TCU HORNED FROGS. "If any Big 12 defense is equipped to lose a player the caliber of Devonte Fields, it's TCU's. The Horned Frogs didn't have Fields in 2013 and still boasted one of the league's top defenses. There's plenty of talent still around, headlined by preseason All-Big 12 safety Sam Carter and tackle Chucky Hunter. Yet even still, that won't matter much if the Horned Frogs can't score more points in their new up-tempo offensive scheme." Remember what I said up top about preseason perceptions? I’m picking on Trotter specifically here, but, nota bene, remember that many thought that Trevone Boykin should be playing wide receiver when they were writing in October….
  • #7 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS. Once again, Trotter’s math ends up being accidentally right for spurious reasons. He gives himself all the caveats in the world, saying "They’ve done it before, and might do it again, but losing this many starters they probably won’t!" Dante is unimpressed: if you’re going to go to Hell for soothsaying, at least soothsay something.
  • #8 WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS. You remember how Dana Holgorson’s coaching seat was the hottest in the conference, nay, the country ‘round this time in July? I’d say that he turned on the air conditioner. Nobody wants to play this team right now. Trotter’s head is basically looking backwards now, and the tears are flowing.
  • #9 IOWA STATE CYCLONES. You’re not getting points for this, Trotter. Dante turns your head just for spite, and a tear falls down your buttcrack.
  • #10 KANSAS JAYHAWKS. Thanks, Nostradamus.
  • "Behold the wretched ones, who left the needle, / The spool and rock, and made them fortune-tellers; / They wrought their magic spells with herb and image." – Dante Alighieri, L’Inferno, Canto XX.
  • (This Danteic post has been brought to you in part by how godawfully bad my "Friday Locks" picks were for this week.)
  • So next up are those pesky Iowa State Cyclones! Their mascot is a bird, but they’re meteorological phenomena! Sez Wiki, in 1872, "Iowa State became the first land-grant university in the nation to offer training in domestic economy for college credit." Also, "ISU is the only university nationwide that has a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory physically located on its campus. Iowa State played a critical role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project, a research and development program begun in 1942 under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the atomic bomb." This explains, I think, why their mascot is a bird but their team name is a cyclone – it was either a bird that got bitten by a radioactive cyclone or a cyclone that got bitten by a radioactive bird.
  • (This also explains Texas through most of the Bob Stoops era – Bevo got bitten by a radioactive spider, and got spider powers. Unfortunately, those powers were just getting stomped under a boot.)
  • Your non-football University of Oklahoma link of the week: Sooners Women’s Volleyball Team Stun #2 Texas In Austin. A few thoughts on this. #1) Player of the week Kierra Holst notched double-digit kills for the 11th consecutive match? #gamergate can kiss my ___. #2) Texas sucks.
  • Bonus non-football University of Oklahoma non-football link of the week: Pride of Oklahoma Band Director Steps Down. A polite way of firing a bad hire. My football-watching comrade who is a former Pride marcher had little to say about this man that didn’t involve profanity. I take pride in our Pride.
  • Point is, you just never know.  Heck, my Saints beat the Packers yesterday, and it shocked the heck outta me.
  • Peace and love, Sooners fans! Happy Halloween! As Dante would say, "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate!"