The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 23, 2011

Broyles, the right Sooner in Trophy race

NORMAN — The pre-pre-pre-pre-season volleys and lobs that pass for insightful college football prognostication typically isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, nor the bandwidth required to bring it to your screen.

It does, however, tend to succeed in one regrettable score. It sets the conversation up, providing a starting point from which the actual season may go in its merry way.

Though he may not be interested in singular praise nor forecasting, were he, it is all great news for Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones. Because being the Sooner quarterback, particularly coming into a season in which just about everybody has OU No. 1 or No. 2, means being at or near the very top at the beginning stages the Heisman Trophy discussion.

Too bad.

Jones broke many bad habits a year ago. He finally played well, with consistency, away from home. Though he did not quit throwing silly interceptions here and there — a trend that even continued at the Red-White Game — he very much quit letting early mistakes define the rest of his Saturday. And, as a result, OU closed last season with an epic Bedlam triumph, victory over Nebraska at the Big 12 title game and, clobbering Connecticut, ending its BCS bowl woes.

The problems is Jones is not OU’s best player. Ryan Broyles is OU’s best player. As it happens, Broyles is also the biggest reason Jones’ finds himself at the top of the preseason Heisman talk.

Irony.

It’s unfortunate, because not only is Broyles the best receiver ever to play at Oklahoma — while Jones is the third (and many would say fourth) best quarterback of the Bob Stoops era — he may be the best receiver ever to play college football.

Hype

If it’s too early to talk college football, somebody forgot to tell everybody. The preseason publications are out. OU is No. 1 in many of them. It wasn’t always this way, but Heisman talk has begun as well.

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