After an uncharacteristic loss to BYU, the Sooners are coming into the second week of the season with a lot of questions. But, to the surprise of most Oklahoma fans, some of these problems might be easier to solve that they looked to be last Saturday. Here are five points "The Boomer Blog" has for Oklahoma fans that might brighten their current outlook on the '09 season.
1. The loss to BYU isn't as bad as it looks.
Vince Lombardi famously said, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser." But, I don't think Coach Lombardi is very familiar with the current BCS system. Looking back on the debacle in Dallas, there are a lot of factors that make this a "good loss" for Stoops and Co.
- Save a few defensive stands Oklahoma never played well in this game. "The Boomer Blog" sees this as a positive factor if the Sooners make great strides in improving by time of the kickoff in Miami. As fickle as college football is, if OU wins the game in Miami the game against BYU could begin to be considered a "fluke." And if the Sooners end up knocking off Texas the game will certainly be considered as such.
- "If you're gonna lose, lose early." These words are famous in the era of the BCS and were never more true than the loss Oklahoma suffered against Texas in Dallas last season. Remember who ended up playing for the Big 12? You can't lose any earlier than the first game of the season.
- The Sooners have the edge over all one loss Pac-10 and Big 10 teams. If you're still looking for Oklahoma to make it into the BCS you have to remember that the Big 12 championship game has played a major roll in giving the Sooners the nod in recent BCS history. Once again "The Blog" will make reference to the '08 season when Oklahoma played for the national title while USC was on the outside looking in. We lost the game, but the situation proves the point.
- Oklahoma 13, BYU 14. It was a one point loss. If you're going to lose a game you can't lose it any closer than that.
- Injuries. If you turn on your TV right now and tune into Sports Center you're not going to see replays of Oklahoma losing the game to BYU because that's not the story of the game. The story of the game has become the injuries the Sooners have suffered in recent weeks.
Now, "The Boomer Blog" is not saying that the injury to Bradford caused the loss in Dallas. In fact, it's the personal belief of this blog that much like a few years ago in Lubbock, Oklahoma should have easily won with or without it's star quarterback. But, we're also not saying that everybody else doesn't think so. In all likelyhood the majority of college football fans believe that the game would have been all but won if Bradford would have played the second half. Regardless of how poorly the Sooners had played up until that point. Playing the blame game will work in Oklahoma's favor and this loss will become permanently associated with the injuries of Sam Bradford and Germaine Gresham.
2. Cory Brandon is out.
Somewhere out there Cory Brandon is still jumping offsides.
Now, it is the firm belief of "The Boomer Blog" that college football players are not professional football players and shouldn't be treated as such. In this case we will make an exception by throwing Cory Brandon totally and completely under the bus. The Oklahoma offensive lineman cost the Sooners for six penalties in the game Saturday, and that's not including the two that were declined.
Now in all likelyhood the young lineman was doing his best. But sometimes your best isn't good enough for this team. Enter Jarvis Jones. "The Blog" has been confused all along as to why Jones has not started at right tackle, but now he'll get his chance. Jarvis is a prototype tackle with great lateral movement and good feet who will fit the line perfectly when he steps in in place of Brandon this weekend. Expect Wilson to go back to Steven Good at right guard as he will have ample time to step up his game before Miami. Your line will be looking something like this.
LT: Trent Williams
LG: Brian Simmons
C: Ben Habern
RG: Stephen Good
RT: Jarvis Jones
TE: Brody Eldridge
Depth will still be a serious issue in close games.
3. Receiving corps weren't as bad as they looked.
It might not have looked evident in Saturday's game, but there are some Sooner receivers that stepped up and made some nice plays. Most Oklahoma fans are hung up on the fact that Adron Tennell flat out didn't play well. We ask these Sooner fans, "did that really surprise you?"
Yes, Oklahoma receivers had problems stretching the field against the BYU secondary. But, what most fans don't see is that without the threat of Jermaine Gresham the BYU defense was able to take some chances and really got a stranglehold on this offense. BYU could blitz a few more linebackers and drop a few more in the secondary, leaving the middle of the field completely open.
Brandon Caleb was one receiver in particular that had a nice game considering the situation, and he's a name Sooner fans will know well by the end of this season. And remember, Ryan Broyles is still Ryan Broyles. There's a reason the talented receiver from Norman had over 500 yards receiving last season.
Expect to see a lot of a guy that "The Boomer Blog" predicted would get some real playing time this season, DeJuan Miller. Don't be surprised if Kevin Wilson uses DeJuan Miller to let Tennell know he needs to put up or shut up. "The Blog" won't be surprised if Miller wins the job, regardless of what Tennell does.