So, I missed the game.
For someone that has seen.... almost every moment of every RR? for the last 2+ decades, it was a bit of a shock to see that the game was going on without me. It wasn't shocking, although I am that much of egotist, but it was disconcerting to have all the festivities and all the pomp and all the controversy and all the weeping beefers do the things without me being involved at all. Nonetheless, emergency surgeries don't wait for college football (although in this case, I really think they should), so instead of cursing at blocked punts and screaming at the defense, I was cutting out a colon.
By now, I've finally gotten to watch the entire game, as well as several passes through the highlights as narrated by TRow, and I've been able to peruse the C&C website and am all caught up. And well, darn it, I've got some things to say. Er... write. So rather than posting random bits across several threads, thought I'd just dump them here, and anyone that cares can tag in or not...
1. Holy moley, what a game. OU-texas is an annual exercise in the agony and ecstasy of sports fandom anyway - but of all the big moments of big moments - Superman, Dicker the dicker, Bake-to-Mandrews, VY's fumble, Millard's rumble, AD's emergence, VY's resurgence, Dede's runway, and so on - there were soooo many moments in this game. Marvin's snag, Stoops' Grab, Bijan's escape, Caleb's theft, CWill's touchdown conversion, Brooks' faux-fumble and then Brooks' blast to end it.... It was too much. The highlight reel from this game could equal decades-old highlights from other series, much less an individual game. That might have been it - the pinnacle of college football. It might never be that good, ever again.
2. Holy moley, what struggles. The defense was overwhelmed early on - Jaden Davis needs to sit, and a few others in the backfield need some major work. Grinch needs to figure out how to stop the run AND the pass... this pick and choose crap, and sometimes picking wrong... is tough. The D-line finally balled out in the second half. Limiting Robinson and pressuring Thompson had every bit as much to do with the momentum shift as the success of OUr run game and...
3. The QB change - No question, CWill stepped in and stepped up for a struggling Spencer Rattler and he was amazing from the 66-yarder to the Mims-bomb. The one sad setback from this game is that we now have the ongoing drama of a QB change, and at every ebb and flow of the season from here on out - this will be a topic of discussion. At OU, this is the game you can't flub - and Spencer has started two consecutive RR?s about as incredibly bad as you can start them. IIRC, it's now 4 turnovers in 2 first halves for him... That's too much. If Williams had struggled, or if he had come up short... then there's a controversy - but if Caleb can step in and do that, on that stage, then he's gotta be the guy going forward. That's the rub. I still think Rattler is an uber-talented QB, and the second half of his season last year was one of the greatest stretches of football ever played by a freshmen QB, but this is OU, and you can't totally flub it against texas. Williams is the guy now.
4. The Rattler haters and Riley critics are still just as wrong and just as immoral as they were before the game - even though they will now feel unreasonably justified and will spend the rest of forever boasting about CWill's success. You idiots know who you are. Here's the thing - none of you know more about football than Lincoln Riley - heck, most of you morons know less about football than I do, and I'm a certified imbecile compared to Riley. If Riley thought Rattler was the guy before he pulled him in this game - there was good reason to think so. Now, if Riley then thought that a pick and a fumble and missing the open guy was reason to go to the other guy, there was good reason for that, too. These are two facts that are not mutually exclusive. Next, understand that Williams played his way into staying in that game - if he comes in and Tanner Mordecai's it, Rattler's going back in. But Caleb played super well, and here we are; also - Spencer came back after a benching last year and led us to a win - there's no way to know if he could have done the same this year, and Williams made it a moot point. He outplayed his predecessor on the game's most special stage, and now Caleb Williams is the OU QB.
This doesn't change the fact that if you're booing your team/school's 21y/o QB you're a giant tool, and if you need to justify that booing by leveling false and idiotic ad hominem attacks about how he's "all about himself", "me-first", "a diva", or any one of the other pejoratives that have been leveled at Rattler on this site, you're also an enormous horse's ass. It makes you a bad person to condemn the character of someone you do not know - it makes you even more immoral if you want to slander that person publicly. Shame on all of you, shame on those of you that jeered him. Even worse than all of that? Being such a sad, pathetic, useless human that you have to cheer the downfall of a guy that's barely old enough to drink. You guys act like he owns a factory to convert dalmatians into coats or something. Even if Rattler's promise never plays out at OU, you all should have been rooting for him, and you should continue to root for him - because he's OUr guy. The fact that you can't and won't is just further proof that you're terrible.
This also doesn't change the fact that Riley is a heckuva coach - CWill's success doesn't mean that he will play that way next week, or last week - and Riley just showed (as he has over and over and over again) that he knows how to pull the right strings to get this team in the best position to win. Even if it means benching the preseason Heisman favorite. 51-8 is 51-8, and until someone tells me who (besides Saban or Swinney) is better, I'll continue to be confident that you're all far more stupid people and know less about anything than my pal Jimmy. And Jimmy's a goat.
So, now we'll see what Caleb can give us - hopefully he's the chosen one and leads us to the promised land with a string of brilliance even greater than what we saw Saturday. I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of Rattler, though.
5. I missed you darling! Nice to see Marvin Mims finally have a big game this season. His TD snag is the second best catch I've ever seen (Ceedee's snag that wasn't that actually was except it wasn't called remains the greatest catch I've ever seen), and man what a clutch grab at a clutch moment. Not a perfect throw, but boy howdy was that a perfect catch. And that might have been the best, most honest, most awesome TD celebration ever. I loved it.
6. Caleb Kelly is awesome. Scorned by our former DC. Overcoming more injuries than Monty Python's black knight. Making huge plays throughout his career. Guy should've been a star - and he's out there just giving it everything, same as he's done for his whole career here. OU needed a miracle, and Caleb goes out there and steals the freshman's lunch money. I love that guy, I feel privileged to have gotten to watch him play for so long, and I hope he has a heckuva a career doing whatever it is he's going to do when he finally hangs up his crimson cleats.
7. Drake Stoops can play on my team any day. That guys got the hat and he whupped the cattle - it's awesome to see guys like Haselwood finally bringing the wood on big blocks, but there's something special about Drake flying around out there to spring Brooks for multiple big runs. And the feel to find a hole on the big conversion (mad props to Rattler for just going out there and getting it done) is something you can't always teach. Stoops needs to stay on the field a whole lot more.
Can we also just speak for a moment about how much the Stoops family means to OU football? Not only did Bob right the ship, win the chip, and find an amazing heir - he also provided a son that has provided a winning TD catch in the RR?, a game-tying 2pt conversion, and a key block to win RR?. Might just want to put the Stoops family as runners-up to the Selmon family as most important domeciles to grace Norman with their presence.
8. Good job, fans. Way to bring the thunder for a long game in the high texas heat. Strong effort, way to put the cows in the spin cycle in the south endzone for a long, long time. You helped your guys, and you should feel proud.
9. Kennedy-doggoned-Brooks. I blamed him for costing us Trey Sermon's senior season and then ducking out of last year. And I take full credit for his success yesterday, and yes, Marcellius Sutton should still take most of his carries for the rest of the season.
(for those unaware of the history of this, I said the same thing regarding Rodney Anderson... who promptly walked us off against KSU and started one of the greatest 8-game stretches a college RB has ever had)
10. Boomer Sooner, we've got a team, we've got a season, we've got a zero in the L column. Let's keep it that way. Nobody's perfect out there, especially us - might as well just keep being perfect enough.