From the talk of the Oklahoma contingent at the Big 12 Media Days in Irving, Texas Wednesday, no one would have ever guessed that the Sooners has just suffered one of their worst seasons in some time.
Coming off an 8-5 season in 2009, the contingent of head coach Bob Stoops and players Jeremy Beal, Travis Lewis, Ryan Broyles, and DeMarco Murray had nothing but confident things to say as they looked ahead to the 2010 season.
"I think we have the potential to be one of the best, like every year," said junior linebacker Travis Lewis. "We have a lot of players back from last year and the sky is the limit for these guys."
Head coach Bob Stoops said he didn't go to Vegas to try his luck after all the bad luck he experienced in 2009, but he did say that it was just something you deal with and move on from.
"It was tough to deal with," Stoops said. "But, you know, don't cry over spilt milk. We didn't whine about it when it happened. It happened. You move on. You play with what you have. We're in a lot different situation now. You've got to believe that could never happen again."
One of the hot topics of the day was of course, the Sooners' offensive line and the growth and development of a unit that was extremely inconsistent and injury riddled last season.
Stoops said that he has been very encouraged by the growth the players have gained and said there is a lot of reason to be optimistic.
"The way they worked through the winter and through all our conditioning and lifting and strength training through the winter conditioning periods, and then the way the competed in the spring really gives us encouragement," Stoops said. "We have a fairly good defensive line year in and year out and I thought they (the offensive line) were toe to toe with them all the time and competed with them well. I think all of that together gives us an opportunity to be optimistic."
Another big subject was the development of quarterback Landry Jones throughout the spring and summer. Senior running back DeMarco Murray said that he is feeling very comfortable with Landry as the leader of the offense.
"It makes me more comfortable with him just seeing his work ethic with what he has been able to do in the spring and in the summer; how vocal and how mature he has become," Murray said. "I think he'll have a great year for us and lead us in the right direction."
Junior wide receiver Ryan Broyles was Jones' favorite target in 2009, catching 89 passes for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns. Broyles was obviously comfortable with Jones, but he said that now, the whole offense is on board.
"The whole offense is feeling more comfortable with Landry being the guy," Broyles said. "Last year, freak accidents happened and he got thrown into the fire, but I feel like as the season progressed, he became more of a complete player. I feel like during the whole off season he has continued to take strides on into the next season."
Sooner fans everywhere are looking for confidence that the 2010 season is not going to turn into another disaster like 2009 was. Hearing Stoops and the players share their thoughts was definitely a good place to start in establishing confidence that the Sooners will be back in 2010.