No El Paso for Sooners
Driving Florida’s Alligator Alley from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers to catch a flight home last Friday, we were discussing which bowl game OU might land in next season.
I thought maybe the Sun Bowl in El Paso, but then I figured no way the Sooners would fall below the Alamo in San Antonio.
Neither prediction was off base if you figured that Sam Bradford, G.K. McCoy, Jermaine Gresham and Trent Williams all went pro. Put them on the alumni list with Juaquin Iglesias, Manny Johnson, Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, Jon Cooper, Brandon Walker, Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes, and 2009 looked like a rebuilding year.
You’re talking about three first-team all-Americans and Williams, the only offensive line starter with eligibility remaining. One of the best tight ends in America, one of the best defensive tackles in America and a guy with a certain trophy sitting somewhere in his parents’ house.
Then came this week, when the Sooners’ holes didn’t open after all. McCoy is still in the middle. Gresham is back to roam terrified secondaries. Williams is back to anchor the line. And Slingin’ Sam returns to make another run at the Heisman.
Sorry, El Paso. The Sooners go from rebuilding to loaded. Go from mid-tier Texas bowl back into the national title picture.
It’s not crazy to paint the OU-Texas game as a national semifinal. Not crazy to think the Sooners might play Florida again for the national title.
One player can’t make that much of a difference, not even Sammy B. But four players can, when one of them is the quarterback who will take aim at greatest-in-school-history status.
The big losers Wednesday were Brigham Young and Miami, two non-conference foes in 2009 that figured they could catch a young Sooner team trying to find its footing. Instead, the Cougars and ‘Canes get to try to contain Bradford and his no-huddle express.
And that Texas grudge match, which seemed to be primed towards the Longhorns, suddenly looms as a shoot-out.
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