Wednesday, August 26, 2009
(Yes I realized we skipped 5)
Offense: 5 returners. Obviously JR QB Sam Bradford is the reason they are ranked this high preseason, but they also return leading rushers Brown and Murray, along with TD reception machine Jermaine Graham.
Defense: 9 returners. Good gosh they are stacked. The entire front 7 returns headlined by DE Auston English, DT Gerald McCoy, and Will backer Travis Lewis. Dominique Franks also returns at CB
Special Teams: Picking up jersey chaser scraps.
Initial Thoughts: How about you win a bowl game? addressed last year.
First off, Sam Bradford is the best "pro" prospect in CFB. (Unless you ever want to hear my crazy Tim Tebow plan) For the most part he'll be the focal point of the offense. WR Iglesias leaving will hurt, but the return of Gresham and Brown/Murray (over 2,000 yards rushing) wont hurt the offense too much. The only thing you can really question is the O-line, who only returns one starter from last year. The defense will be....good....very good.
The schedule is again set up for a NC run. Non-Conference they play BYU and Miami, which again isn't threatening, but solid enough to fight off the cupcake claims. The conference schedule is tough, but not insurmountable, The get Kansas and Nebraska (both away) from the North, and the Bedlam game will be at home. Which brings us to the Texas game. You might as well call it the Big 12 championship. It's obvious that the North has fallen faaaaaar behind the South, so we'll know by October who has a straight shot to the conference championship. (possibly MNC?) That's not really groundbreaking.
Looking at the UT game it's clear that the gap has been closed with the Longhorn's latest victory sans VY. I think this has something to do with the fact that Mack attack has done a much better job recruiting Texas compared to Oklahoma.
Now the other issue to look at is Oklahoma's bowl history. Since 2004 the Sooners haven't won one. You can chalk two of those up as being thrown to the lions in MNC games against USC and Florida. But damn. (which they never should have went to in the first place) If you're Oklahoma you should have at least ONE win. Again, I talked about it last year, but I wonder if Oklahoma has some crazy ass bowl jinx. In the end, I still think the Big 12 south is the best division top to bottom in CFB and if someone comes out of it with at least 1 loss they have a good shot at going to Pasadena.
I'll give the edge to Texas for a variety of reasons. However, there is always this: