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OU football: Landry Jones' return must be joyous news for Bob Stoops

OKLAHOMA FOOTBALL -- He'd never do it in public, but Bob Stoops probably went home and danced a jig when he found out his quarterback is returning in 2012.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 5, 2012

NORMAN – I didn't see Bob Stoops on Thursday. But I have no doubt what he did upon confirmation that Landry Jones would indeed return to quarterback the Sooners in 2012.

Stoops stayed poised. Kept a stoic gaze. Talked in short, declarative sentences.

Then drove home, locked the door behind him and danced a jig. Floated through Stoops Manor with his arms in the air, like George Costanza in Central Park after meeting Marisa Tomei.

Landry's return is joyous news for Stoops. Landry make the Sooners the choice to win the 2012 Big 12 title.

Forget the harebrained speculation that OU somehow would be better off with new blood at QB. That's beyond silly. When a quarterback with 37 career starts and a first-round NFL Draft grade wants to stay on campus, you throw your arms around his legs and say thank you, thank you, thank you.

Landry's return doesn't guarantee OU a Big 12 title in 2012. But his departure would have come close to guaranteeing the trophy would land somewhere besides Soonerville.

Only twice in the league's 16-year history has the Big 12 been won by a first-year starting quarterback. Granted, Stoops has pulled the trick both times, with Paul Thompson in 2006 and Slingin' Sammy B. in 2007.

But every other Big 12 champ has relied on an experienced QB, be it a part-time starter from the year before (Colorado's Bobby Pesavento in 2001, OU's Nate Hybl in 2002) or an established star (Brandon Weeden 2011, Colt McCoy 2009, Bradford repeating in 2008, Vince Young 2005, Jason White 2004, Josh Heupel 2000, Eric Crouch 1999, Michael Bishop 1998).

Uh, notice a trend? This isn't the SEC. You don't win championships out here with mastodon defenses and game managers at quarterback. Eight of the 16 Big 12 titles have been won by quarterbacks who at some point in their career placed in the top three of the Heisman Trophy voting.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist and Reporter
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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