10 Thoughts: Gonzaga
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I’m writing this in an abandoned parking lot abut 200 yards from Murphy’s right now and it’s not even the weirdest place I’ve written a post game recap in Stillwater. Great college basketball1 game tonight in Stillwater as OSU lost a heartbreaker to a crazy deep Gonzaga squad. I was in town for the game and I have thoughts on what played out… 1. Smart’s missed free throws to tie it at the end were gut-wrenching. You know nobody was more bummed out than him but a moment of honesty here: OSU loses by 15-20 without him on the team. So I have trouble criticizing him for faltering at that moment. Mark Few had this to say after the game: Gonzaga coach Mark Few on Marcus Smart: "He's an all-time great. I'd go to war with him any day." He worked with him this summer. — Brendon Morris (@brendon_wm) January 1, 2013 2. The crowd was terrific tonight. I was a little worried that with the cold weather, rain, and bowl game in Dallas tomorrow that we might be a little disappointed but everybody brought it, and we were dying to close the last five minutes (more on that in a minute). If we could figure out how to convince Boone to buy 4K tickets to the rest of our games, we’d be set2. 3. Ford’s management of the last five minutes of the game was pretty questionable. I hate the whole prevent offense thing and we went to it really early — like right at the four-minute timeout mark. I don’t know if you guys know this but our half court offense isn’t something taught at youth basketball camps but we banked on it pulling out a game for us against a top 10 team after thriving the first 35 minutes with helter-skelter defense, trapping, and fast breaks. Does saying the full name of the sport I just experienced make me a more legitimate analyst like those dude on NFL Live saying “national football league”? ↩ Also, if the athletic department was smart they’d put all the 300-level tickets on sale for $10 a game for the rest of the year. That would be worth a win or two and you’d probably make more than you’re making with them priced at $35 a pop. ↩

Preview: OSU vs. Gonzaga
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Vitals Tip: 5:00 PM Location: Stillwater, OK TV: ESPN2 Online Stream: here Radio: Cowboy Radio Network Online radio: here Announcers: Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla Line: OSU -2 Records Cowboys – 10-1 Zags – 12-1 Best win Cowboys – NC State (KenPom: #27) Zags – Baylor (KenPom: #30) Worst loss Cowboys – Virginia Tech (KenPom: #126) Zags – Illinois (KenPom: #41) KenPom rank Cowboys – #17 Zags – #14

If Purdue and OSU were in the same conference
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Here’s a look at what the Big 12 and Big 10 would look like if they formed a 22-team super conference. I ranked the 22 teams based on their F+ offensive, defensive, special teams, and overall rankings. As you can see, according to F+ OSU is better in every category than Purdue, most notably on offense. Purdue is average at best in all categories. Not a big surprise given our 16.5 advantage in Vegas.

Daily Bullets
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Coming to you live from Stillwater today. Football ???? (NewsOK) Purdue’s quarterbacks have been historically better than OSU’s. (NewsOK) Seems like a poor career choice. (NewsOK) I think I’d honestly rather beat Gonzaga and lose to Purdue. (CRFF) Let’s not kid ourselves here, “crazy numbers” to Purdue are like 25 points and 400 yards a game. (NewsOK) Walsh found out about winning Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the year via a text from his dad. (Scout) Was anyone operating under the premise that they do? (NewsOK)

2012 – The Third Quarter
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We’ve hit a pretty slow time of year so this is a quick series to look back at what we did in 2012 and share some goals with y’all for 2013. Next up is Q3 (July – September) 1st Quarter | 2nd Quarter  Top five posts 1. Camo uniforms – I got destroyed on the message boards for this post but literally all I said was “these were probably proposed but OSU will not be wearing them against Texas.” That’s it. 2. Preseason picks evaluated – Fun post here about who’s traditionally underrated/overrated. 3. Arizona watch guide – Not much to say here, you guys were beating down every door on the web to find this game. 4. Social media guide – I didn’t know this would be such a big hit nationally. Need to do it for college hoops soon. 5. Three questions with Melanie Weeden – Very gracious of her to join me to talk football, the NFL life, and what drives her and Brandon.

2012 – The Second Quarter
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We’ve hit a pretty slow time of year so this is a quick series to look back at what we did in 2012 and share some goals with y’all for 2013. Next up is Q2 (April – June) 1st Quarter Top five posts 1. An eerie Weeden stat – One of the weirdest things I’ve ever come across. 2. Weeden shoots clay pigeons – I’m sure most NFL QBs can do this, but it’s still pretty awesome. 3. Herschel Sims rumor mill – The system (the one we love) chews up and spits out whoever it wants. 4. Anatomy of a touchdown – One of my favorite posts ever. 5. Blackmon arrested – One of my least favorite posts ever.

2012 – The First Quarter
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We’ve hit a pretty slow time of year so this is a quick series to look back at what we did in 2012 and share some goals with y’all for 2013. First up is Q1 (January – March) Top five posts 1. Markel hammers – One of the most viewed posts all year. And deservedly so, I think this is the best Markel dunk ever. 2. New orange helmets – Y’all would break down the Internet to look at new equestrian uniforms so this is no surprise. 3. Griffin vs. Weeden – Pretty interesting post to look back on, also this was the second most commented post ever. 4. Nathan Peterson interview – Great work by my boy @mattamilian to snag this one. 5. We Will Never Forget shirt – I never got an answer from OSU about why these were printed. Good job, good effort.

How OSU Athletes Spent Christmas
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Thought it would be fun to see what some of the guys did for the holidays. Merry Christmas Everybody!! — Brian Williams (@B_Will4) December 25, 2012 Merry Christmas to everyone and be grateful for the things u do have and not what u don't #blessed — marcus smart (@smart_MS3) December 25, 2012 I’m grateful we have a good point guard. Merry Christmas to all, especially OSU fans, supporters, and alums!! #HoHoHo — Coach Horton (@JHorty14) December 25, 2012

Daily Bullets
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Anybody else already fired up for that Gonzaga game on Monday? Football Must-read story from Gina Mizell on Devin Hedgepeth. (NewsOK) It feels like Berry started out this post trying to use numbers to prove the OSU defense sucked and then the numbers didn’t totally support his theory… (NewsOK) Pretty much agree with Ubben here on his analysis, but I think Randle should leave. (ESPN) Tailgate guide from the Heart of Dallas bowl. I’ll make my own before y’all come on down. (Heart of Dallas) Josh Stewart should captain this team. (ESPN) OSU’s Hot 11, pretty intriguing to look at. (Rivals)

Daily Bullets
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Hope Christmas was everything you wanted it to be. I got some new work clothes (sweatpants and a hoodie) so I’m all set. Football Nobody better than Jimmie Tramel at digging up nuggets on OSU athletics and this piece on Clint Chelf is no different. (Tulsa World) David Ubben hopes OSU fans received selective memories for Christmas. (ESPN) Cool column here by Berry Tramel. (NewsOK) Ubbs tabs Lane Taylor as one of his super seniors. (ESPN) Gundy is literally learning the offense solely for the purpose of calling plays in the bowl game. Am I reading this incorrectly? (NewsOK)

Daily Bullets
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Football “We got screwed!” No…really. (NewsOK) Nobody freaking out about Wes Lunt sitting courtside at a basketball game! (Tulsa World) Two of the five best assistants in the Big 12. (ESPN) Super cheap Heart of Dallas tickets. (Groupon) Gundy believed in Santa until when…last year? (NewsOK) I’m with Quinn Sharp, I think I slept in my Ken Griffey Jr. cleats too. (okstate) Berry says with bowl games close to home, teams have to be careful. (NewsOK)

Five Thoughts: Tennessee Tech Game
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Box Score OSU rolled in its last non-Gonzage/non-conference test today at GIA. Thankfully the snooze-y portion of the schedule is over (if you don’t count TCU) and we can start filling in the resume for early March. Here are five thoughts on the win over Tennessee Tech… 1. Amilian made a good point today about this team’s watchability — even last year when we were drumming teams, it wasn’t really that fun to watch. Plus last year’s squad would play down to its opponent. This year’s team is exciting for one reason — because of how intense they are on defense. I hope they don’t forget this when January rolls around. 2. Speaking of defense, here are the amounts OSU has held its last five opponents to below their season average in points (from most recent to lease recent): 26 | 18 | 15 | 16 | 18 Spectacular work from a coach and a team not expected to make waves on the defensive end. 3. I tweeted this in the second half but Kirby Gardner is probably better than any starting point guard OSU has had since Eaton and he’s the backup, a bit player, a role guy who could see time when Smart gets hurt or needs a blow. I got a few tweets back about how the bar isn’t high etc. etc. I get that but Gardner is also legit. Think old Maynor to Smart’s Westbrook. 4. I got an anonymous text from a former player1 saying that he thinks Murph is better than Cobbins. I think I agree. I’m all in on Murphy as a legitimate Big 12 presence. Cobbins might be more athletic (and he definitely has his role) but Murphy is almost always in the right position in the court. It’s uncanny. 5. Good Nash/bad Nash scares me heading into the Big 12. It’s almost like if we dont’ revolve the offense around him, he just checks out. I don’t think he’s a bad team player or necessarily selfish but we need him to chip in even when he’s not getting easy buckets or having fun isolating former high school all-stars. Smart is fantastic, one of the best players in the country, but for this team to be truly great Nash is going to have to figure out how to fit in even when it’s not flowing.     This is not hard to figure out. ↩