After watching the Oklahoma Sooners beat UTEP Saturday 24-7, fans of the crimson and cream will be around the water cooler Monday talking about how good their team will be in 2012.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
UTEP is a mediocre team at best and should have been the opening game the Sooners dreamed of.
Instead, the Miners gave Oklahoma a tough challenge and had the game tied at 7-7 into the third quarter. After the Oklahoma depth was finally too much for the Conference USA team, the Sooners could only manage to tack on 17 points on a beatdown and depleted Miners squad.
If this is any sign for the future of Oklahoma's season, 2012 will be a long and arduous road to nowhere.
While there is no doubt that Oklahoma’s schedule isn’t the toughest in the country by any stretch of the imagination, the fact that it struggled against UTEP will spell disaster when they face real competition.
There are five nationally ranked teams on the schedule for the Sooners (Kansas State, Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, TCU), but there easily could be a few more depending on how the season plays out (Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Baylor).
Between the team’s lackluster offense, porous defense and general inconsistencies throughout its roster, Oklahoma is in serious trouble this year.
Four or five losses are completely feasible for this overrated Sooners squad.
The Landry Jones Factor
Despite the calls for Sooners quarterback Landry Jones to be a serious Heisman Trophy candidate this year and last, he has done nothing but come up small in the biggest moments.
Jones doesn’t handle the pressure very well.
While he did improve his completion percentage in Week 1, it was against the 65th-ranked defense in college football in terms of points allowed.
With no elite cornerbacks, Jones should have put up monster numbers against the Miners.
Instead, he completed 21 passes for 222 yards and an abysmal 6.2 average. With those mediocre numbers coming against a bad defense, the Sooners star QB will be exposed as the fraud he is when the team faces a top-tier defense.
For any team to be deemed a threat for a BCS national title or even just an upper-echelon bowl game, they need to not only have a stout offense, but also a superb defense that can keep the team in games when they get tough.
Oklahoma doesn’t have that this year.
As much as the Sooners nation will point to allowing just seven points Saturday, UTEP’s offense is stagnant at best and couldn’t capitalize on the endless chances they were given.
Don’t forget that Miners starting QB Nick Lamaison threw for just 39 yards, but it wasn’t the defense that caused that low of a number; UTEP ranked 109th in the nation with an average of 48 yards passing per game.
The most telling statistic about the overrated Sooners defense was the 207 yards rushing UTEP racked up throughout the game. If Oklahoma doesn’t shore up its run defense, it will be destroyed by any team with a shred of a rushing attack.
Check back for more on the NCAA football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.