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Although OU lacks star power, optimism is taking Sooner Nation by storm

The state is flooded with belief that Oklahoma football is back in the butt-kicking business. You can’t blame anybody for feeling that way. Sending Alabama to bed without its supper will make anyone stand a lot taller.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 30, 2014

“That was pretty good,” Stoops said. “But we’re getting back to that … they’re just younger. But we have more impact players than we’ve ever had, the last three years for sure. We’re starting to recruit to that. We’re developing back to where we’re going to have more guys” of star quality.

The Sooner offense is in the same situation. Shepard is a good player who could be great. Knight’s potential is limitless, but that’s based on one magic night in New Orleans. OU returns some good linemen, but the Outland Trophy doesn’t seem Norman-bound.

So the glee that consumes Sooner Nation isn’t individual-based, it’s results-based, because of the way OU finished out the 2013 season. A good win in Manhattan. A great win in Stillwater. A monumental win in New Orleans.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Star power is not an automatic predictor of team success. The Sooners were great in ’01 and ’04. They cratered in 2009, thanks to injuries.

And once upon a time, OU went into a season with so little individual star power, just one Sooner made the preseason All-Big 12 team. Calmus was given that status in summer 2000. That season, the Sooners went 13-0 and won the national title. By December, nine Sooners made All-Big 12, three made All-American, Josh Heupel dang near won the Heisman Trophy and the team of no-names became a team that will never be forgotten as long as Oklahomans play with pigskins.

So go ahead. Let the optimism flow.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at