2012 Oklahoma Sooners Football Preview
2011 Record: 10-3 (6-3 Big 12)
Head Coach: Bob Stoops, fourteenth season (139-34 all at Oklahoma)
Projected Returning Starters: 17
Spring Game: April 14th (Offense 22 Defense 21)
Notes: Of Coach Stoops’ 13 seasons in Norman, only three have resulted in Oklahoma winning less than double digit games (1999, 2005, and 2009). Stoops won the Big 12 South eight times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010), the Big 12 seven times (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010), and a national title in 2000. Oklahoma has been a trendy pick as of late to win the national title, only to have those chances squandered with conference losses. Oklahoma has made 13 straight bowl games, dating back to 1999, Stoops’ first season.
BVTSB Take: Oklahoma likely enters the 2012 season as a favorite to win the Big 12, if not the national title. Quarterback Landry Jones returns for his senior season, his fourth as a starter. Jones has made strides from his freshman year, where he threw for 3198 yards and 26 touchdowns, to last season where he threw for 4463 yards and 29 touchdowns. Despite Jones’ numbers dropping from 2010 to 2011, he should have a great year, and should improve upon his 2011 numbers. Running back Dominique Whaley is also back for his senior year, as he rushed for 627 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. Backup Roy Finch also returns (605 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns) while newcomers Damien Williams and Danzel Williams should figure into the mix. Four of the five offensive lineman return as starters – C Ben Habern (6 starts in 2011 before being out for the season due to a neck injury), RG Tyler Evans (13 starts), LG Gabe Ikard (13 starts), and LT Lane Johnson (12 starts at RT). Daryl Williams takes over at RT, having 1 start and played in 9 games last season. Oklahoma does lose WR Ryan Broyles (1157 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns) to the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Broyles posted 1000+ receiving yard seasons in each of his last three seasons. Trey Metoyer figures to take Broyles place in the lineup – a true freshman. Kenny Stills (849 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns) and Jaz Reynolds (715 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns) should be the other two starters. Oklahoma does lose TE James Hanna (381 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns) to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys; Brannon Green is the projected starter. Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell return as co-offensive coordinators, while Mike Stoops, former Arizona head coach, returns as defensive coordinator, replacing Brent Venables, who departs for Clemson. The loss of Venables is cushioned by the fact Stoops returns to familiar turf. Oklahoma faces UTEP, Florida A&M, and Notre Dame in non-conference play. The Irish are the toughest of the three, but the Sooners should have no problem with them. Conference road games against Iowa State, West Virginia, and TCU could present a challenge. The Sooners face tough challenges at home against Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Their annual showdown with Texas in the Red River Rivalry should be interesting, as well. Oklahoma has a great shot at making the national title provided there are no slip ups in conference play.
2012 Early Projection: 11-1
To see the 2012 Big 12 composite schedule, click here.
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