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We had high expectations for Oklahoma this season as we tabbed them #1 in our Pre-Spring Top Ten and picked them #2 when push came to shove and we put out our Pre-Season rankings. Unfortunately, the Sooners were hit with tragedy and injuries before the season even kicked off. The Sooners jumped out to a 6-0 record with quality wins over FSU and Texas but everything went sideways on October 22nd. 

On that date the #3 ranked Sooners fell behind Tommy Tuberville's Texas Tech Red Raiders 31-7 in the 3rd quarter. OU put together a furious rally but fell three points short and had the first blemish on their record. The Sooners rebounded nicely by squashing Kansas State and putting away Texas A&M to climb to 8-1 on the season. While the Texas A&M win was a sweet send-off against the Aggies, it was bittersweet as the Sooners lost star WR Ryan Broyles for the season. In the very next game, RG3 cemented his Heisman Trophy candidacy with an improbably game-winning TD pass to give the Sooners their second loss of the season. 

The Sooners would finish the season a respectable 10-3 but far from their original goals when the season started. Star QB Landry Jones will be back for another year and Bob Stoops has made some changes on the coaching staff. Oklahoma will definitely be one of the teams to watch in 2012. To get a local perspective on the Oklahoma Sooners 2011 season, and a sneak peak into 2012, we caught up with Allen Kenney from Blatant Homerism and Crystal Ball Run.

 

CFBZ: There were huge expectations on Oklahoma this year and they finished 10-3 on the season after tragedy and injuries. Do you consider this year a success, a failure or somewhere in between?

Blatant Homerism: I think the disaster that the 2011 season has been portrayed to have been is a little overblown. OU still won 10 games and beat a number of good teams.

I don't see how you can call it anything less than a disappointment, though. Bob Stoops himself played up the national championship expectations before the season. OU clearly had higher aspirations than where the team ended up.

 

CFBZ: If you could have a "do over" for any game which would it be?

Blatant Homerism: If OU could take one game back, it would have to be losing to Texas Tech. I don't know what happened to the team that night, but that was just a completely inept performance top to bottom. Getting worked by Oklahoma State was tough to swallow, but the Sooners were beat up by that point in the season and OSU had an outstanding team this season.

OU was a 30-point favorite against Tech and playing in Norman, where the Sooners have lost three times in 13 years. Aside from OU, Tech got drilled by anyone with a pulse. That's should be a layup.

 

CFBZ: What is the lasting memory you will have of this season?

Blatant Homerism: Good question. Ryan Broyles' injury sticks out to me. He will do down as one of OU's all-time greats, and I know everyone watching had to be feeling for him when he went down.

By all accounts, he really matured in his time at OU, and you wouldn't find anyone on the team who'd say a bad word about him. It was a tragic end to a great college career.

It's not a pleasant memory, but it's definitely one I'll remember.

 

CFBZ: The pass defense was a huge issue at times last season. What are your thoughts on Mike Stoops taking over the defense?

Blatant Homerism: I'm excited about the hire in so far as I remember how great OU's defense was under Mike Stoops the first time around. I fear that expectations will get thrown out of whack, though.

In the Big 12, shootouts are going to happen. The quarterbacks and offenses have a ton of firepower. You kinda have to accept that there will be games where the other team is going to move the ball. Nothing Mike Stoops can do will change that.

I do think he'll help clean things up on the back end. Right now, that's what OU's defense needs more than anything.

 

CFBZ: Landry Jones coming back for his senior season is huge but what other players are you most looking forward to watching in 2012?

Blatant Homerism: I love OU's safeties.

I don't know why, but the defense just seems to play better when Tony Jefferson is on the field. He's strong in run support, and his ball skills and instincts improved significantly this year. He makes tons of plays around the line of scrimmage, too.

Aaron Colvin didn't get much hype coming out of high school, but he has been a contributor for OU since day one. His game is just so solid in all respects. There's talk Colvin may move back to corner where he played as a freshman. That kind of versatility makes him even more of an asset.

 

Previous 2011 Exit Surveys

ACC- Clemson Tigers, Duke Blue Devils, FSU Seminoles, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Miami Hurricanes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Big 12- Kansas Jayhawks

Big East- Cincinnati Bearcats, Syracuse Orange, UConn Huskies, USF Bulls, West Virginia Mountaineers

Big Ten- Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State, Wisconsin Badgers

Pac-12- Arizona Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, USC Trojans

SEC- Arkansas Razorbacks, Kentucky Wildcats, LSU Tigers, Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers


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