Big 12 What Ifs: Best of the Rest

In the third and final installment of the series, we briefly break down the best remaining what if scenarios left. We could go on and on but we’ve got to save some for next season.


What if Baker Mayfield never left Texas Tech?

Okay, this one could be longer than the rest but I promised to make these brief so I will. While he wouldn’t have won a Heisman, Mayfield would still have had a storied career at Tech while Mahomes, who signed the same year, would’ve redshirted and likely stayed seeing how he was lightly recruited out of Whitehouse, Texas. I’m glad things worked out the way they did.

Conversely, how would it affect OU?

You know how I just mentioned that I’m glad things worked out the way they did? This is why: both teams won. Mayfield got to live out a childhood dream while Mahomes proved why he chose football over baseball. Most importantly every football fan everywhere won. Oh, and it ended the awful Trevor Knight era. Great guy. Not so great quarterback.

What if Bob Stoops never punted to Tyreek Hill?

The better question is why rekick in the first place? What did you have to gain that outweighed that risk? Arguably the worse coaching move of the Stoops era his one decision not only cost the Sooner’s bragging rights but gave OSU their all-important sixth win of the season making them bowl eligible. It also kicked off the Mason Rudolph era with a bang. If the punt never happened Sooner fans never let down the fact that they won Bedlam and cost OSU a bowl at the same time.

What if Casey Pachall never checked into rehab?

Remember Pachall? The 6’5 230lbs strong-armed gunslinger who had the daunting task of replacing Andy Dalton. He started the first four games of the 2012 season throwing for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns before being busted for DWI. He then withdrew from school to enter rehab returning for the 2013 season throwing for 1,468 yards and six touchdowns to ten interceptions leading to Trevone Boykin who never looked back. If he stayed clean and never left Boykin stays at receiver and TCU keeps humming along.

What if Kansas never fired Mark Mangino?

Easy. Kansas doesn’t fall into the abyss that was the Charlie Weiss era after canning Turner Gill too quickly. While it’s unlikely they recapture their Orange Bowl magic, the Jayhawks continue to make bowls on a consistent basis. Speaking of Weiss…

What if Charlie Weiss won all those close games?

If you look at the record of Weiss’s first Kansas team you will see 1-11. Look a little further and you’ll see a team who lost five games by one score or less. Win those and you’re looking at a 6-6 team in a lower tier bowl. Say what you will about Weiss’s roster moves towards to end of his tenure if things went differently he wouldn’t have been in desperation mode and Kansas wouldn’t be where they are now.

What if Kansas gave Turner Gill more time?

Listen, I’m a fan of Gill. Loved his Buffalo teams and have enjoyed his run at Liberty but Kansas did the right thing. Sure it would’ve been nice to see him have an extra year but it wasn’t going to work. Now do I think he would’ve somehow ruined the program? No, but he wouldn’t have helped it long term either.

What if all three Texas Tech quarterbacks stayed?

I don’t know. Like I honestly don’t know because I can’t think of a scenario in which at least one, most likely Davis Webb, wouldn’t have transferred. Say what you will about Kliff Kingsbury the man knows QB’s.

What if Wes Lunt never got hurt?

This one is intriguing given Lunt was Rudolph before Rudolph was Rudolph. My take is Lunt goes on to do what Rudolph did and Rudolph goes on to transfer back home likely Wake Forrest or North Carolina. Imagine hearing “Lunt to Washington”. Doesn’t sound the same does it?

What if OU never lost to Colorado in 2007?

They go 12-2 and Dan Hawkins doesn’t last as long as he did without the bowl birth that he captured beating the Sooners.

What if Kendal Thompson lived up to the hype?

This one is tough for me because not only am I a Moore native who remembers Thompson teaming with Austin Haywood and Julian Wilson to take the city and state by storm, I also know his father former OU quarterback Charles and his wife. Great people. Thompson by all accounts is a great guy and I think he would’ve been a good collegiate player if he made his position switch earlier. Thompson as a quarterback was lackluster. Thompson as receiver saw him make two separate NFL rosters. If he made the switch in college, 1. He never leaves OU and 2. Is remembered for more than his second half Bedlam interception.

What if Colt McCoy never got hurt in the national championship?

Texas still would’ve lost. It would’ve been closer but in the end, wouldn’t have mattered. Nobody was stopping Nick Saben and his Crimson Tide.

What if Texas avoided all those upsets to Kansas State and Texas A&M?

Stephen McGee probably doesn’t become a cult hero in College Station and there would be no real positives for the Ron Prince era in Manhatten. Oh, and I can justify the Dallas Cowboys drafting McGee in the fourth round. Really can’t but hey, he beat Texas.

What if Sam Bradford never got hurt?

OU goes 11-3 or 12-2 definitely not the 8-5 record they posted. Oh, and they would’ve doubled the 27 points the put on OSU in a 27-0 win in Norman. And the passing records. Imagine the records.

What if Gene Chizik or Will Muschamp stayed at Texas?

Good defense, no offense. That was both calling cards at their respective stops as head coaches. Can’t imagine Cam Newton in Austin, but man what a sight that would’ve been. Both don’t last longer than three seasons, four maximum.

What if OU never beat Tennessee on the road?

It really boils down to two things. One, the legend of Mayfield takes a little bit longer to take shape and two, Stoops as the SEC slayer takes a hit. Oh, and it easily becomes the biggest win of the disappointing Butch Jones era for the Vols.

What if Ryan Broyles didn’t get hurt?

Broyles is easily my favorite Sooner of all time and one of my favorite players of all time so when he went down with a torn ACL against A&M I was crushed. I think at the very least OU beats Baylor the following week instead of losing 45-38. I also think Bedlam is more competitive but OSU wins. Watching Landry Jones in that game was downright torture. Watching a helpless Broyles on the sideline was even worse.

What if Army beat OU?

The most recent entree in the series this one would be huge. For some reason, nobody gave Army a chance especially Vegas who made OU a 30.5 point favorite. Why I don’t know. I was at the OU-Air Force game in 2010 and let me tell you what a game that was. This would’ve been Army’s biggest win in recent memory besides winning the Commanders-In-Chief’s trophy for the first time since the 1990’s last year. It would also give credence to all the old school option offense lovers like myself that the offense is timeless. Just like the upset. For both schools. Could you say panic in Norman?

What if Texas gave Charlie Strong more time?

It wouldn’t have mattered. It was a bad fit for both sides. The best thing for both happened. Strong went back to his region at South Florida and Texas hired a coach they actually wanted in Tom Herman. Kudos to Texas for giving strong a shot, even if he was their last resort.

What if Trevor Knight lived up to the post-Sugar Bowl expectations?

Still would’ve lost the starting job to Mayfield. Still would’ve transferred. Wouldn’t have been nearly run out of Norman after almost blowing the TCU game.

What if Robert Griffin III never beat OU?

Personally, he’s one of my all-time GOATS. Realistically I think his legacy and Heisman chances would’ve taken a big hit. That win gave him the Heisman without a doubt. Without it, he’s remembered as a good college quarterback with a cult following who believe he was great. With it as we saw his legacy is cemented.

What if Nebraska beat Texas in the 2009 Big 12 championship?

Ndamukong Suh would’ve had a legitimate argument for becoming the first defensive player since Charles Woodson to win a Heisman after posting 10 tackles, six for loss and 4.5 sacks. The man almost SINGLE HANDEDLY BEAT THE NUMBER THREE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY! Clock controversy aside, Suh easily goes down as an all-time great and Colt McCoy could’ve ended his career in the Cotton Bowl. Bummer.

What if Paul Thompson transferred after losing the starting job?

Imagine if Joey Halzle started? I don’t even want to think about it. I can’t see Bradford burning his redshirt. If he was ready I don’t think they would’ve moved Thompson from receiver. Thompson did a heck of a job getting OU to the Fiesta Bowl considering Adrian Peterson was banged up for most of the season. Thompson>>>>Halzle.

What if DeMarco Murray stayed healthy?

We’re talking about an all-time Sooner great and a first-round pick. He could do everything and do it gracefully. Watching him was watching an artist at work. Who knows there may have even been a statue of him in Heisman Park.

 

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