2011 College Football Preview: Oklahoma Sooners Poised for BCS Title Run

Matt ParkerContributor IIIFebruary 11, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Jamarkus McFarland #97 and Pryce Macon #94 of the Oklahoma Sooners run out of the tunnel after the half to take on the Connecticut Huskies  during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oklahoma Sooners are early favorites for the 2011 BCS Championship. With the bulk of their nucleus returning and head coach Bob Stoops at the helm, the 2000 National Champions will look to regain the magic from that undefeated season. After coming up short in the title game of the 2003, 2004 and 2009 seasons, Stoops knows he has all the pieces to complete what those teams couldn't.

OU's schedule is tough, but very doable with no Big 12 championship game this season.

They face a tough road game at Florida State, an early-season matchup that will test the Sooners' mettle right away. As always, they will play the Texas Longhorns in the Red Rival Rivalry in neutral Dallas. Other than these two games, the only considerations will be health as well as mental and physical preparedness.

Always an emotional game, due to the close proximity of the schools and the fan involvement, the Sooners contest against in-state rival Oklahoma State in Stillwater over Thanksgiving weekend could prove to be their final test before a trip to the Big Easy for the BCS Championship game.

They are losing only three starters, and those replacing them have had ample playing time. One of those starters is star running back DeMarco Murray, but the Sooners have a stable of backs to replace his contributions.

In fact, their biggest loss could be on defense: defensive end Jeremy Beal.

Quarterback Landry Jones and senior wideout Ryan Broyles are both preseason Heisman candidates.

Broyles hauled in 131 catches in 2010 with 14 touchdowns. As a sophomore, Jones threw for 4,718 yards and 38 scores earning a gaudy 146.31 rating.

The 2011 Oklahoma Sooners have all the pieces—coaching, experience and star talent. Now it's just a matter of putting them all together.