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Patrick’s Super Amazing OU Football Preview…

Since I was kid, OU football has been a major part of my life.  I went to my first game when I was 6, pretended I was Jamelle Holieway in my backyard when I was 10, and bought "Sooner Saver" season tickets when I was 18.  For some reason, "Sooner Saver" tickets no longer exist.

At one point in my adolescent years, I even wanted to be a sportswriter and cover OU football and basketball for a living.  One time, I wrote a long letter to the editor in defense of Gary Gibbs and blaming offensive woes on Larry Coker.  My secret hope was that the editors would be impressed by such an articulate and insightful 13-year-old writer and maybe hire me as a beat reporter.  That never happened.

But that's very okay, because The Oklahoman's loss is my gain.  With the amazing power of the Internet, I can now write about the Sooners from the comfort of my own blog.  I can write anything I want, too.  Oklahoman writers don't have that freedom.

Anyway, after the jump, check out my first ever season preview.  It's basically a Clark Mathewian collection of position grades, roster notes, a fee predications, tidbits, etc. It may be the longest post I've ever written for the site.  So, yeah, expect a bunch of typos.

Roster Breakdown:

QBs: A+

Pretend today is September 1, 1999.  Can you imagine what you would have done if some "internet writer" gave the OU quarterbacks an A+ rating?  You probably would have canceled your unlimited AOL subscription and swore to never visit the internet again.  Either that or looked for naked pictures of Cindy Margolis.

Anyway, you can sum up how bad the 1990's were for OU quarterbacks with this statement: Eric Moore is one of the five best OU quarterbacks to play in that decade.  Now, flash forward to the Aughts.  For the second time this decade we have a returning Heisman winner at Quarterback.  Isn't that f*cking crazy.  If you would have told me that in 1999, I would have told you The Blair Witch Project was totally real.

Sam Bradford: Geeze, not much to say here.  In a recent column, Berry Tramel wrote that Sam Bradford may go down as the greatest Sooner of all time.  I kind of agree with that.

That being said, my one complaint about Bradford is that he needs to do a better job at acting the part.  Maybe I was spoiled by Blake Griffin looking like the best college basketball player in the country, but Bradford looks more like the third trombone in the Pride of Oklahoma than he does the starting QB for the football team.  He needs to get a Mike Tyson face tattoo or something to make him look tougher.

Landry Jones: Landry Jones is a former superstar recruit who finally got around to winning the 2nd string job behind Bradford.  I'm kind of concerned that it took him so long to win the job, but when you consider it took Bradford forever to win the starting job from Joey Halzle, and that Nate Hybil once beat out Jason White, I guess it's not that alarming"¦or is it?

Drew Allen: It seems like every other year OU has some 3rd string quarterback from Texas on the roster.  This year it's Drew Allen.  I'd be surprised if he plays more than 15 minutes in his entire career.  I would not be surprised if he scores a touchdown on a special teams play and then transfers to some school like Texarkana Tech after the season.

RBs: B+

If this grade was given the day before the Big 12 Championship Game, it would probably have been and A or A+.  But then DeMarco Murray got injured"¦again.  Considering it took him half a season to get over his previous injury, and considering he seems to be injury prone, the grade for the running backs took a hit.  Also, last year's third string running back is now a wide receiver.  That doesn't help things.

DeMarco Murray: DeMarco Murray is venturing into Mike Gaddis and Jeff Frazier territory, and may go down in Sooner history as one of those "what could have been" type guys.  If you need proof, just watch this highlight video from the 2007 Spring Game.   That's not the same DeMarco Murray that took the field the first half of last year.  Granted, he got better as the year progressed, but got injured again in the Big 12 Championship game.

By the way, did you notice the second half of the Spring Game video that I mentioned above features Sigur Ros as background music.  Yep, Demarco Murray running to the tunes of a gay Icelandic "rock" band.   That's an odd combination.

Chris Brown: Chris Brown might be the most boring good Sooner running back since Jerald Moore.  There's nothing particularly exciting about his running style, yet he averaged nearly 6 yards per carry and scored 20 touchdowns.  And it weren't for the woman-beating hip hop star Chris Brown, he might have the most incredibly boring name for a good running back.  Nothing about it stands out.  He should change his name to Christolio Brown. That name is pretty good.

Jermie Calhoun: Who knows, this guy was a superstar running back recruit, but if he is so awesome, you think you would have heard things about him.  Another thing to consider is that OU has commitments from a couple of the country's top high school running backs.  If Calhoun was going to be good, you would think those guys would have reservations about coming here, right?

Nope. Wrong!!!

According to James Hail, Jermie Calhoun has impressed the coaches, and if he continues to work hard, will be a superstar"¦just like every other player on the team.


WRs: B

I'm not sold on this group of wide receivers"¦yet.  But then again, I wasn't really sold on shake n' bake meth until Chad showed me what they did to those monkeys in his sister's garage.

Ryan Broyles: Back when Ryan Broyles couldn't make up his mind between OU and OSU, I kind of wished he would go to OSU and be a big bust.  We'll, I now happily take that wish back.  A lot of people say this, but Ryan Broyles reminds me of Mark Clayton.  That's a good thing. What's not a good thing is that no other receiver on this roster reminds me of Brandon Jones, Mark Bradley or Travis Wilson.

Cameron Kenney: This guy is a JUCO transfer who is supposed to step in and be a major contributor at wide receiver.   He's also the back-up punter.  What the hell's up with that?  Are we in middle school?  If I go up and wave to Bob Stoops during the game will he give me a Rand-Yen in PE the following day?  Seriously, I don't care how neat or novel it is, having a wide receiver as your back-up punter is not a good thing.

Adron Tennell, Brandon Caleb, Mossis Madu, DeJuan Miller:  I don't know about this group.  Madu may turn into something good, but I doubt changing positions will be an easy process.  The other three guys are all unknowns.  I'm kind of scared that they'll all be Quentin Chaney reincarnations.  On a positive note, that means they'll have really good bowl games.


TE: A+

I know this sounds gross and gay, but Tight End has always been my favorite football position. Whenever I create a fake "me" in either NCAA or Madden, that's usually the position I chose to play.  This is because I try to be as realistic as possible, and only choose a position I could play in real life.   That's also why I give myself a 95 speed rating.  It's not easy being a speed demon.

Jermaine Gresham: Since he plays my favorite position, Gresham is my favorite player on the team.  Granted, I may say a bad thing about him when he drops a key pass in a big game (you know it's going to happen), but plays like this will always rank him high on my all time list.

Brody Eldridge: See Offensive Line.


Offensive Line: A-

I'll be honest with you"¦I have no clue how to judge these guys individually, so I'll just give them an A- like everyone else.  I'll also say that Trent Williams is really good and will make a lot of money in the NFL.


Defensive Line: A+

This group of players has the potential to be the best defensive line unit under the Stoops regime.  Considering some of those units included Tommie Harris, Dan Cody, Dusty Dvoracek and, uh, Mo Dampeer, that's a compliment

Gerald McCoy: Maybe someone else has brought this up, but doesn't Gerald McCoy kind of look like Forrest Whitaker's character from "Fast Time's at Ridgemont High?" Maybe we should spray paint his car orange before the Texas game.

Adrian Taylor: I don't really know anything about this guy.  You rarely hear his name mentioned by people in the media.  Maybe that's a good thing.

DeMarcus Granger:  He could have been a dominant player, but injuries have derailed his career.  He also got caught shoplifting from a Burlington Coat Factory in Phoenix a couple of years ago, so he has more of "These" than anyone.

Frank Alexander, Jeremy Beal, Austin English, RJ Washington & David King: I'm lumping these guys together because they seem interchangeable.  And as Stoops would say, they are interchangeable in a "very great way."  These guys are awesome.  They kind of remind me of the defensive ends you usually find on your team during the 7th year of your NCAA 2010 dynasty, meaning they all ranked in the 90's and are fast as hell.


Linebackers:  A+

The OU defensive scheme is set up for linebackers to get most of the glory, and until last year, it didn't really matter who played at the position.  You could take a guy off the street and put him at a linebacker spot and he'd get five tackles.  But then during the Texas game, Ryan Reynolds got injured and replaced by a guy named Brandon Crow.  That guy now plays fullback.  I guess it does matter who plays linebacker at OU.

Travis Lewis:  Every year, OU has a linebacker who gets all the stats and tackles. It's a solid list:  Rocky Calmus, Teddy Lehman, Rufus Alexander and Curtis Lofton.  Last year, Travis Lewis filled this role.  Barring injury, he'll fill it again this year.  Then he'll probably pull a Curtis Lofton and bolt for the NFL.

Ryan Reynolds:  When he was coming out of high school, Reynolds was ranked as a Platinum Level 5-Star All American Top 150 Golden Recruit by most recruiting services.  Unfortunately, these services failed to mention that Reynolds' knees were constructed out of paperclips and Elmer's glue.  Seriously, Dodge Neons are more reliable than Ryan Reynolds' knees.  That being said, the guy appears to be tough as hell.  If he hasn't lost too much speed and quickness, he should be a very serviceable middle linebacker until he tears another knee ligament.

Keenan Clayton:  Keenan Clayton plays the position of "forgotten" linebacker.  Nobody really talks about this guy, and when they do, they usually mention a missed tackle from a Washington game.

Austin Box: This guy will end up playing for Ryan Reynolds after Reynolds gets injured.  He's also from Enid. Whipee!


Defensive Backs:  C+

There is some NFL level talent at the cornerback position, but the safeties are very inexperienced.  Normally, I'd give this group of players a B or even a B+, but since Bobby Jack Wright is there position coach, they are knocked down a letter grade.

Dominique Franks:  This guy is a shutdown corner.  He wins the award for being the best defensive back on the team.  He also wins the award for having a name that's most likely being used by a European porn star.

Brian Jackson:  Because nobody wants to throw at Franks, Brian Jackson gets picked on by other teams.  However, I think this guy's pretty good player.  He's a great wingman to Franks.  That sounds funny, doesn't it?

Sam Proctor/ Quinton Carter: The safety position is the biggest question mark on the defense, but I don't think that really matters too much.  The OU defensive line is so good that most quarterbacks probably won't get the time to throw deep on the safeties.  However, if the defensive line underachieves, these guys may be exposed.


Special Teams: C

Other than a nice kick return or two by Juaquin Iglesias or DeMarco Murray, OU was awful in the special teams department last year.  Seriously, the kickoff coverage unit was so bad that the Oklahoma School for the Deaf could have returned a one back for a touchdown.

Jimmy Stevens:  It's not a good thing when your team's starting place kicker looks like he's from the Shire.   It's even worse when he lacks confidence.  Seriously, Jimmy Stevens looks so rattled before attempting a field goal that I half way expect him to slip a ring on his finger before the kick and totally disappear.

Punter: Who cares.


Forecast:  I'm not trying to be a homer, but I could definitely see this team running the table and making the BSC championship game.  They got the talent and coaching to pull it off. However, I could also see them losing a couple of games. Ultimately, I think their record will depend on luck and unforeseen circumstances like injures and suspensions. My official prediction is 13-1.  I'm not sure where that one loss will come, but I hope its not in a BCS game.

Other Predictions:

- Bradford will throw for less than 40 touchdowns

- Jermaine Gresham and Ryan Broyles will have more touchdowns than all the other Wide Receivers combined.

- Sam Bradford will miss a portion of a game due to injury

- DeMarco Murray will miss several games due to injuries

- Mossis Madu will be moved back to running back

- The Sooners will destroy Oklahoma State, and to rub it in, play Cowboys 4ever over the PA system.

- Cardboard Jim Traber will attend an OU game

So there you have it, my official OU preview.  If you made it this far, congratulations.  If you didn't, well, you suck.  Go Sooners!

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