Opinion from OU Associate Athletics Director for Communications Kenny Mossman.
The night sky is awash with search lights, the red
carpet is rolled out and the stars and starlets of
Oklahoma Athletics, dressed to the nines, are arriving
for this year's version of ... The Schooners.
Okay, it's not exactly an Oscar. Heck, it's not
even official. It's just one man's musings of the best
of the recently completed sports campaigns at OU.
I started this endeavor by polling the media relations
staff for the best of 2007-08. My inbox quickly filled
up and one thing became crystal clear ... trying to
pick the best from a successful group of teams and
athletes is like trying to choose your favorite Adrian
At best, it's an imprecise process, but it might
spur some debate while honoring the deserving. The
envelope please ...
Best Team Performance
It's very hard to trump a national championship. The
Schooner goes to the men's gymnastics team, which has
now won eight NCAA crowns.
Best Athlete Moment
This is tough, real tough, but since there were championship
implications the Schooner goes to Kiara Redmond. At
the Big 12 Championships in the Lloyd Noble Center,
she needed a 9.875 or higher on the vault if OU was to win the league
crown. She stuck a 9.95, and the atmosphere was electric.
Best Performance in a Rivalry
Yes, Murray's run against Texas was spell-binding and
the Bedlam wrestling win was impressive, but the Schooner
goes to the men's basketball team for going to Stillwater,
sans Blake Griffin, and posting a double-digit win
that went a long way towards landing the Sooners in
the NCAA Tournament.
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Jonathan Horton has been an attention-grabber for the
span of his career, so much so that it's some times
hard to see others on the team. That's why this Schooner
goes to Steven Legendre, the freshman, who won NCAA
titles on floor exercise and vault.
Best Performance by a Freshman
He led the nation in passing efficiency, one spot ahead
of Heisman winner Tim Tebow, so with a tip of the cap
to big-time Blake Griffin and the above-mentioned Legendre,
the Schooner goes to Sam Bradford.
Best Team Comeback
Down three points with only 7.3 seconds remaining the
men's basketball team got a four-point play from Tony
Crocker and, hence, receives the Schooner.
Best Individual Comeback
The Schooner goes to wrestler Joey Fio. With 10 seconds
remaining in the Big 12 consolation finals, the freshman
was trailing Iowa State's Tyler Clark, 4-3. Fio got the
take down with just two ticks remaining for a victory
that qualified him in the NCAA Tournament.
Best Clutch Performance
The Schooner goes to David Godbold who's 28-footer with 1.4 seconds
left at Texas Tech gave OU a 66-64 win.
Best Team Statistic
This Schooner goes to the softball team. OU has been
ranked in the NFCA Top-25 poll for 185 consecutive
weeks. OU and Arizona are the only two Division I schools
to be ranked in the poll every week of its existence.
Best Individual Statistic
Courtney Paris' double-double streak is at an incredible
92. She gets the Schooner.
Most Flamboyant Athlete
Sprinter/long jumper Scottesha Miller wears a big red
ribbon in her hair while competing and earns the Schooner.
Best Team Turnaround Season
The Schooner goes to the men's basketball team, which
improved from 16-15 and a No. 9 seed in the Big 12
Tournament to 23-12 and the No. 4 seed.
Best Individual Turnaround Season
He hit .247 with 13 RBI in 2007, then came back in
2008 to hit a team-high .368 with eight home runs and
51 RBI ... the Schooner goes to Mike Gosse.
Best Financial News for the Host Team
The Schooner goes to the women's basketball team, which
raised its road game opponents' attendance by an average
of 42% per game.
Best Team Perseverance Award
Because they lost one player to eligibility, Blake
Griffin for two full games due to multiple knee injuries
and lost Longar Longar for two games with broken fibula
that slowed him his final 12 games of season, then
still went 23-12 and advanced to the second round of
the NCAA Tournament, the Schooner goes to the men's
Best Individual Perseverance Award
After suffering a serious head injury during a training,
he came back to finish third in the Big 12 Outdoor,
and for that reason the Schooner goes to pole vaulter
That's it for this year. This thing got long. Maybe
it's more like the Oscars than we thought.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mossman Prophecies | Archive
Read an inside perspective from the OU Athletics Department
on the latest Sooner sports topics. Associate Athletics
Director for Communications Kenny Mossman provides
his thoughts in his online column at SoonerSports.com.