Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander was named Wednesday one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award.
The senior leads Oklahoma – and the Big 12, for that matter – with 8½ sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. Alexander, Bedlam notwithstanding, figures to be the leader in the clubhouse for the conference's Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Teammate Travis Lewis was the preseason pick.
“He's had a huge year,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said of Alexander. “Everybody's recognized it and he just played at a different level than he did a year ago and he's just been disruptive.”
Alexander has 51 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception. He also has six pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries.
“Whether it's pressures, tackles for a loss, forced fumbles, batted balls, he's just been very, very active,” Stoops said. “He's had a huge year for him and for us.”
Other finalists for the award include Clemson's Andre Branch, Marshall's Vinny Curry, Illinois' Whitney Mercilus, LSU's Sam Montgomery and USC's Nick Perry.
The award is one of those given out Dec. 7 in Orlando, Fla.
Injured receiver Ryan Broyles is again a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Additionally, quarterback Landry Jones was named Wednesday one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award.
SOONERS ADJUSTING TO INCLEMENT WEATHER
After the conditions they had to deal with last weekend against Iowa State, some Sooners are turning into amateur meteorologists this week looking forward to Bedlam.
Weather.com is still forecasting rain and temperatures falling into the 30s during the game. Winds, which plagued OU last week at Owen Field, are expected to be calmer, in the 10-15 mph range.
“I've looked at the forecast a lot,” Sooners defensive end R.J. Washington said. “I guess it's supposed to be 30 with a lot of wind. Maybe freezing rain and snow. It is what it is. Nobody is going to win because of the weather.”
No, but it could potentially help OU, if it slows down OSU's offense. The Cowboys have the 93rd-ranked run defense and the Sooners ran for a season-high 253 yards last week.
“It was freezing last Saturday,” Washington said. “I guess we got used to it last Saturday and now we're going into it again.
“It's Oklahoma, so you know the weather is going to be up and down. … It isn't anything we're not used to.”
OU MAKING ANOTHER LATE SEASON VISIT TO STILLWATER
Stoops deferred to Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, the league office and the conference's other ADs as to why the Sooners have to again go to Stillwater, because of the new schedule in the reconfigured league.
“We were presented a few different options,” Stoops said. “I didn't like any of them, quite honestly. The way the whole plan and the round-robin had to work, I guess that's just how it had to happen.”
So, what if TCU and West Virginia come into the league, forcing OU to have to go to Boone Pickens Stadium again in 2012?
“Yeah,” Stoops said, “that might be an issue.”
POLLSTERS' OPINIONS ON SOONERS WIDE-RANGING
AP voters aren't quite sure what to make of the Sooners, even as they play this week for the Big 12 title.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose newspaper has them ranked seventh. Kyle Ringo of the Boulder newspaper has them 19th.
The voters who have OU ranked lower – 12 of the 60 have it below 15th – seem to be making that move to push Baylor, which beat the Sooners two weeks ago, above Oklahoma.