For over a decade the Oklahoma Sooners have been the epitome of inconsistency, boasting the talent of an elite program but falling short year after year time after time breaking the hearts of Sooner faithful along the way. But after the Sooners win over the czar of college football Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, the hype machine has returned, the Bob Stoops coaching hot seat has cooled and many believe that the Sooner Magic is back. And the losses and disappointing finishes have all but been forgotten.
The source of excitement in Norman is largely due to the growth of quarterback Trevor Knight who can extend plays with his legs and has the arm strength to make defenders pay for gambling. Although only 7 starters return on offense the cupboard is far from bare and players like running backs Keith Ford and freshman phenom Joe Mixon may become household names at season’s end. Despite the Sooner embracing a next man up mentality the key to the Sooners National Championship hopes may be determined by the uncertainty at the wide receiver position. No one will contest the game breaking ability of receiver Sterling Shepard, but more playmakers will be relied on to play beyond their years. The concerns at wideout would all but be eliminated if Missouri Tigers transfer Dorial Green Beckham is granted immediate eligibility.
Despite the uncertainty at wide receiver, the Sooners will boast one of the scariest defenses in the nation that may be able to win their fair share of games on their own. After weathering the storm of inexperience and inconsistency the Sooners apparently figured it out. Blessed with both talent and depth the defense promises to be fierce, ferocious, and fresh. The Sooners may boast the best collection of linebackers in the country. Last season Dominique Alexander and Eric Striker gave opposing quarterbacks nightmares one jarring hit after the other. The defensive line led by Charles Tappner will be relied on heavily to give the talented yet inexperienced Sooner secondary time to get their barrings.
In the age of the aerial onslaught that now defines the Big 12 Conference one slight mental era in the secondary could be the difference of dreams of a national championship being realized or ruined. Conference titles and BCS Bowls games have become the norm during the Stoops era, but National Titles have constantly alluded him. With an impressive cast of players returning, will things finally be different in 2014? Is Big Game Bob Stoops back or will Sooner fans be shedding more tears, yet again? Stay tuned…I know I will. Boomer Sooner
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast