It’s no secret that the Arizona desert hasn’t been kind to the Oklahoma Sooners in the past two years.
First, you had the David vs. Goliath matchup where Boise State rocked the BCS world with a thrilling 43-42 win over the Sooners in 2007. Then earlier this year, West Virginia shut the critics up with a 48-28 beatdown of OU—again, at the Fiesta Bowl.
But OU has always done well in Miami. And what a shock—this year's BCS title game is in the Sunshine State.
The Sooners have played in front of King Orange and the Miami faithful 18 times, owning a 12-6 record. Of their seven national titles, four of them have come in Miami, including the 2000 season.
But in order for the Sooners to book their reservations for a beachside hotel, some things must be taken care of in the next two months.
Sam Bradford, the sophomore gunslinging quarterback for the Sooners, is a Heisman hopeful. His numbers are impressive, but his field presence is unremarkable.
Much like Josh Heupel was for OU in 2000, Bradford is smart. He sees the play develop before it actually happens. With a running game like OU has, opposing defenses have to be aware of its surroundings.
As good as the offense is for OU, the defense is just as good. Despite losing key players to the NFL, OU seems to just plug and play.
However, if there’s one potential problem for the Sooners this year, it is special teams.
OU’s Special Forces were MIA in the first two games of the season. What will happen when the heart of the schedule appears? The special teams will need to step up their game come October.
All in all, OU’s schedule is pretty favorable to make a Miami run. There’s a home game with 3-0 TCU next (remember, TCU beat the Sooners a few years ago in Norman), at Baylor, then down to the State Fair to take on Texas.
After that is a pesky Jayhawk team at home, on the road for KSU, home for Nebraska, at Kyle Field for A&M, home against Texas Tech (Tech beat OU in Lubbock a year ago), and then at Stillwater for Bedlam.
I expect the Sooners to run the table during the regular season. It won’t be easy, but if Bradford can stay healthy, I see no reason why they can’t. They would set up a potential top five matchup with Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game.
Coach Bob Stoops prides his team on championships. OU’s history was built by championships. Stoops’ tenure has been too.
Come January, I see no reason why OU won’t own the Big 12 title and be playing for another one: one that doesn’t hold oranges, but is made of crystal.