CBR’s ‘Way Too Early’ 2014 Top 10: No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
Bob Stoops’ squad showed us something we weren’t sure the Sooners could do this year when they outplayed and outhustled Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Did we see a glimpse of what’s to come or just a one-game aberration?
Oklahoma finished 11-2, but it wasn’t always pretty. However, the Sooners ended the season strong with the Bama win and the win over rival Oklahoma State. It definitely looks like OU is ready to be the top dog in the Big 12 again.
The Good: QB Trevor Knight had a career-game in the Sugar Bowl, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns. This was the type of performances Stoops was expecting from Knight when he named him the starter at the beginning of the season.
Let’s not overlook the impact that defensive coordinator Mike Stoops had on the unit in his second season back in Norman, Okla. There’s also a good chance that almost all defensive starters return in 2014.
The Bad: Like any top program, Oklahoma is graduating and losing some key players. The running game takes a bit of a hit with the loss of Brennan Clay and Roy Finch, and the offensive line will have to replace Bronson Irwin and Gabe Ikard.
The Sooners must also regain their footing as the best of the Big 12. Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas are still good enough to take down OU.
The Uncertain: There’s still a lot of youth on this team, so that naturally creates a great deal of uncertainty. The coaching stability should help and we know the Sooners will reload through recruiting as well.
Verdict: It’s funny how a down season for Oklahoma is 11-2. Well, the Sooners are primed to be Big 12 champs and play in the first playoff series. Don’t be too surprised if the Sooners and Alabama face off again in a big game at the end of the 2014 season.
Be sure to check out the rest of CBR’s “Way Too Early” Top 10: