The Norman Transcript


July 25, 2009

Stoops a victim of his own success

The media’s choices are out. Before a game’s been played, Oklahoma and Texas sit atop the Big 12’s South Division.

There’s a whole season to determine the conference’s best players, but going in it’s the Sooners leading the way with eight preseason first-teamers.

One of them, of course, is Sam Bradford, also the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the preseason selection as the conference’s offensive player of the year.

So Sam the Man, quite possibly the nation’s best quarterback, is back. As is Jermaine Gresham, maybe the nation’s best tight end.

Some receivers have moved on but Ryan Broyles is as electric as anybody and finally there’s a place for Mossis Madu. but if that’s a concern, two 1,000-yard rushers, DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, are back, too.

Maybe fewer playmakers return defensively. Yet four of those eight first-team picks are defenders. Led by Gerald McCoy on the line, OU should be loaded on that side of the ball, too.

Is there a weakness?

Around town, one question’s ever asked out of concern: “What about the offensive line?”

But it’s the only one.

Still, there’s Trent Williams, old reliable, the guy offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s been talking up over a bunch of other great linemen for a couple of years, back to lead a group that will include three new starters.

Williams has been moved to left tackle, a new position, so there’s one group of Sooners yet to prove itself.

It might be the only one.

So how on Earth can Bob Stoops win?

You know, short of winning it all.

No credit

He will not be congratulated for bringing such a wondrous and talented group together when summer practices begin in August, nor for the BYU season opener at Jerry Jones’ new stadium in Arlington, Texas, and certainly not for the home opener against lowly and regrettably-scheduled Idaho State.

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