Can we start the 2011 college football season now?

OU and OSU each have standout players coming back, and Texas A&M and Missouri figure to challenge the Bedlam rivals for conference supremacy. Year 1 of the 10-team Big 12 is shaping up to be a great one.
by Berry Tramel Modified: January 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm •  Published: January 15, 2011

We're six days removed from the end of college football. Seems like six months already.

Can we go ahead and start next season now? September 2011 can't get here fast enough, and recent events only increase the craving.

Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon returning to OSU? Ryan Broyles and Travis Lewis coming back to OU?

The Sooners the early bird pick for No. 1 in the nation. The Cowboys sporting another top-10 look. The return of the deadeyes, Weeden and Landry Jones.

It's almost enough to make me think the Big 12 is going to be bearable in 2011.

And Then There Were Ten now is Big 12 football's theme. Not exactly a rousing endorsement. And Then There Were Ten will remain the fallback position until expansion, dissolution or something so provocative that it takes our minds off the loss of Nebraska and the stirring league championship game.

I would say the Sooners and the Cowboys muscling for conference supremacy qualifies as provocative. The very real possibility that both Bedlam rivals will spank the Longhorns again should cushion the reality of a substandard conference.

I don't know how the good folks in Kansas or Texas will handle life in a Big 12 that now stinks compared to most of its peer conferences, but in Oklahoma, I think we won't mind Year No. 1.

Seems possible that the biggest mystery surrounding Bedlam 2011 is not whether it will be a de facto Big 12 title game, but whether it will move to December to fill the void of the real thing.

Let's not get too carried away. Our state is not Grand Central for college football. That status belongs to Alabama, thanks to back-to-back national champs 'Bama and Auburn.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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...
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