John Hoover

Ask Hoover: Superheroes, Taylor Cornelius, Sooner defense, Kyler Murray’s agent and the Big 12’s ‘Sexiest Coach’

Ask Hoover: Superheroes, Taylor Cornelius, Sooner defense, Kyler Murray’s agent and the Big 12’s ‘Sexiest Coach’

Time for the debut of “Ask Hoover,” where I answer your college football questions. It’s like a mailbag, only cooler.

I wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years, and this was always one of my most popular blogs every week during the football season.

I love to interact with readers, and there’s no better way for a writer to do this than in print. Except maybe Twitter. Which makes “Ask Hoover” so cool: it’s 90 percent Twitter questions. Hit me up throughout the week @johnehoover, and use the hashtag #AskHoover.

The best ones will get mentioned on air during “The Franchise Drive,” my daily radio show with co-host Colby Powell. Listen to us every weeknight from 6-8 p.m. on 107.7 The Franchise OKC and 107.9 The Franchise Tulsa.

Let’s get to the questions.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)


I’ll take John Daly for his superhuman eating and drinking powers; Dennis Rodman because I think he’s from another planet (possibly Lovetron, though Darryl Dawkins never claimed him) and he has amazing powers to unite the human race; Julius Erving for his fantastic power of flight; and Elena Della Donne because I think every superteam needs a strong woman if only for common sense and, well, she’s incredible.



I think Monty is back next year. TU’s administration loves almost everything about him. He reportedly took a pay cut to help out the school’s financial distress, and if that’s true, they love him even more. He agitated a few people with the new locker room situation, but he was right and it has paid off. He’s a talented coach and seems to have a talented and hard-working staff, and TU has made some concessions that allow for better recruiting (an Exercise and Sports Science major and relaxed standards for transferring junior college credits). That should equate to a talent upgrade on the field. TU has been successful in the AAC in just about every other sport. It’s high time football takes the next step.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray talks with the media following an NCAA college football practice in Norman, Okla., Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


It’s Lincoln Riley’s program, so he’ll allow in the locker room whoever he wants. That’s the bottom line. If he doesn’t want agents hanging around his players, he’ll shut it down. If a relationship has already been established, then Riley will bend the rules. My guess is there will be no agents in the locker room. In addition to being just bad optics, the locker room (pre and postgame) is a place of sanctity reserved just for the players and the coaches and staff.



I think you nailed it. The culture in the Big 12 prohibits an old-school, dominating defense from ever gaining a foothold. Not only that, but almost every Big 12 school has recruiting roots in Texas, and the Lone Star State’s emphatic shift to 7-on-7 passing camps and quarterback-receiver skills has changed the very nature of recruits coming out of Texas. The spread offense has changed college football at its very core, which is high school football.



See the previous question. I don’t think the Big 12 can ever regain the type of dominance it showed from its inception to about 2009. It’s almost like asking if we will ever go back to lanterns and torches. No way. Electricity, baby. That’s Big 12 football. I do think what you’re seeing in the Big 12 right now is a simple dearth of elite quarterbacks. Last year was an exceptional group. It’ll be interesting to see how the league unfolds this year with so many new and unproven QBs.


Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy’s dog, Kenzie, right, demands some attention at last week’s press conference. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Mike Gundy said after last night’s uneven performance, “He’ll be fine.” But I don’t think that suggests the job is his from now until December. Cornelius will get plenty of opportunities next week against South Alabama to show that Thursday night was simply a case of jumbled nerves. If a case of butterflies affects his throwing mechanics again next week, expect some kind of change for the Boise State game.



I picked two easy ones, Alabama and Clemson, and two hard ones, Wisconsin and either Oklahoma or Washington. This week’s opener against Auburn in Atlanta is huge for the Huskies, but they’ll have an opportunity to regain their standing as the season shakes out. Oklahoma looks like the default winner of the Big 12, though Kyler Murray is going to have to take care of the football. As for Wisconsin, they have a similarly difficult schedule as Ohio State and a much easier non-conference slate. I just think the Buckeyes won’t be able to withstand the occasionally rugged schedule and the whole Zach Smith/Urban Meyer fiasco. At some point, it’ll affect the product on the field. The guess here is Alabama and Clemson in the title game, and that Tiger defensive line is the only thing making me think they can get it done. I’ll still take Bama.


Nice. UCF clearly ain’t happening, though I would love to see Josh Heupel have great success. Wisconsin absolutely can get there, depending on the semifinal matchup. I like the Badgers: a Heisman contender at RB, an experienced QB and three All-Americans on the o-line.

Oklahoma state running back Justice Hill ran for 122 yards on just 10 carries against Missouri State on Thursday night, including a 93-yard run. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)


No, he’s fine. He had 10 carries (for 122 yards) and a catch in the first quarter. Mike Gundy said he’d like to see Hill average about 15 touches a game. Gundy realized the workload Hill had in the first quarter and knew there was no need to send him back out there, especially with the talent and depth the Cowboys have at the position this season. Expect Hill to get a much bigger work load as the opponent gets better. I don’t think 30 carries against Boise State is out of the question.

Bob Stoops tending bar at Matty McMillen’s Irish Pub. (screenshot from Gabe Ikard video)


I mean, I don’t know if Bob Stoops went to bartending school or has a liquor license or anything like that, but in this video, he was pouring drinks for former Sooner and The Franchise co-host Gabe Ikard. I imagine Stoops hangs out a lot at Matt McMillen’s Irish Pub. I’m hoping to drop by there myself soon. McMillen was Bob’s right-hand man for 18 years at OU, and he retired this year to start his own pub. I just wish we had gotten to see this side of Stoops more often during the past 18 years. This guy looks like he would have been fun to cover.



Yep, that’s how much Oklahoma is paying FAU to come to Norman for Saturday’s season opener. The guarantee games ain’t cheap to get a decent opponent, or even a lousy one any more. Losing to the Owls would be throwing good money after bad.



Well, since Stoops is tending bar now and not really coaching anymore … just kidding. I’ll actually defer to my former co-host, Lauren Rew, on this one. It’s Kliff Kingsbury. Right? Is Lincoln Riley getting any votes in this one yet? Mike Gundy took his shirt off at a game last year and, ooh, that mullet. Has Bill Snyder aged out of the “Sexiest Coach” category?



Great question. And I don’t know. But my guess is no. When it comes to player safety and injuries, I think everybody — Lincoln Riley and Billy Beane — are on the same page. Lincoln won’t put Kyler in a compromising position. For that matter, OU head athletic trainer Scott Anderson would step in before Riley even has a say about it. So the A’s investment and Kyler’s baseball future are safe.


Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “The Franchise Drive” every weeknight from 6-8 on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and appears throughout the day on other shows on The Franchise. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Hoover also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his personal page at

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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