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2011-2012 College Football Previews: Okahoma Sooners
Head Coach: Bob Stoops
2010 Record: 12-2
Oklahoma Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS: +350
Oklahoma Betting Odds from BetOnline to win Big 12 Conference: -250
The Oklahoma Sooners head into the 2011-2012 season as the clear number one team in the country according to both the preseason polls and the oddsmakers. Bob Stoops has been tremendous as head coach at Oklahoma, but he realizes expectations have never been higher than they are this season. This is the type of year where the Sooners fan base will only be happy with a BCS Championship.
Landry Jones is the leader of this offense, and he is a tremendous guy to have under center. Jones matured greatly last season, and I expect him improve quite a bit this year as well. He has a big arm and the footwork necessary to be a great quarterback, and he continues to develop in his decision making. Jones has one of the nation’s best play makers on the outside in wide receiver Ryan Broyles. Broyles has amazing speed and he is extremely dangerous once he catches the football. The Oklahoma offense will definitely miss running back DeMarco Murray. There is plenty of talent in the backfield, but everyone is extremely young. The offensive line returns four out of five starters.
Oklahoma was no better than average last year on the defensive end. They allowed 21.8 points per game, and they ranked 51st in the nation in total defense. This unit should be quite a bit better this season. Eight starters return for this defense, and they will be led by a strong defensive front. Defensive tackles Stacy McGee and Casey Walker will clog up the middle of the line well. Travis Lewis is a great leader at the linebacker position, and he’ll likely lead this team in tackles. The area of concern for this defense has to be the fact that they will be breaking in two new starters at the strong safety and free safety positions.
Who will have a better air attack than the Sooners this season? Jones is a legitimate Heisman trophy contender and Ryan Broyles will be a star in the NFL very soon. Expect this team to air it out and run up the score often this year.
While the passing attack is tremendous, the running attack could be a bit of a problem. Last year’s team struggled to run the ball against the top defenses, and that was with DeMarco Murray.
2011 Oklahoma College Football Schedule
The game at Florida State on September 17 will be a real measuring stick for this team. The team that wins that game will be the front runner to win the BCS title. The Sooners have a couple tricky road games at the end of the season as well. The trip to Baylor on November 19 may be tougher than some expect. The December 3 trip to Stillwater to battle the Oklahoma State Cowboys should be a very tough game. Overall, the schedule definitely contains several potential roadblocks.
2011 Okahoma Football Prediction: 12-2
I like this Oklahoma team, but I don’t like them quite as well as most people do. The defense is pretty good, but they aren’t dominant. The passing game may be the best in the nation, but their lack of balance on offense will likely come back to haunt them at some point this season. I think Oklahoma gets to the BCS title game and loses because of their inability to run the football.