>2010 CFBZ Prediction: 1st Place in Big 12 South (Runner-Up in Big 12)
2010 Actual Finish: Big 12 Conference Champion (12-2, 6-2)
I wasn’t a big believer in the Oklahoma Sooners coming into the 2010 season. They were coming off of an 8-5 season and had lost the majority of starters off of their defense. Bob Stoops did a good job this year of getting the troops back and marching to a 12-2 season and a BCS Bowl victory. The two losses stick out a little because they were against Missouri and Texas A&M, two good teams but teams that barely cracked the Top 20 in the final AP poll while Oklahoma finished 6th. Oklahoma carries a lot of momentum into the 2011/2012 season and they look like a team that will be a sure fire pre-season Top 5 pick. They finished off their schedule this year by beating up Texas Tech and Baylor and then beating rivals Nebraska and Oklahoma State in a couple of close, tough games. We turned to the Oklahoma Sooners Blog Land Thieves to find out what they thought about the 2010 Oklahoma Sooners.
1. Oklahoma finished 12-2 and won a BCS Bowl Game. Do you feel the season was a success?
Yes, I think it was a successful season. At the beginning of the year, I predicted 11-1 and demanded a Big 12 Championship. Well, we went 10-2 in the regular season, with the loss to Missouri being a surprise. Texas’ woeful season allowed the Sooners to win the Big 12 South anyway, and the Sooners benefitted from another three way tie. After the Mizzou game, I’d all but given up on the season, but the Sooners rebounded after the Aggie loss to run the table.
2. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson has moved on to become a Head Coach at Indiana. Who will be taking his place and what do they bring to the table?
QB Coach Josh Heupel and WR Coach Jay Norvell have been promoted to co-offensive coordinators. I’m indifferent on Norvell. The only things I know about him are that he a) coached under Karl Dorrell and Bill Callahan; b) was at Iowa with Stoops; c) dropped the f-bomb at a ref and got a penalty during the season. Heupel is a former QB, led us to a national championship as a senior in 2000 and has demonstrated an amazing abiltiy to groom QBs (Thompson, Bradford, Jones progressed remarkably under his tutelage). Heupel has an uncanny feel for the game, which he demonstrated as a QB and demonstrated that ability again in the Fiesta Bowl with his game plan.
3. What were your favorite moments of 2010?
a) Jonathan Nelson chasing down a Cincy receiver from behind; b) Landry’s 4th quarter during the OSU game; c) Tim Winchester’s fumble recovery against Texas to seal the victory; d) the domination of Florida State; e) Travis Lewis’ interception in the end zone against Nebraska.
4. Which players surprised you the most in 2010 with their performance?
Offensively, I’d have to say Cameron Kenney and Demarco Murray. Kenney came on strong at the end of the year and had several clutch catches in the OSU and Nebraska games. Demarco stayed healthy. While I wish he still had his quickness, he was a steady, versatile force throughout the year. Defensively, I’d say Jamell Fleming and Demontre Hurst as CBs and Tony Jefferson as another DB. They played very well for their first cracks at significant playing time.
5. Who are you most looking forward to watching in 2011?
RB Roy Finch; a healthy WR DeJuan Miller, Ryan Broyles for another year. I’m looking forward to seeing Ronnell Lewis continue to progress as a DE. I’m looking forward to Tom Wort learning to play quickly, but not in a hurry. I’m looking forward to anyeone being a force as a defensive tackle. If the Sooners can find someone to be a run stopper on the interior D line, it could be a special season.