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I think there are four teams you can make a case for at the top:
I'm really re-thinking my pick of OU to win the conference.
Those four all have great qualities about them, but they also have flaws, some major ones.
Maybe the only team that doesn't have any huge flaws is Kansas State.
They have Landry returning, but unless things change with the suspended players they have one scholarship WR returning. Then figure Landry being distracted (he gets married July 6). If I recall correctly their DL is chock full of guys that have yet to live up their potential. And then the return of Mike Stoops. How do they fair in their first year back under him.
Last, I still am not convinced they have solved all their internal issues.
I think it's wide open
I got a beer that says ou spanks K State again this year.
If OU suffers any adversity, don't be surprised to see a collapse similar to our 2010. Major internal issues, if only the NCAA would just poke around Norman, they might uncover some stuff that would destroy their program...
I see OU at 9-3 with losses to us, WVU, and TCU or OSU
While KSU may not have a whole lot of major flaws, I see them having no major qualities IMO. Last year was an anomaly in terms of winning just about every close game, I wouldn't bank on that happening this year. Got to love Klein though
Of the four;
Kst got by the skin of their teeth a lot last year. Klien was a walking mummy by the end of the year. Can he take another beating like that this year.
OU has one scholarship WR that has taken a snap coming back. Other than that, they are pretty solid. Thin at LB though.
Texas will have a good defense, but nobody knows how their offense will shake out. For all the exclamation points they have on defense, its just as many question marks on offense.
West Virginia has everyone scared to death by putting up 70 on Clemson and Clemson had a month to prepare. Can they stand up week in and week out in the B12 though.
The other 6 have question marks as well.
Without a massive NCAA investigation to implode the program that Btown eludes to, I still think OU is the front runner. Sure, homer pick right? Well, The only team with fewer question marks is Kst but I dont think they have the horses to get it done on defense outside of Author Brown. Hard to say anything about the texas offense until we see, but what we last saw wasnt that good. Its possible to have improved that much and its also possible they didnt. WVU wont be able to stop the run without selling out and that spells trouble in this conference.
I say OU, WVU and UT/Kst in a tie for third of these four. I still say Okst will have a say in things but we will see. I think OU will have the best combination of OL and DL in the conference and with the depth we have, it will pay off in the long run. Saunders, the Fresno State transfer, has been cleared to play this year, so that helps things along with the other JUCOs and freshmen, I HOPE we are ok at WR. We will see. Its going to be fun to watch.
There is nothing more dangerous in this world than a man with nothing to lose.
I haven't seen anything about Saunders and after a cursory look through Google News, I found more nothing. We'll see. Your defense is what I foresee being the biggest problem for yall. WR could be good but it's all potential that needs to be realized pretty much immediately.
One of those "potential" contributors, Durron Neal, is on crutches and one source that SoonerScoop says is one of their trusted sources is reporting it is serious.
Somebody jumped the gun on Saunders. Had everybody all giddy. The only issue I see on defense is LB depth. Everything else should be good to go. As for the WRs, you are correct. We have lots of potential which means they havent done anything yet. Shephard has been the hit of the summer and Neal has been impressive, just not as consistent. Now, the ante will go up even more the second week in July when Gardner and Bestor get in. Two big, fast WRs. Gardner is said to be a one and done type of player.
I like our chances this year though btown. With our depth at RB and OL, we will be a tough unit to handle on offense. With Mike Stoops at the helm, we will be tough to handle on defense too.
The team everybody needs to look out for is Kansas....just kidding.
Don't see WVU or KSU coming close to winning it all (although I'd pick KSU over WVU). Texas or Oklahoma will run the table if you ask me.
Check me out on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/247Blake
While you have a lot of potential coming in, the fact is Landry struggled getting the ball in the end zone with skilled receivers Franks, Reynolds and Stills and you have zero experience returning at TE.
I could be wrong, but I wouldn't hold my breath on Gardner. If IIRC he still has a lot of summer school to finish (12 hours?)
It pains me to say this but I think the conference is OU's to lose. They have an experinced QB who has over 12k yards passing and 93 touchdowns. That is pretty damned impressive, even for a Sooner. A lot has been made about their problems at WR but they have some studs on the way who definitely look the part (Meteyor for example). Landry has many faults and OU will NOT win the big one (surprise surprise, lol) but I do not see them finsihing anything less than #1 in the conference. Their D, especially their secondary, is questionable as is their running game. That being said they're still going to be tough to beat.
KSU is a well coached machine but will not have the horses to close the deal. Klein will likely be in a wheelchair by October and at some point Mack has to beat the Kats, right? I look for the better passing teams to expose them and since our game is so late in the season I think we get the better of them, finally.
TEXAS has too many question marks for me to pick us to win it all. Will our run game get stuffed by the better front 7's again? Will Ash audible at the line and has he learned to look off coverage? Will our oline be an asset or a liability? Can our recievers not named Shipley catch the ball? Out of the 1/2 dozen kickers we have on the roster which one can replace Tucker? I think we are a 2-3 loss team this year.
I think the EER's will be good but this is a team that got whipped by Syracuse and L'Ville last year. The weekly grind of playing big boy football will take it's toll and the lack of QUALITY depth should be a concern.
Are any of TCU's players not out on bond?
OSU has been very good lately. This year they have a new QB who isn't middle aged so I think they will dip a bit from last seasons run. 3 losses for the Pokes imo but still a very god season all things considered.
Todays Daily 5 looks at the five early favorites to win the Big 12 in 2012.
He had those stats when he threw 1 TD and 6 picks to close out 2011.
Lots of factors contribute to that. First is dropped balls. Its not like he wasnt hitting them in the hands, but they just werent catching the ball. Second, Blake Bell came in a lot in the redzone and that took many TDs away from Jones. He did pass us all the way down the field, but it just didnt materialize in the form of a passing TD for his stats. Lastly, the fellas just werent getting open and there no nice way to put it, then when they did, they would drop it. So, we will see. Jones is an outstanding QB but he cant catch for the guys. You give Franks too much credit. Reynolds is good, but cant be trusted. They wont be back on the team anyway and if they do, they will have to sit like 10 games.
TE may or may not be a problem. They did pretty darn good in the spring, blocking and catching.
Now, as for Gardner, he will be in. I dont know what rumors you have over here, but if it has anything to do with him not making it, its wrong. All the new WRs could be worthless and they could all be studs, who knows. We usually have a pretty salty group, regardless of age. Metoyer has lived up to the hype so far and from early reports this summer, Shephard has been equally good. Thats hope, but we will see how it all plays out.
Ou loses to tcu, WVU, Tech and maybe Texas.
WVU wins the Big 12
Sure there are factors that contribute. But if your telling me that we should just assume a bunch of inexperienced receivers are going to be better than three proven receivers well hell sell me that ocean front property while you're at it.
There is a reason Bell was brought in for the red zone, Landry wasn't able to convert. Bell didn't take away TD's, he converted where Landry couldn't. So we have two question marks. Can Landry overcome his ineffectiveness in the Red Zone? If not, will teams have learned how to stop Bell in the Red Zone. And I will even add a third. What is OU adding to Bell's red zone package to prepare for teams stacking the box on Bell.
The TE's did well during the spring? Awesome, so did Garret Gilbert.
As for all the young receivers, show me don't tell me. You haven't seen it, I haven't seen it and they haven't been under the bright lights. All those youngsters have seen is a defense that is rebuilding and learning a new scheme.
Don't get me wrong, OU has a good chance to win yet another conference championship, but they have as many questions as anyone else.
That is why I mentioned them having issues, Landry Included. They're definitely not going to be world-beaters this year. I look at the Big12 and I do not see a nationally dominant team that is likely to win the big one. I see a few teams that could jump up and take the conference, but if a gun was to my head and I had to pick a team to win the conference, I would pick OU (now I'm off to puke!).
There is no way wvu wins the Big 12 this year. Too many question marks. Everyone is getting carried away because they beat Clemson to finish the year. Clemson had no defense to show for. I bet no one would give wvu a chance if they finished off the year losing to syracuse (a team that lost every game after they beat wvu) like they did in the middle of the season. wvu is a joke and should not be taken serious. Let them take on a real defense and not the pretenders of the big east. Its either Texas or Ou and the winner will come out of the RRR! Hook'em \\m//
Im not saying that at all. History shows us that their is a learning curve from high school to college practice and then from practice to game. I expect that to take place with the freshmen, but to a lesser extent with the JUCOs.
Now, was Jones not converting because of dropped balls or missed WRs or what? I mean, if youre only saying look at the stats, thats fine, cant dispute. But, he was able to drive us down the field, in spite of the WRs, so he is capable. IMO, we will be fine, but I also understand it could go the other way. Bell being brought in happened before Broyles went down. He was used more to help the running game on the goalline and in short yardage, not to supplement Jones. Thats a fact.
As long as the TEs can block, I am cool with it. Maybe they will suck, who knows. I know our staff usually does a great job of getting our kids ready more often than not, so I will trust them here.
So, IMO, the only questions we have are WR and LB depth. After that, its solid. Youre my rival though, so I dont expect to get much credit from you. Thats cool.
I like the idea of Bell playing in the red zone. He was nearly automatic with the box stacked against him. It makes no difference to me who scores or how they score.
While it worked, which defenses did you use it against?
OSU (used it once with less than three minutes left in the game)
Common denominator: undersized defenses
It really was not very effective. Yes it scored touchdowns but anyone can throw a big DE in there and push forward.
I hope yall bring that gimmick down to Dallas because Moore and Edmond will stand him up and knock the daylights out of him
Moore and Edmond? Don't know those guys.
No one has been able to figure it out. Edmond will have to get through Millard and/or Rip first.
OU is the team in the conference with the fewest question marks. This could be a down year for the Big 12 because even the top tier teams have a lot of question marks. The defense should be improved because Mike finally has players playing in their natural positions. And, it can't get much worse than last year. OU has two of the top JUCO WRs in the country coming in and if Saunders gets cleared then that'll put a lot of those concerns to rest. Metoyer is ridiculous. OU will have the best OL in the conference by a lot which should help Jones and the run game. Still though, a lot of question marks.
OU is extremely, extremely green at WR and TE.
Stills is the only guy that has caught a pass against fbs competition, and he's a head case, albeit a talented head case when focused.
Metoyer will be good eventually, but he'll struggle in the beginning.
Gardner, if he makes it in, will be tough.
Shepard will start in the slot, and again he will be inconsistent. It's what happens when you play freshman at anything besides RB.
Neal is hurt at the moment, and even still will struggle (see above), and struggled with his hands in San Antonio.
Woods, another freshman, will be counted on to provide (inconsistent) depth, and OU is in trouble if they need him for more.
Brannon Green, or "Moose", is strictly a blocker. He might catch a pass here or there, but he isn't a threat.
McNamara is another freshman that will be depended on, and will struggle with consistency.
Millard will probably play some TE/Hback to go along with some FB and occasional RB. Very talented kid.
I don't know how serious OU was about playing Blake Bell some at TE, but it would make sense for two reasons:
1. Very good big athlete that could help out because of how thin they are there
2. Having him on the field with Jones and not having to run him on for their run package (allowing the opponent to also make changes) would make it even more lethal.
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