Friday, August 5, 2011

Tough games await state schools

Aside from the heat, most of the conversations around the state have turned to football.

Most of the talk has been about the start of preseason camps and that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are both ranked in the Top 10 and rightly so.

Another topic has been Tulsa’s early schedule. The Hurricanes open with OU and OSU and finish out the month by playing Boise.

That means TU is playing three teams ranked among the 10 best in September. Nice scheduling.

Coach Bill Blankenship and his players say they like the schedule and the challenges.

Sure. I bet they like the 115 degree temperature, also.

As a smaller program, TU has to schedule games like this to keep the program going and hopefully generate some excitement. Don’t expect the players, coaches or fans to be all that nervous.

This is the same group, for the most part, which went to Notre Dame last year and came away with one of the biggest wins in school history.

I don’t expect the Hurricanes to win any of these three games. But don’t be surprised if at least a couple of the games are close, especially the one with OSU. That game will be held at Chapman Stadium, following the opener at OU and a road game at Tulane.

After the first month, we should also be able to decide whether Blankenship was right when he said his quarterback was the best in the state.

Or, we will wonder what the new coach was, uh, doing to make him issue that statement.

The Hurricanes are not the only state college with a difficult schedule. OU also plays three teams in the Top 10 in Florida State, OSU and Texas A&M. Two of those games are on the road (FSU and OSU) and those two games are the major stumbling blocks in the path of the Sooners once again playing for a national championship.

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