The Sooners are the easy favorites to win the Big 12, but no one outside of the state of Oklahoma seems to be predicting they’ll win a national title.
Big Game Bob Stoops has senior quarterback Landry Jones returning. Jones threw for 4463 yards last season and there’s no reason to think that he won’t hit at least 4000 this season. While Jones lost Ryan Broyles to the NFL, he does have junior receiver Kenny Stills returning.
Jones also has his whole offensive line returning, so the numbers from the Sooner offense should be very good this season, even if senior runnin back Dominique Whaley is returning from a broken ankle. Whaley, behind the Sooner line, ran for 627 yards last season through 6 games before suffering the injury. It’s safe to say he would have rushed for over 1100 yards and the Sooner offense would have ranked higher at the end of the season. If Whaley stumbles though, junior Roy Finch is ready to step in. Finch rushed for 605 yards after taking over for Whaley last season.
Why Oklahoma should be ranked higher:
The Sooners finished the season with the 5th ranked offense overall and with senior quarterback Landry Jones back, the Sooners have a good shot at finishing that high again. A 10 win season should be almost a done deal, but for the Sooners to finish with 11 or 12 wins, they’ll have to step up defensively and beat the likes of West Virginia.
Why Oklahoma shouldn’t be ranked higher:
The Sooner defense was ranked 55th overall, allowing an average of 375 yards a game. That won’t work against West Virginia and possibly Kansas State. The defense will probably determine how the Sooners finish in the Big 12 this season.
Returning Starters: 8 Offense / 7 Defense
Best games: Kansas State, Notre Dame, at West Virginia, Oklahoma State, at TCU
2011 Total Offense: 5th
2011 Total Defense: 55th
2011 Turnover margin: 74th
Championship odds: 8:1
Projected record: 11 – 1
4. Oklahoma, 5. Oregon, 6. Wisconsin, 7. Florida State, 8. Georgia, 9. West Virginia, 10. Michigan State, 11. Clemson, 12. Michigan, 13. Virginia Tech, 14. TCU, 15. Arkansas, 16. Kansas State, 17. Texas, 18. Nebraska, 19. Ohio State, 20. South Carolina, 21. Stanford, 22. Oklahoma State, 23. Boise State, 24. Cincinnati, 25. Notre Dame