#Countdown2Kickoff Here Comes the Boom #SoonerMagic

baker mayfieldAlthough the Oklahoma Sooners fell short of the College Football Playoff title game, the season was far from a disappointment.The Sooners won their first out right Big 12 Conference Championship since 2010 and with Coach Bob Stoops signed through 2022, winning conference titles may be destined to continue.

In year one of the Lincoln Riley era, a once anemic offense exploded one big play after the other. Baker Mayfield went from outcast to walk-on to All-American and his Heisman snub may be just fuel the Sooners’ fiery leader needs to duplicate and exceed the success of last season. The Sooners may be a spread offense, but their run game is certainly not for the faint of heart. Samaje ‘Optimus’ Perine shrugs off arm tackles and if defenders dare to try and tackle low, they are liable to be ran over or receive a stiff arm from Perine’s legendary 23 inch biceps. And if body blows by Optimus were not enough Joe Mixon  will have defenders begging for a pass just to get a break from the onslaught of punishment.

Since Sterling Shepard has finally ran out of eligibility, the wide outs will need to step upperine and mixon in order to keep opposing defenses from putting nine in the box. Thirty percent of the Sooners receptions must be replaced and early buzz suggests that talented sophomore Mark Andrews just may be the next great Sooner receiver. Unless the Sooners intend to run a wing-t, playmakers will have to step up and fast because the Houston Cougars and the Ohio State Buckeyes will certainly be ready.

charles walkerOn defense the Sooners have talent but most are largely unproven. The Sooners may have lost 4 1st team BIG 12 players to the NFL but 4 BIG 12 2nd teamers are poised to take their place. Cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and PJ Mbanasor boast both the size and speed to likely play on Sundays. And despite questions at linebacker, an experienced defensive line led by All-American Charles Walker will be terrors in the backfield.we are bringing the Boom

The Sooners came up short last season but it appears Big Game Bob Stoops may be back. With few questions on offense, the Sooners title hopes will rely on DC Mike Stoops and the Sooners defense. Offense may sale ticket but defense still wins championships. Will 2016 be a BOOM or a BUST? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark


Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast


#Countdown2Kickoff #RockyTop or Rocky Flop?

vols loseLast season Volnation bore witness to the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Tennessee Volunteers were six points away from beating the Oklahoma Sooners and the eventual national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. SIX Points! With 18 returning starters and with an embarrassment of riches on both sides of the ball, the Florida Gators eleven year winning streak may finally be near its end and dreams of winning the SEC East may no longer be just a fair tale told in books.

If title contenders were determined by recruiting classes and future NFL talent, the Vols would be a top five program. Although the Vols certainly pass the eye test, this team’s success will be largely determined by the mush that is in between their ears. Last season, in his first year in a new system Joshua Dobbs made huge strides as a passer throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and only 5 interceptions. But if he intends to be a quarterback and notvol o trio just an athlete who throws the ball his consistency on ‘third and distance’ MUST improve. If Dobbs shows more improvement as a passer a la Vince Young, the Vols backfield of Dobbs, Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara could be one of the best in the country.

The running back tandem of Hurd (1,288 yards 12 TD) and Kamara (698 yards 7 TDs) gave plenty of opposing DC nightmares last season, and since the Vols o-line is both a year wiser and a year stronger on game day highlight reel runs will be a frequent occurrence. Although derek barnettDobbs garnered most of the blame for the offense’s struggles, the wide outs certainly did not do him any favors. Jauan Jennings, Josh Malone, and Preston Williams may pass the eye test but 4 combined touchdowns ain’t gonna cut, I don’t care what size you are.

On defense, the Vols are littered with eventual NFL 1st Rounders, the defensive line led by Derek Barnett (69 Tackles 10 sacks) is so deep and talented that it would even make Urban Meyer and Nick Saban blush. Super Sophs Shy Tuttle and Kahil McKenzie will be terrors collapsing holes, mudding up the middle, and opening up lanes for All American linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (105 tackles 6 sacks) to wreak havoc on all who dares to get in his way.

Coach Butch Jones was awarded with an extension after a dissapointing 9-4 campaign. butch jones jokesFinishing 3rd in the SEC East may be acceptable to some, but average won’t cut in Knoxville. For four years, Vols faithful have heard one excuse after the other, with the level of talent Jones has its time to either put up, shut up, or move on. How will we remember the Vols in 2016, Rocky Top or Rocky Flop? Stay tuned…I know I will . – A. Denmark


Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast