Forget the Red River Rivalry; the real Big 12 border shootout in 2015 is fast becoming Texas and Oklahoma. Shots have been fired from both sides, but none more pointed than the below from Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong. Huge h/t to @BenKercheval for alerting me to the existence of this:
Missed this earlier. In deposition, Charlie Strong was told he beat Oklahoma State, 28-7, correct? He said, “But they weren’t very good.”
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) April 9, 2015
A quick refresher for those unfamiliar: In October, Oklahoma State brought a lawsuit against Texas offensive coordinator Joe Wickline, formerly the Cowboys’ offensive line coach. Oklahoma State’s suit alleges Wickline owes the university almost $600,00 in buyout wages for making a lateral move.
The crux of OSU’s argument? Though Wickline’s title changed with his move to Charlie Strong’s staff, it was a promotion in name only. He shared offensive coaching duties with Shawn Watson.
While the Texas offense was hardly prolific in the Longhorns’ first season under Charlie Strong, it was downright Brilesian compared to Oklahoma State’s when the two teams met.
Oklahoma State’s offensive woes in 2014 are well-documented. The Cowboys averaged 27.6 points per game, No. 76 in the FBS and worst for Mike Gundy since his first year as head coach (2005). A carousel of quarterbacks rendered Cowboys’ typically potent spread attack impotent.
Daxx Garman’s transfer out of the program last month likely leaves the steering wheel in Mason Rudolph’s hands. I love Rudolph’s potential — I have Oklahoma State tabbed as a New Year’s Six sleeper based in part on the new quarterback — but the Cowboys have lacked truly consistent quarterback play since Brandon Weeden’s departure after the 2011 season.
In other words, Oklahoma State’s offensive woes last year go deeper than Joe Wickline’s departure.
Under-performing in 2014, most notably against Texas, is reason enough for the Cowboys to be motivated this offseason. But Charlie Strong’s assessment of Oklahoma State adds some extra salt to the series.