Oklahoma football: Bad news mounts for OU, but offensive linemen won't be the thing that keeps them from a title

OU has lost four offensive linemen in the last week. This after an off-again, on-again waltz with knucklehead receivers, plus transfers galore last winter, some via invitation, some not.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 7, 2012

“In the end, every year when you're dealing with 105 guys, you're going to have some of that. Who doesn't? Everybody has a guy hurt. Everybody has a guy quit. Everybody has a guy transfer. I don't think we're much different than everybody else.”

I don't think a dented offensive line is going to cost the Sooners the national championship. I didn't think the Sooners were going to win it in the first place.

Heck, I picked West Virginia to win the Big 12 even when OU's line was at full strength.

But this remains true. The Sooners on paper still have the Big 12's best combination of offense and defense. West Virginia has massive defensive questions. Texas has no quarterback. OSU has a true freshman quarterback. Kansas State has to go to Norman and Morgantown.

Anyone who picked OU before last week — and the majority did — should continue to pick the Sooners to win the conference. The national flag? That's a crapshoot on all counts. Win your conference and take your chances. That's the best plan.

Sure, OU will miss Habern and Evans. But Habern's loss is tempered by the presence of Gabe Ikard, an excellent center in his own right. The Sooners take a small step back at both guard positions — Adam Shead replaces Ikard and is a known and solid commodity; Bronson Irwin replaces Evans and is an unknown.

Now, if more injuries occur, if the plagues continue, it's a different story. But you want me to write off OU's championship hopes over offensive guards? Not going to do it.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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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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