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Answering some leftover Wednesday live-chat questions on Oklahoma football

by Jason Kersey Published: January 17, 2013
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops led his team to a 10-3 record and a shared Big 12 title in the 2012 season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops led his team to a 10-3 record and a shared Big 12 title in the 2012 season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
NORMAN — Yesterday, I participated in our daily Power Lunch live chat to talk OU football.

There were still a few questions left in the queue when I had to jump off the chat, so I figured I’d answer those here today.

oksooner: Are we going to see more of a run game ,all season the run game took a big hit . I believe that’s why we hit a bump in the road all season. And I know I’m not the only one wandering why wasn’t tom wort played in the last couple of games ,not only that you don’t use dom whaley ,he was a tough running back . Like the former players , I see a lot of drop now then from previous years .what’s going on?

I think lots of what the former players had to say was right. The main problem is simply a roster that’s a tad lacking in the talent department. OU’s players last year were good, solid players, but clearly not on the same level as teams like Alabama. Sometimes talent evaluation isn’t good enough. Sometimes player development isn’t good enough. Whatever the cause, it’s obvious that OU’s players the past few seasons haven’t been nearly what they would need to compete seriously for national championships. With a couple good recruiting classes, things can change quickly. There’s no reason to believe Bob Stoops and his staff can’t make those changes happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.

As far as Tom Wort goes, he didn’t play up to his full capability this year; I think even he would say that. But there were also schematic reasons why Wort wasn’t on the field as much in Mike Stoops’ system.

Dominique Whaley never got back to being the player he was before his ankle injury. I thought Damien Williams showed that he’s a strong, powerful back, as is Trey Millard. Even Brennan Clay displayed some toughness in his running. I’m not sure Whaley would’ve made much of a difference at all this year.

Larry: Will Ross be a factor for OU at RB next season?

Alex Ross bulked up during his redshirt season, and I think he’s got the ability to be a great back in the future. I don’t think it’s likely to happen next year, though, because the Sooners bring back Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Trey Millard.

Guest: How much longer do you see Bob Stoops coaching at OU? A few years ago when most OU fans were so high on him it seemed like he was always saying things like he wasn’t going to do this for ever and his family had heart problems, like he might walk away any time and now that a lot of us would love for him to leave he never mentions it.

That’s really hard to say. I think Bob Stoops will be at Oklahoma for the forseeable future, but I also believe he’ll retire — period — as the Sooners’ coach. I’m sure he’s at least somewhat interested in the NFL, and there’s always the possibility that he gives it a shot, but my gut tells me he won’t ever make that jump. And he’s already essentially turned down the three other college programs he’d be most likely to leave for — Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State — so he seems settled in Norman. I could be 100 percent wrong here, but I don’t believe he’ll coach anywhere else.

Colt: Who are the players most likely to surprise us in 2013? In my opinion the biggest surprises in 2012 were Sterling Shepard, Damien Williams, Jalen Saunders, and Justin Brown.

I’d look to some of the defensive newcomers, like Stanvon Taylor, Hatari Byrd and Quincy Russell as guys who could pleasantly surprise OU fans in 2013. On the offensive side, I think Trey Metoyer could have the kind of breakout season lots of people (myself included) expected him to have as a true freshman.

oksooner: We want more nc , period . Win the big 12 out right , you won’t be co-champions , get better on defense. And get sec type players

I think that’s what all OU people — fans, boosters, administrators, coaches and players — want. Everyone associated with the program wants more than a shared Big 12 championship, and I promise you, chief among them is Bob Stoops.

Guest: I think OU fans are so frustrated because in a lot of the games they lose it seems like the coaches have no answers. A&M made adjustments at half time and the OU coaches were lost, and if your a team like the Sooners you should never get beat by more than 10 points.

That’s fair criticism. It was pretty clear after halftime that Texas A&M made some changes that OU wasn’t ready for, and the Sooners clearly didn’t try adjusting much of anything. Those are things that have to change next season, particularly since OU loses so many starters.

kevin: O.K., let me get this straight. Bob shouldn’t claim the co-championship? Wait a minute, it was every other coach in the b12 that voted to allow co-champions. Bob was the only one opposed to the idea. He was opposed to in before losing to Junior in 2011 and he was opposed to it after we lost. Yet every other coach remained in favor of it. Now Bob benefits from what everyone else supported and he’s the one getting called out on it? That doesn’t make any sense. It’s the other coaches that wanted that way, not Bob.

Bob isn’t getting called out for accepting the co-championship. He’s getting called out for the complete 180-degree flip on the issue from last season. Had OU beaten OSU in Bedlam last season, the Sooners, Cowboys and K-State would’ve all been “co-champions,” and Bob Stoops rightfully said that wouldn’t be fair: Why should OU have to share the title with two teams it beat? The same logic applies this year; why should Kansas State have to share the Big 12 title with a team it beat on its own home field? But when Stoops is asked about his apparent change of heart, he shoots it down and pretends like he wasn’t adamantly opposed to shared championships just one year ago. No one is saying he can’t accept the co-championship; of course he’s going to accept it. But if he’s going to regularly list it among his accomplishments this season, he should at least either (a) admit that he’s had a change of heart, or (b) acknowledge that it’s not the same as winning a Big 12 title outright.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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