Oklahoma Sooners Football: 5 Dream Scenarios for 2011
The Oklahoma Sooners ended last season with a convincing 48-20 win over the University of Connecticut Huskies in the BCS Fiesta Bowl, thus breaking a bowl losing streak since the 2003 Rose Bowl.
Bob Stoops has been the Sooners' coach since 1999, and claimed the 2000 National Championship.
Stoops has had success in the Big 12, as his teams have routed heavyweights Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado. He has compiled a 129-31 record in arguably the best up and coming division in college football.
Led by returning QB Landry Jones, the Sooners are ranked No. 1 in the early preseason polls and for good reason. Last season, they defeated Oklahoma State, and beat Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game.
This season, the Sooners are going to get back to what they do best: Being in the hunt for national titles.
Here are five dream scenarios for Bob Stoops and the Sooners in 2011:
1. Defense Won't Miss a Beat
The Sooners' defense is anchored by an experienced and talented group of linebackers, led by senior Travis Lewis.
One of the pressing questions heading into the 2011 season is that the Sooners' secondary is inexperienced and suspect.
The key to Oklahoma's hopes in the coming season is that the linebackers and defensive ends get enough pressure in the defensive gameplan to disrupt opponents to take pressure of the guys in the secondary.
Brent Venables has been the Sooners' defensive coordinator for 12 seasons, and he has always found ways to compensate and make ineffective athletes look like superstars.
This season shouldn't be any different, I believe that the Sooners' defense should be a "headache" for opponents all season long.
2. Landry Jones Will Be a Heisman Trophy Winner
When an offense takes the field, the quarterback is the one who will lead the team to the end zone and if they are lucky, a win.
A quarterback is like a field general. He is charged with leading men and achieving victory each and every Saturday.'
Landry Jones is the prototypical field general. Listed at 6"4, he has NFL quarterback size and has the smarts to play the position as well.
In 2010, Jones had some stellar performances against the red-hot Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Bedlam game, against Texas in the Red River Shootout and against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game.
With star receiver Ryan Broyles returning on offense, Jones should be primed to put up stellar and Heisman-worthy numbers.
3. Oklahoma Will Be Big 12 Champions Even Without a Championship Game
In college football, success is measured ultimately if you will be able to hoist a conference or national championship.
Oklahoma has 43 conference championships in football since 1936. They were also chosen as the most successful football program since World War II.
The Sooners have won seven conference championships in 12 years. Even though there will be no official Big 12 Championship in 2011, the Sooners will be the class of the conference.
Bob Stoops is a winner, and he will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame whenever he decides to quit.
With the Big 12 losing Colorado and Nebraska, NCAA rules prohibit a conference championship game in conferences that have less than 12 members. Oklahoma won 7 conference championships and will be remembered as being the heavyweight of the conference championship games.
4. Injuries, What Injuries?
Injuries are an unfortunate situation for any team, in any sport. Injuries can strike any player, any time, anywhere.
Oklahoma had its share of devastating injuries, with injuries to former Sooners and current and former NFL draftees such as Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford, Jason White and others.
A team can be on the cusp of doing big things, and one injury to a critical player can derail a team's hopes and they can be set back for years.
I believe this season that the Sooners will get through without any major injuries and be able to fulfill the already high expectations coming out of Norman, Oklahoma.
5. Oklahoma Will Win the School's Eighth National Championship
With a watered-down conference and a schedule that is tough but not really tough, the Oklahoma Sooners will win the school's eighth national title.
With stars Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles returning on offense, and the Sooners returning a defense with an experienced group of linebackers and defensive linemen, the stage is set for Oklahoma to run the table and go undefeated in 2011.
I believe this season the Sooners will win their eighth national title and in dominating fashion.