There’s no question who the power of the Big 12 is these days. Nebraska is gone, Texas A&M is looking to SECede the first chance it gets and Texas is still a couple years away from being TEXAS! They do have that Longhorn Network, which makes them the team in the conference with the biggest gun, but only the Oklahoma Sooners are strong enough to contend for a national title. They have an elite NFL prospect quarterback in Landry Jones; explosive skill position guys; and about as much overall balance and depth as you’ll find on any roster.
2010 was: electrifying and exciting as OU had a fun to watch, explosive offense featuring the 3rd ranked passing game in the nation. Ultimately though it was another year in which the Sooners fell short of the big prize. Two regular season losses doomed them; despite the Big 12 title game win (the last of its kind) and a BcS bowl win over the WORST team in BcS history (UConn).
BMOCs: Jones of course. They have tremendous depth and NFL prospects for both 2012 and 2013 all around, although the ineligibility of DE Ronnell Lewis will hurt. At least it would have but, now he’s declared eligible again. Another Lewis, OLB Travis is an All-American candidate, and he’ll miss the opener, maybe a couple weeks more. WRs Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills are STELLAR! Also keep an eye on C Ben Habern, CB Demontre Hurst, S Tony Jefferson.
2011 will be awful if: The special teams was adventurous at times last year, and could be again. Although the LBing is formidable the DL isn’t exactly scary, and the secondary is breaking in new people. If this is another year of missed opportunities and disappointing near misses, it’ll be because of defensive breakdowns and/or special teams gaffes. It won’t be because of the offense!
2011 will be fruitful if: they get to 13 wins. 13-0, winning the whole thing. Nothing else counts in Norman, Oklahoma for 2011. Bob Stoops won a national title in his second year, could he do it again? He hasn’t exactly been “big game Bob” lately in national title games.
Bottom Line: If they survive their two big road tests, Florida St. and Oklahoma St, then they should run the table. I really don’t see A&M or Texas or anyone else knocking them off. So it could be clear sailing into the national title game versus the SEC Champ.
OU Rankings: #1 USA Today, Lindy’s, AP, #2 Phil Steele, Athlon
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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