NFL Playoffs. A dynasty comes to an end. Cowboys with a good hire. Can the Thunder contend for home court?

Texas Bowl Preview

OSU vs A&M. Did Chuba make the right decision? Key losses for OU. Clemson in a mild upset?

UPDATE: Losing starting safety, Delarrin Turner-Yell, is a massive blow to the already short-handed Oklahoma defense. The stud safety suffered a broken collarbone during practice late this week. Turner-Yell has made huge strides in his starts and will be replaced by back-up, Justin Broiles, who has experience. With starting DE and the teams TFL leader, Perkins, already out due to suspension, puts an even bigger load on Defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch. This puts a damper on having more capable bodies out on the field to put pressure on the Heisman winner, Burrow.

The Peach Bowl: OU has a chance

I consider LSU a blue blood in college football. When I think of the big dogs in the sport, LSU is always in the discussion. In my opinion, this is a great matchup for Oklahoma. I wouldn’t say that OU is getting the same athletes as these big dogs yet, but they are getting there. Lincoln Riley has made recruiting a priority since getting to Oklahoma. We see all of the athletes that he gets on offense, but he has secretly put together a good defense. Hiring Alex Grinch as his defensive coordinator, has been a program changing hire. Something that no one seems to be talking about, is that the Heisman winner, Joe Burrow, has been sacked 28 times this year. With Grinch’s fast and blitzing defense, this could be a good thing for OU. LSU has great receivers, along with the Biletnikoff winner, Ja’Marr Chase, which will be a great task for Oklahoma’s defensive backs. One of the biggest keys for OU in this game, is to get pressure on Burrow.

Even though Oklahoma has a high powered offense once again, it is much different this year. OU has relied on Jalen’s running ability. Riley has been great at running down the clock and giving the defense rest this year. This will be key against LSU in the playoff, but they must score touchdowns once in the red zone. OU has struggled the last few games with getting much needed touchdowns after running down the clock. To me, the biggest key of the game for OU, is to not turn over the ball. Hurts has been sloppy with the ball in the most crucial times of the game. If OU can take care of the ball and score, they will have a great opportunity to win the game. Another key to OU having success, will be the offensive line. They have struggled with holding penalties the last two games. If they can find a way to bully the big dogs of LSU, this will go along way in providing Riley and Hurts a great day.

Vegas isn’t giving OU much of a chance. Oklahoma comes into this playoff game almost a two touchdown underdog. Watching LSU this year, who can blame them. Taking down the mighty Tigers will be a tall task, but OU has a great chance to pull off the upset. With Jalen as the leader and Grinch at the helm of the defense, anything can happen.

Hidden gems of America

Since a young child, I have been fascinated with skylines and downtowns. My dad was a truck driver, so I got lucky in getting to see many great cities during our travels as a young teenager. Living in Oklahoma my whole life, seeing Oklahoma City blossom and continue to rapidly grow and become a big league city, is something that I used to daydream about. There are many hidden gems in every state, especially Oklahoma. From the many up and coming areas of downtown OKC, to the historic and beautiful Tulsa area, down to the small oasis of Medicine Park in the middle of the Wichita Mountains. As I have gotten older, I have come across some hidden gems while traveling. I am doing this blog for others that love to travel, especially with road trips, to briefly describe a few of my favorite places that I have accidently stumbled upon.

Northern Arkansas

Yes, there is not much in Arkansas, but if you are a nature freak, this is the perfect getaway for you. Up in the Ozark mountains, just east of Tulsa, is some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. A very unique and old town in the middle of this is Eureka Springs, AR. Full of history, mountains and spookiness, this is a very cool spot out in the middle of nowhere. Just southwest of Eureka Springs, is the nice little college town of Fayetteville. Being a huge college football fan, I wanted to go check it out since I was around that area. This town is literally in the mountains and it is a cool site to see.

Artesia, NM

Now, this is a place that I wouldn’t suggest taking a trip to just to see this town. This is for passing through on a way to somewhere else. I had the day off while staying in Artesia, so I decided to take a stroll through the historic downtown area. Much to my surprise, it reminded me a lot of the Plaza District near downtown OKC. It is historic with a mixture of hipster. Like many of New Mexico, it had a painted desert feeling to it. With beautiful sculptures and wall paintings everywhere, it is well worth making a stop here.

Marble Falls, TX

My wife and I drove thru this place by mistake on our way back from San Antonio. I had no idea that the Colorado River even ran through Texas, but this beautiful small city, that looked more like an oasis, is right on top of it.

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Muscatine, IA

Once again, this would be somewhere to go if you are already traveling around the area. What made this place so interesting to me, was that it was right on the mighty Mississippi River and that Iowa actually has hilly places. The town itself has roads and houses on massive slopes, that reminds me of San Francisco. Muscatine has many historic sites that you can visit while there. There is also easy access to the river and just across the bridge is Illinois.

St. Augustine, FL

Now, this is one of my favorite places that I’ve been. Known as Americas oldest settlement, St. Augustine is full of history and intriguing historic sites. This is a place that would take multiple days to see all of the attractions. From the beach, to ancient war forts and haunted tours. It isn’t far from Jacksonville and not too far from Daytona Beach, where we traveled from.

There are many great places not mentioned above, like San Antonio and my drive through the beautiful Smokey Mountains between Knoxville, TN into North Carolina and many more. What are some fascinating places that you have travelled through that might be considered a hidden gem?