It’s time for another edition of the CRFF Roundtable, where our staff offers their takes and opinions on a wide range of Oklahoma State athletics topics.
This time around we’re talking about the football schedule, basketball head coach Mike Boynton, the baseball season, and bedlam victories.
Without further adieu...
We had a great Sunday Poll this week after it was announced that OSU football was moving the season opener to Thursday night. Fans actually voted that they like Thursday night games. Do you like Oklahoma State scheduling Thursday night games?
Will Hendrickson - I like any move that gets OSU more national exposure. I understand from a local fan standpoint that it's a pain to get to Stillwater on a Thursday night and it takes away a home weekend of tailgating...but as someone who lives far, far, away I like the move for OSU football.
Gallagher Martin - Playing on a Thursday instead of a Saturday just means we get Oklahoma State football that much sooner, which I'd like to think is a plus. However, this is a major inconvenience for fans who live out-of-state like me. With road trips to South Alabama and Pittsburgh the following weeks, it might be a while before some fans get to see this team live in action. From a subjective point of view this kind of sucks, but from an objective view, this is probably good for getting Oklahoma State national exposure.
Micah Allen - Since I'm a student and travel doesn't affect me, I don't mind them. I think it's just a thing that has to happen sometimes. And I'm down for anything that gets us national exposure during a time where the Big 12 is growing more and more irrelevant. It does stink to have the class the next day though. On the other hand, it'll be nice to have a gameday where Stillwater isn't packed and insane.
Joel Penfield - I like the Thursday night move, anything for national exposure is extremely important. That will be a sneaky good game, Tulsa is a solid team. Plus, I'll have four classes on Thursday this coming semester, so it'll give me something to look forward to at the end of that day!
Tyler Wiederhoeft - As a student, I like the idea of a Thursday night game. It’s early in the season, so the weather shouldn’t be a factor as far as temperature. All the students should be on campus, so there should be no reason for the student sections not to be rocking. The national exposure will be HUGE for the Cowboys. I feel like going into the season, OSU is a dark horse playoff candidate. How you have one of the best offenses in the country and are still a dark horse, I’m not sure, but whatever. Letting the country see what the Cowboys can do can only increase our stock. I understand the outcry from the parents of school-age kids and those that have to travel, but, at least to me, the pros much outweigh the cons.
Speaking of the schedule, Oklahoma State has six road games this season; South Alabama, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Texas, West Virginia, and Iowa State. If you could attend one, which one would it be?
Will - I would highly recommend traveling to Austin for a weekend if you haven't had a chance to before; fun city, massive stadium, beating Texas at DKR is always a good time. However, I have always wanted to go to Morgantown for game. Looks like a rowdy place to watch game and burning a couch seems fun. Coincidence that I chose the only stadiums on this list that sell beer? Probably not.
Gallagher - Pittsburgh. An early September afternoon at Heinz Field sounds the most enjoyable out of all the options; the Pittsburgh Steelers are home the next day so you could just make a weekend trip out of it.
Micah - I'm already going to DKR and looking forward to it. I went the last time OSU played there and it's a blast down in Austin (if you've read my Why I’m a Fan post you know why this is my favorite game of the year). I've been to Tech and while Lubbock isn't the greatest, the atmosphere of the stadium is really cool. Tech fans are loud, passionate and rowdy. I'd go back there. I think my next one would be WVU. I think it would be cool to go on a road trip up there with friends and visit Morgantown.
Joel - I have a friend that I haven't seen since 1st grade that goes to Texas Tech, so that will probably be the game I'll go to.
Tyler - I’ve heard West Virginia is a fun place to be for a football weekend, but I’m gonna have to say Iowa State. I have friends that go to ISU, it is close enough my family could come watch a game with me (although now that I think about it that may not be the greatest idea) and I did enjoy Jack Trice Stadium and the entire ISU campus when I visited there my senior year of high school.
Now that new basketball head coach Mike Boynton has completed his coaching staff, locked down the commitment of 4-star guard Zach Dawson and grabbed two talented transfers, how are you feeling about next season? Better, worse, the same?
Will - Feeling a lot better than I did right after Underwood burned us for Illinois. Boynton seems like a sharp and fiery young coach and I like the direction the program is headed. This team has the talent to go dancing in 2018 and Jeffrey Carroll should have a shot at first-team All-Big 12.
Gallagher - Losing a backcourt of Jawun Evans and Phil Forte is not easy by any means, but with Kendall Smith and Zack Dawson, there shouldn't be too much of a dropoff. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about next season. Mike Boynton isn't Travis Ford, so I think we're in a better position than we were two years ago.
Micah - Boynton seems like he's the real deal. But then again, so did Brad. I feel kinda like I've been through a bad break up and not ready to give up my trust ya know? I like the guys he's got on staff, I like the new recruits. I like what's happening, I just don't know if I feel better or not yet. Ask me this again closer to season.
Joel - I feel better, I like the hiring more and more everyday. He seems to be an excellent recruiter, he's done a lot on the 'crootin trail recently. The season will tell a lot more, but it feels good right now.
Tyler - I feel better. Like most OSU fans, I was devastated Underwood left for the Illini. I thought all hope was lost and we would be starting over at ground zero. However, Boynton has won me over. His recruiting success and his committment to the OSU program as a whole has turned me to his side 100 percent. I expect to see a lot of the same kind of basketball that the fans knew and loved from last season, since Boynton was an assistant on the staff last year. He saw the success Underwood’s system had not only in production on the court, but also with the support from the fans.
Oklahoma State baseball's season is over. They underachieved during the season, but went on a fantastic six-game run in OKC that included a Bedlam sweep and Big 12 title. They followed that up with an 0-2 showing in the Fayetteville regional. Would you consider this season a success?
Will - Overall? No. Going from the College World Series to an almost last-place finish in the Big 12 isn't what I would call success. But to finish the way they did and winning the Big 12 Tournament is a testament to Josh Holliday and the program. He's instilled a never-quit attitude and I expect the Pokes to turn it around next year, especially if Benge and McCain return for their senior seasons.
Gallagher - A Big 12 tournament championship and a 3-0 record against OU sounds pretty successful. Still, there were some painful and head-scratching times this season. It was a good year as long as you don't compare it to 2016.
Micah - I consider this season a success. I think when you lose that many seniors, it's just not the same team so you can't expect the same results. I see glimpses of hope that we had that many guys leave and still made it to a Big 12 tournament championship, playing quite a few freshman on a consistent basis and battling injuries. A tournament championship is an awful good down year to me.
Joel - Considering the team needed to sweep Bedlam AND win the Big 12 Tournament to get to Regionals, and they did, I consider it a success. There were growing pains due to injuries and inexperience, but the young core in place now coupled with solid upperclassmen bodes will for the 2018 season.
Tyler - I want to say no, because of the history of success that historically has been in the program, but overall, probably yes. The Cowboys lost a lot last year. Ace pitcher Thomas Hatch, second baseman J.R. Davis, shortstop Donnie Walton, catcher Colin Theroux, pitchers Remey Reed and Garrett Williams and a couple others I don’t recall off the top of my head. That’s a lot to rebuild in one year. Was it what everyone wanted to see coming off a College World Series berth? No. But sweeping Bedlam and running the table and making history in the Big 12 Tournament was enough for me to call it a success.
We looked at the best Bedlam victories of the year last weekend. What was your favorite?
Will - Far and away our last-second basketball victory at OU was my favorite. It was by no means a pretty game, but Forte's three-pointer to win + Hunziker's radio call was a top-five moment of the basketball season. It also ended a 12-game losing streak in Norman.
Gallagher - Bedlam had so many Big 12 implications in so many different sports, it's hard to choose just one. Finishing off the basketball sweep in a sold out GIA was my favorite memory.
Micah - Even though I had to (sadly) watch it TV, probably the home basketball win. It was so tight the whole time and even from TV you could tell that GIA was insane. Plus, watching them get to hold up the trophy in front of a sold-out GIA was pretty cool too. But honestly I feel like any time we beat OU it’s a great time. This was particularly special because it was the first time we swept them since I believe 2004. (Ford was not good at beating OU despite the orange jacket.)
Joel - The Bedlam basketball victory at home. There's nothing like a rowdy GIA, it was a special atmosphere, I'll never forget it. Watching Jawun Evans take over that game was like something I've never seen before.
Tyler - I’d be fine with either of the basketball wins. The insane sequence that ended the streak in Norman was incredible, and it brought us this gem.
GREAT win for @OSUMBB! Phil Forte's decisive 3 (ending a 12 game losing streak in Norman) much better w/Titanic music! (@OSUAthletics) pic.twitter.com/5iz9uM89r2— Titanic Hoops (@TitanicHoops) January 31, 2017
However, I have to give my nod to the Bedlam win at home. While winning on the road in front of an almost-empty arena is fun, there’s nothing like winning at home in front of a sold-out crowd. The fact that I was there to witness it all in person is what gives the home win just a *slight* edge.