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Modified: August 4, 2008 at 10:53 am •  Published: August 4, 2008
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National contender status is nothing new for OU. Still, 2008 is lining up as ripe for a major run at title No. 8 for the Sooners.

Five reasons why:

1. Experience. The Sooners return 14 starters, at least half of whom are contenders for college football's major awards. Beyond the starting lineups, there's proven players in backup roles, meaning a bulk of the two-deep has played on back-to-back Big 12 title teams. So they know what it takes.

2. Schedule. Look at the 12-game run awaiting the Sooners and try to find a spot where you'd expect them to lose. As of today, OU would be favored in every game, by at least a touchdown more than likely. Texas? The Longhorns lack playmakers to keep up. Tech? Not in Norman. At OSU? It's been dicey of late in Stillwater, but can the Cowboys defense be that improved? Only Missouri, in a Big 12 championship matchup with a bunch of black and gold filling the stands in Kansas City, would appear to pose a real threat.

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