2009-10 Oklahoma Sooners Football Predictions
by Josh Nagel - 8/15/2009
No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners
2008 Record: 12-2.
2008 Against the Spread: 10-3.
2009 Odds to win BCS Championship: 6/1.
Key games: at Texas Oct. 17; at Texas Tech Nov. 21; vs. Oklahoma St. Nov. 28
Overview: There are some critics who have suggested that Bob Stoops' nickname "Big Game Bob" is now somewhat of a misnomer for the Oklahoma football coach. This might be a tad unfair when you consider that Stoops continues to win more than his share of big games for the Sooners, he's just been unfortunate enough to come up short in the biggest of them all a couple of times.
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In last season's BCS title game, the Sooners gave Florida all the Gators could handle for three-plus quarters before finally succumbing down the stretch in a 24-14 loss. Although there was some disappointment in Sooner land, it's hard to call the season Oklahoma put together anything short of a huge success. It's just that Oklahoma's buzzsaw simply ran into a bigger and more powerful one in Florida, and it's fair to say any other team in the country would have left the field on the short end of the scoreboard against the Gators that night.
Whether Stoops and company can finally win the really big one this year is literally the multi-million dollar question. At least it has to be seen that way in the eyes of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, who passed up guaranteed millions as the likely top pick in the NFL Draft to return to the Sooners.
Bradford was the top-rated quarterback on most draft boards and likely would have been picked ahead of Georgia's Matthew Stafford, who went No. 1 overall to the Detroit Lions after Bradford chose to stay in school.
Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart regretted a similar decision when he eschewed becoming the top pick and dropped to No. 10 the following year, costing himself at least $10 million in guaranteed salary.
Surely, Bradford will see it as worth his while if he can bring home a BCS title to Oklahoma, and there's no reason to believe that the Sooners won't have another legitimate shot.
The nation's top-ranked offense returns a slew of weapons for Bradford, including NFL prospect Jermaine Gresham at tight end. Although the Sooners must replace most of last year's offensive line and replenish its receiving corps, there's a good chance that players who have been waiting in the wings will step in and fill the void without missing a beat. DeMarco Murray returns as one of the Big 12's strongest versatile threats at running back.
The Sooners were vulnerable on defense at times last year, but it hardly mattered as they were racking up more than 50 points per game. Although a leaky secondary could be a concern, Oklahoma should be solid up front and in the middle.
Around this time of year, Oklahoma tends to be one of the more popular college football picks to reach the BCS title game. With another loaded roster and a favorable schedule, it's fair to say "Big Game Bob" should shop for another nickname if he doesn't get the Sooners back to the big stage.
2009-10 Oklahoma Sooners Football Predictions: 12-2, BCS title game appearance.
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