Oklahoman Modified: September 17, 2008 at 7:48 am •  Published: September 17, 2008
We asked our panel of college football experts seven burning questions for OU, OSU and college football during this bye week.

It may be mid-September, but that doesn't mean it's too early to talk OU-Texas, the Heisman and who (USC) might be meeting who (OU) in the national championship game.


1. Most important thing we learned from OU's 55-14 win at Washington.

Columnist Berry Tramel: " We learned that the road disasters of 2007 don’t necessarily carry over to 2008. Every team plays better at home than on the road, but it’s hard to imagine a team playing much better than did the Sooners in Seattle."

OU beat writer John Helsley: "OU is good. Really good. What, you think you knew that already? C'mon, you were wondering how this first road trip would go for a team that sputtered against lesser squads a year ago in enemy stadiums. It went smashingly. We haven't see the Sooners truly tested, yet, but this squad shows no flaws."

Columnist Jenni Carlson: "The Sooners are for real. That seemed to be the case through the first two weeks, but the evidence in overwhelming now. And as good as OU looked against Washington, just think how much better that win would've looked had the Huskies defeated BYU the week before. All the Cougars did Saturday was hand UCLA its worse loss in many, many moons."

OU beat writer Jake Trotter: "OU has speed to burn at linebacker with Travis Lewis, Keenan Clayton and Ryan Reynolds."

OSU beat writer Andrea Cohen: "Oklahoma is really, really good. And this whole "can't win on the road" thing is false."

OSU beat writer Scott Wright: "OU can play well on the road after all. This is a big stepping stone as the Sooners try to accomplish their goals this season." Columnist John Rohde; "We learned Washington is very, very bad and Oklahoma is very, very good, and these teams might not meet again for several decades."

2. Most important thing we learned from OSU's 57-13 win over Missouri State.

Rohde: "We learned OSU coach Mike Gundy has a heart. He ran the ball, ran the clock and ran the opponent out of the stadium before the rain came. That game was more about Hurricane Ike than it was about the two teams." Wright: "The Cowboys have more depth, but still have a long way to go in getting that depth to the level it needs to be in Big 12 play."

Tramel: "We learned that you shouldn’t mess with start times. OSU athletic director Mike Holder was kicking himself for moving up the game to noon, and he made the decision based on the best information available, but switching start times is a dangerous move in football. All kinds of functions and plans are built around kickoffs. Perhaps this is the lesson: if it’s a possible hurricane, move it; if it’s possible heavy rains, live with it."

Carlson: "The Cowboys have their minds right. They didn't screw around with the Bears. They ran them into the ground just like they were supposed to do, and that hasn't always been the case with the Cowboys in games where they're the better team. This OSU team has a good head on its shoulders."

Trotter: "The Pokes have three viable options at running back."

Cohen: "OSU has a lot of guys who can run the football very well."

Helsley: "We learned that the Cowboys could deal with a little distraction, a time change that cut down on their crowd, and still take care of business. Mo State was a bad team. OSU won. Move on."

3. Complete this sentence, OU should spend its off week ...

Trotter: "Watching film of Texas. The Longhorns are better than people think and will challenge the Sooners in Dallas."

Carlson: "Wishing ill on the SEC. Right now, the only thing that seems to be standing between the Sooners and the BCS championship game is an undefeated SEC team. If OU, USC and an SEC team go unbeaten, the Sooners will be the team on the outside looking in."

Helsley: "Preparing a Heisman campaign for Sam Bradford. There are some quality candidates, Bradford is right there with them. And he will be for the duration."

Tramel: "Practicing extra points. What? You think Sam Bradford needs to hone in on his accuracy?"

Cohen: "Doing exactly what it's been doing to this point."

Wright: "Not thinking about 2005."

Rohde: "Handing out footballs to all their talented skill-position players. On other Saturdays, there's not enough footballs to go around"

4. Complete this sentence, OSU should spend its off week ...

Wright: "Preparing for Troy and Missouri. Texas A&M won't pose enough of a challenge to deserve extra attention, so it would be good to get a jump-start on the Oct. 11 game against the Tigers."

Carlson: "Making sure the scoreboard lights are operational. It sure looks like the Troy game will be a high-scoring affair. In their games Saturday, the two teams combined to score 122 points and rack up 1,308 yards."

Rohde: "Separating the offense from the defense.

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