Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: Where's the talent?

by Berry Tramel Modified: July 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm •  Published: July 18, 2013


Aaron Colvin and Gabe Ikard were named to the Big 12′s preseason all-conference team. And that was it for the Sooners.

A total of two selections on the 26-man squad. OSU had three picks — Shaun Lewis, Calvin Barnett and Josh Stewart — which means the Bedlam rivals combined had as many selections as Kansas State, which figures to be picked fifth or sixth in the preseason conference poll, which will be released Thursday.

And here’s the problem for OU. Who got shafted in the voting? Colvin and Ikard were obvious picks, but no other Sooner even warrants discussion. Fullback Trey Millard is worthy, except these teams never have fullbacks anymore. Who else? Certainly no one on defense. Tailback Damien Williams is capable of a breakout season, but Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk and Kansas State’s John Hubert clearly were superior selections, as would have been Kansas’ James Sims. Offensive tackles Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams are solid but hardly have proven all-conference mettle.

It’s a massive talent dearth in Norman, one we haven’t seen the likes of since the 1990s. In Bob Stoops’ first season, 1999, only two Sooners made all-Big 12: offensive tackle Stockar McDougle and linebacker Rocky Calmus. In each of John Blake’s three seasons, only one Sooner was selected — linebacker Tyrell Peters in 1996, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg in 1997 and 1998.

The Sooners are used to five, six all-Big 12 picks. Heck, in 2003, OU had 10 all-Big 12 selections.

And it’s not like this is some regal era of Big 12 football. OSU football is as good as it’s ever been, and Baylor has improved mightily. But Texas has been down, Kansas State wins but with great coaching and blue-collar players; the Wildcats have won 21 games the previous two seasons and have had a grand total of four players picked in the last two drafts, only one before the fourth round. TCU is getting some voter love, but Texas A&M got love, too.

Nope, OU’s talent is just down. And that’s why Brian Bosworth’s comments from last week — OU has “lost a lot of our bite. We’re lost a lot of our fight. We’ve lost a lot of our passion. I think we’re lost a lot of our tradition.” — are mostly silly. What OU has lost is a lot of its talent.

You know what Bob Stoops’ team needed in 2012? Not more bite or fight. Not more passion. It needed Brian Bosworth playing linebacker and Tony Casillas playing nose guard. That would have made a much bigger difference than someone playing with more passion.

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 Oklahoman,...
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