Theories abound on what can fix Sooner football, which has fallen and is trying to get up.
The Sooners need better offensive coordination or a new offensive coordinator.
The Sooners need better quarterbacking or a new quarterback.
The Sooners need a new conference, need new uniforms, need a new band director, need a new president, need new kickoff times and need a new attitude.
All or part of which might be true.
But this I know to be true. The Sooners need more talent. The Sooners need better ballplayers at a variety of positions.
A whizbang offensive coordinator and a salty quarterback won't fix the problem of a talent dearth. And OU has a talent dearth.
You could see that against Baylor, a 41-12 conqueror of the Sooners. Baylor won the lines and was faster in the open field. Those alone go a long way to achieving victory.
And I'm not just talking about SEC defensive tackles, which sometime in the last couple of years somehow became everyone's favorite topic. Another G.K. McCoy would help immensely, but OU needs far more than just another Gerald or another Sammy B.
Consider this. OU in 2013 signed five junior-college players. The Sooners in 2012 signed seven juco transfers.
The previous two years, OU signed none.
You sign a junior-college player to fulfill a pressing need. You sign 12 juco players over a two-year span to replenish an entire roster.
Oh, Bob Stoops can't say so. He can't sit there and say, our recruiting classes have been sup-bar. Our talent is down. Our players aren't good enough to beat Baylor.
But it's the truth.
And it's not like OU has hit the mother lode in juco recruiting.
Of the dozen players signed, only punter Jed Barnett, tailback Damien Williams and receiver LaColtan Bester have been key contributors. Tight end Brannon Green and defensive back Kass Everett have helped out.
But that's still less than 50 percent hits on players recruited to play immediately.
And Stoops knows it. That's why he shook up his staff last season. James Patton and Jackie Shipp weren't jettisoned, along with Bruce Kittle, because they suddenly couldn't teach interior line technique anymore.
Stoops recognized that he needed new recruiting blood. The Sooner talent taps had grown stale.
Don't believe it? Wide receiver is considered a position of strength for the Sooners. OU is shy of defensive linemen and has had to resort to true freshmen at linebacker. But receiver is perceived as a solid unit, especially since Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders fell out of the sky in summer 2012 and Saunders remains an OU playmaker.
Know who started at receiver against Baylor? Trey Franks, who has been suspended twice in his OU career and spent 2012 and the first six games of 2013 as a safety who rarely played.
OU needs better receivers. And better blockers. And better tacklers. And better pass defenders. Better everything. The overall talent has dipped from the championship days.
So while debate can rage about where the Sooner program is — Stoops likes to point out that OU has more wins the last two seasons than any other Big 12 program; Stoops' detractors like to point out that the average AP final ranking of his first five years was sixth, his next five years 10th and the most recent five years 17th — debate can end on OU's talent level.
It's down. And that's why the Sooners have fallen and won't get back to their desired status until the talent rises.