NORMAN — Oklahoma's 2014 season opener against Louisiana Tech is seven months away, but after the Sooners' 45-31 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, next year could easily become the most anticipated OU football season in a long time.
Of course, every season presents challenges as key contributors graduate, leaving Oklahoma with a few question marks entering 2014 spring practices.
Here is a look at three position groups that must replace a significant amount of lost experience in 2014.
Who's gone: Aaron Colvin*; Kass Everett; Gabe Lynn*
Who's back: Dakota Austin (So.); Hatari Byrd (So.); Quentin Hayes (Sr.)*; Cortez Johnson (Jr.)*; L.J. Moore (RFr.); Zack Sanchez (So.)*; Stanvon Taylor (So.)*; Ahmad Thomas (So.); Julian Wilson (Sr.)*
Who's new: Marcus Green; Vontre McQuinnie; Tito Windham
Analysis: Colvin leaves a giant void on one side of the field. The two-time All-Big 12 cornerback will likely be replaced by Taylor, Austin or Johnson. … Byrd seems like the likely candidate to replace Lynn at free safety. … Hayes (SS), Sanchez (CB) and Wilson (NB) all return after starting the entire season.
Who's gone: Lacoltan Bester*; Jaz Reynolds*; Jalen Saunders*
Who's back: Austin Bennett (So.); Dannon Cavil (RFr.); Trey Franks (Sr.)*; Durron Neal (Jr.)*; Sterling Shepard (Jr.)*; Jordan Smallwood (RFr.); Derrick Woods (So.); K.J. Young (RFr.)