Athletic Department: Always Prepared

They had these “Sam Bradford, Heisman Trophy Winner” free desktop wallpaper pictures online less than 30 minutes after the award was announced.

Click here to download them, and several others, in a variety of sizes. Don’t forget about the free Pride of Oklahoma wallpaper (desktop pictures) you can also get. And congratulations to Oklahoma City’s own Sam Bradford, winner of the 2008 Heisman Trophy!

Goin’ Back to Miami!

While The Whines of Texas shall surely continue, the bowls are determined, and Oklahoma is the BCS #1 team! Fresh off last night’s victory for the Big 12 Championship, the Sooners will face #2 Florida for the national championship on January 8, 2009, in Miami!

The sports writers continue to pretend that they can’t figure out how to explain why OU is here and Texas is not, but in truth, any sports writer or pundit who says this is lying—they know perfectly well why. Here’s the short version:

Only Boise State and Utah went undefeated, but they didn’t play a difficult schedule, so they’re not going to play for the national championship.

That leaves a series of teams with one loss each, and the BCS system’s task is to decide which two of those teams should play for the title. The answer is “the two teams whose losses were the least painful.” Florida lost by one point to a conference opponent, early in the season, on a blocked extra point. They came back strong and are the darlings of the East Coast media.

Oklahoma’s single loss was by ten points, but it was to a very good team. In fact, OU’s only loss was to the highest-ranked team that won’t play for the national title: #3 Texas. Texas has a history of late-season collapses, and if that had led to more than one loss (as usual), then OU’s rankings wouldn’t have been as strong. But since Texas had only one loss, and to a top-ten team at that, OU’s loss to Texas was seen as far less damaging than, say, losing to #7 Texas Tech, or to #27 Oregon State.

So, thanks Mack! If your team hadn’t done so well, the Sooners might not have gotten to go to Miami! (Your team wouldn’t either, but you have eight whole months to read the eight sentences of tie-breakers and understand them. That’s just one sentence per month! We know you can do it!)

I think my favorite part of the BCS Selection Show on FOX was when they showed current Pride members playing in the Band Room and labeled it the “Barry Switzer Center.” That’s where Coach Stoops was—the pep band was in the band room we all know and (more or less) love.

The schedule for The Pride in Florida will come together over the next week. When we know more about performances and rehearsals, we’ll be sure to post them to our Events calendar. The Gators are for real, and the challenge facing the Sooners is as big as any Sooner team has dealt with. The Gators will be favored, just like Florida State was in 2000, and the crowd will not be on Oklahoma’s side.

And there’s a full month (plus a day) until the actual game.

Neither the team, nor the spirit organizations, nor the fans get to coast through this game. Finishing strong takes as much work as getting here, so keep your reds and whites clean and ready—and stay tuned for further Pride updates!

Pride news report on KSBI-TV

The page is a slightly edited script of the TV news report, but if you click on the tiny “View Hi Speed Video” link just above the dateline on the page, you’ll get a streaming video window where you can see the report, including interviews with Brian Britt, drum major Jason Marshall, and member Alyssa Baker.

Free tech tip: on my system, the video comes through QuickTime, but the volume is low. If you hold down the Shift key while clicking on the “volume” icon in the movie controller of any QuickTime movie, you’ll get an über-controller that lets you shift the whole volume slider louder or softer. If yours isn’t handled by QuickTime, I don’t know what to tell you, but this always works for me!

For the 2008 Big XII Championship

You know, honestly, when I made this argument here on Sunday morning, I had not heard it anywhere else—that’s why I posted it. Yet despite a paucity of page views, “Texas knew the rules” seems to have settled in as the explanation that Mack said he couldn’t provide. A Texas Tech group even paid for a banner flying over Austin this week reading, “HEY MACK. QUIT WHINING U KNEW THE RULES”. Jerry Palm referred to this as “In the two wrongs make it even wronger department.”

Nonetheless, the Longhorns are eagerly rooting for Missouri in Saturday night’s Big XII Championship, because if Missouri wins, Texas is in prime position to play for the BCS National Championship against the winner of the SEC Championship. The bad news for them is that Oklahoma is in better position: if OU wins vs. a Missouri team the Sooners have not seen this season, the Sooners will play the SEC winner. Jerry Palm at “” says the math makes it all but impossible for USC to jump into the #2 spot even if Missouri wins the conference, so it’s the SEC champ vs. either OU or Texas for the national title.

The Pride of Oklahoma has no public rehearsals or off-site events tomorrow—it’s all at the stadium, including both pre-game and halftime performances. Since the Sooners are the “home” team for the championship, The Pride marches second in both cases.

Arrowhead Stadium is a fine football facility, currently being made even more fine with ongoing renovations. That means some roads inside the Truman Sports Complex are currently blocked. You’ll want to plan to arrive at the sports complex no later than 6:00 PM to be sure you can park and get to your seats before The Pride takes the field for pre-game, scheduled for 6:49 PM. If you can be there earlier and clap for our friends in the Marching Mizzou, all the better.

The Tigers have a lot to prove and little to lose; the Sooners are essentially in their third consecutive week of playoffs. As with Texas Tech just two weeks ago, there will be a game after this, but it doesn’t matter nearly as much if the Sooners don’t prevail in this one.

As with last week’s game, the Sooners are on the road against a team that’s capable of surprising everyone at any given moment, led by a quarterback who sat as a Heisman finalist a year ago but will not do so this year and who therefore may have something to prove on the biggest stage he’ll get of the year. As you can see from the survey on the left (click for a larger image) taken on, most of the game is paying more attention to the SEC Championship, with two states as notable red exceptions. All the more reason not to let up on the intensity!

Kickoff time is 7:10 PM CST with national coverage in high-definition on ABC. If you’re there, don’t let up for a moment. If you’re not, don’t let up either. Boomer Sooner! Game on.