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OU football insider: Analyzing the 2011 schedule from Florida State to Ball State

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, Published: May 9, 2011
/articleid/3566168/1/pictures/1413968">Photo - Quarterback Landry Jones and the Sooners open the 2011 season at home against Tulsa. PHOTO BY JOHN CLANTON, THE OKLAHOMAN
Quarterback Landry Jones and the Sooners open the 2011 season at home against Tulsa. PHOTO BY JOHN CLANTON, THE OKLAHOMAN
Missouri (Sept. 24): The Tigers lost QB Blaine Gabbert and end Aldon Smith to the NFL Draft, but plenty of talent is still back from the team that upset OU last season. Plus, Missouri gets the Sooners the week after they get back from Tallahassee. OU figures to be a double-digit favorite, but this could be a dangerous game.

• 6. at Kansas State (Oct. 29): The Wildcats seem to play the Sooners tougher than most Big 12 teams, but with running back Daniel Thomas gone, K-State is in rebuilding mode.

• 7. at Baylor (Nov. 19): The Sooners have been vulnerable on the road in recent years. This, however, won’t be much of a road game. Almost as many Sooner fans as Baylor fans showed up in Waco in 2010 to watch OU rout the Bears 53-24.

• 8. Texas Tech (Oct. 22): After winning four of five to close last season, Tech could be better under second-year coach Tommy Tuberville. But the Red Raiders haven’t had any success in Norman, including last year’s 45-7 drubbing.

• 9. Tulsa (Sept. 3): The Golden Hurricane played OU tough in 2005, but these will hardly be the 2005 Sooners. Tulsa has the offensive firepower to keep this interesting, just nowhere near enough defense to win.

• 10. at Kansas (Oct. 15): To have any chance, the Jayhawks will have to hope OU suffers an emotional letdown after playing Texas. Even then, that won’t be enough. KU has the worst offensive and defensive talent in the league.

• 11. Iowa State (Nov. 26): The Cyclones have been a giant killer under coach Paul Rhoads, taking down Nebraska in Lincoln in 2009, and Texas in Austin in 2010. But even if the Sooners — coming off a 52-0 thrashing of Iowa State — are caught looking ahead to Bedlam, all signs point to this turning into a beat down.

• 12. Ball State (Oct. 1): The Cardinals will be collecting $900,000 for their trip to Norman, the biggest paycheck in school history. Unfortunately for Ball State (4-8 last season) it could come with one of the biggest losses in school history, too.

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