Monday Mailbag

Written by Kyle Porter

We really don’t do this enough. Here are some questions from various readers about hoops, football, and everything in between.

Taylor York: We went from Fire Ford to maybe Final Four. Where do you stand with him as a coach right now? Recruiter?

Brent Wilson: Is this years success because of Smart, or that Ford finally has players in his system that will listen to his coaching? Combo?

Kyle Porter: Great question. It’s pretty tough to separate Ford from Smart and Smart from Ford at this point but ask Mack Brown how easy it is to coach talent. And the fact remains OSU was 2-3 in conference play after losing to Baylor in Waco and Marcus Smart was playing some incredible basketball. Did he just flip a switch after that game? I think not. Ford made adjustments and got this team on track.

I’ve never been totally out on Ford[1. Though I did text Nolo at halftime of the West Virginia game at home and say I was bailing if we lost. His response: “I don’t blame you.”] although I’m not totally sure why — he hadn’t been all that great up until this year — but he’s been proving my instinct right more often than not as of late.

Jamie WilderWhy not JW? Or why the other two over him? 

Kyle Porter: Somebody the other day[2. I think it was one of the 3,000 tweets Gina retweeted.] mentioned the similarities between Marcus Smart and J.W. Walsh. While this is a little (OK, a lot) absurd given their abilities and future projections, the fact remains that they both just win.

I think I’ve turned a bit of a corner on J.W. Some of that has to do with watching John Foots[3. Dean’s words, not mine] win the Cotton Bowl for A&M last year. I watch him and I think “uh, why is he even good?” Then I look up and he’s dropping 300 and 200 on some of the best defenses in the country.

I’ve come to grips with my love for Wes Lunt’s arm and I’ll listen to any argument for any of the three guys. Even though I’m still #TeamChelf for the time being (we’ll discuss this a lot more in the near future).

Zach TaylorHey I was watching a movie the other day and I saw the actor Benicio Del Toro. I immediately thought “Holy Cow that looks just like our boy West Lunt”

Kyle Porter: You decide.

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 1.23.54 PM

Cole YearwoodWas watching the UCLA v. Zona game the other day. Bill Walton seemed like he was gushing over Shabazz every chance he got. Who has the bigger crush: Walton on Shabazz or Fran on Smart?

Kyle Porter: There are 12-year-old girls who aren’t crushing on Taylor Lautner as hard as Franny is crushing on Marcus Smart.

Seth KrugBig fan of the blog. Just curious about sometthing. I have seen Ubben say a few times that he expects Mike Harrison to return to the team this next season. Is this news true? Have you heard anything similar to this? Appreciate your time, and thanks for any info!

Kyle Porter: Thanks, Seth. Gina had a post on this in December. She’s pretty conservative in her reporting (which I appreciate[4. For many reasons.]) so I’m going to say it’s about 95% that he’ll be back on the team. Remember, he was suspended by the NCAA, not Gundy so other than doing 1.5 million reps on the Stairmaster there shouldn’t be any issues.

Cullen Carstens: Rank the girls in Friday Night Lights.

Kyle Porter: Oh boy. One of my favorite mailbag questions ever.

1. Tami  – I won’t listen to any argument for anyone else in this spot.
2. Tyra  – I loved her story of redemption throughout. Spurning Landry for Riggins was mildly disconcerting but not enough to bump her from the No. 2 spot.
3. Jess – When I realized Jess was No. 3 I realized there weren’t very many strong female characters in FNL.
4. Jules – She made me want to drive a sand wedge into my feet most of the time, but she had her moments.
5. Lyla – Just a train wreck of a character. I’m glad Ms. Jeter looks good on camera because that’s about all she has going for her.
6. Becky – Tried to derail my favorite male character (Riggins) time after time after time. The wettest of wet blankets.

Ben Underwood: What would have to happen for OSU not to be a 3 seed or higher in the big 12 tourney?

Kyle Porter: If OSU loses both games this week and OU wins both, OU would be the three-seed. Since OSU and OU split the regular season and both would be 12-6 he tiebreaker would be as follows: each team’s record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings, and then continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.

So it would go:

Kansas: both 1-1
Kansas State: both 0-2
Iowa State: both 1-1
Baylor: OSU (1-1), OU (2-0)

Leave it to Baylor to screw things up for us again.

Part II coming tomorrow…

  • JeffB

    Don’t worry. It’ll go back to “fire Ford” in a heartbeat if things go even mildly south in the near future.

    • dooley

      I still don’t want Ford here. His philosophy on offense is terrible. The team has played hard, and I give him credit for that and the defense. From the beginning of the season, though, we’ve seen it from Smart. He changed this team more than anything Ford did, other than recruit him. Without Smart, I’d say this team has probably 5 more losses, at least, and looks really average. I think he has changed it that much. If Smart leaves, it will be interesting to see how this team does next year, even with an extra year of seasoning, which should help everyone.

      Of course, I’m rooting for Smart to come back another year. Which would mean he would save Ford’s job for another year, just as he has this one.

      • Jheri Curl

        If? If he goes anywhere near where he’s projected he’d be a doofus NOT to leave and we should all wish Smart well as he rides off into the sunset. I kind of agree w/ your assessment, still not very high on Ford, I think he gets out coached too often but he’s a likeable guy. He’s not going anywhere for the time being…

        • Brian

          +1 We should all be unselfish and root for Smart to go to the NBA. We are thankful for his time at OSU but he is ready to make $$$. Stay healthy and be a lottery pick. I agree he would be crazy not to leave.

  • Nate

    Ford has done a better job this year, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. At times we can still look lik crap on offense. I have however liked the switching defenses and our match up zone can give people fits at times.

    The big thing this year, in my opinion, is the talent that he’s brought in has finally come to fruition. I remember sitting in AFH later in the second half and hearing some KU guys behind me talk about how there’s not a lot of talent difference between the two teams. That kind of took me back at the time, but it’s true. We have some legit talent on this roster. Talent that a lot of big name schools would drool over.

    Like the saying goes “sometimes its not about the x’s and o’s, but the Jimmys and the Joes”. Well on most nights, our Jimmys and Joes are just better than what an opponent can throw out there.

    • Brian

      +1 Ford gets credit for recruiting Forte and Smart. The latter has saved his job. Ford is no Self, Weber, Kruger, or even Barnes for that matter. They showed up and won immediately. I am pleased with the results this season, but I HOPE it isn’t a flash in the pan. I don’t foresee Ford getting a contract extension anytime soon.

      • Pat

        You have a weird classification of coaches. Self – all by himself. Weber – just got fired for underperforming at Illinois after losing too much once he didn’t have Self’s players anymore. Kruger is still winning with other teams players and Barnes is on the way down, but there is no denying he has had some great years at texas. Lets not forget Ford did win his first two years with other teams players, like Kruger and Weber so far. I think its easy to say ‘oh its the players, not the coach’, but he still gets the players to Stillwater (recruiting is part of college coaching).

        • Brian

          Assuming Wikipedia’s head coaching recoreds are accurate, I will rank the coaches two ways.

          1) Winning pct. – Self 0.756, Weber 0.678, Barnes 0.661, Kruger 0.608, Ford 0.560
          2) NCAA tourney pct. (# app/ tot yrs) – Self 0.750, Barnes 0.741, Weber 0.600, Kruger 0.519, Ford 0.188

          I included the assumption that all but UT will make the tourney this year. I should rearrange my statement to… Ford is no Self, Barnes, Weber, or even Kruger.

          • Brian

            Made an error, Ford NCAA tourney pct assuming we make it this year is 0.25.

          • Pat

            Fair enough, number don’t lie. I have watched bruce weber a lot at illinois bc I have friends who are fans, and he is just as infuriating to watch as ford (won w/ the insane talent self left him, then couldn’t recruit basketball players while close to Chicago). Only time will tell will ford (and we’ll have to wait that time bc he has a long contract), but I like what he has done with this team, not only smart, but also the development of markel and his class, and I think this team is set up for future success. Hopefully he can get that percentage up in comparison with other coaches. I guess my main reaction is lumping weber in with that group bc I think he is an awful coach.

  • Jeff

    The Friday Night Lights post is worthless without pics.

    • Patrick

      Pics or Get out.. but seriously your list is spot on.

    • Jheri Curl

      Like! Thank me later, and there’s no way Minka Kelly is 5th on any list and she gets bonus points for not dating Jeter any more but since she got deduction for dating him in the first place she’s right back where she started.

  • Jheri Curl

    Del Toro RE Lunt, O RLY? Not even close, he looks more like a young DiCaprio IMO.

  • Lunt looks much more like Benicio here