Is Tony Jefferson your 2012 Thorpe Award winner? (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
These kind of posts certainly are not original, but that doesn't make them any less fun. Everyone who does something similar to this has their own approach as to how they put these together. Some people make what they think is a bold prediction, but are really just more interested in increasing the likelihood they may be right. Some people take it too far and make predictions that are just foolish. Matt, Rich, and I are hoping for some kind of happy medium between the two.
So the three of us got together and came up with our bold predictions for this coming season. Before we get started, much like everything we do here don't think this is limited to just us. We want to hear any bold predictions you might have as well, so make yourself heard in the comments below.
1) Landry Jones will win the Heisman
For Jones, this is his final shot at making a statement to win over the nay-sayers. While he has had some ups and downs, it is clear that he has the skills and strength necessary to be the best QB ever at Oklahoma. Assuming the running game is what I expect it to be, much of the pressure he faced last season will be relieved. The offensive line is more than capable of giving Jones time in the pocket to work through his progressions. Now, this crop of receivers is talented and less of an issue than once thought which will allow Jones to be as productive as ever. Not many will be able to keep pace with the Sooner offense yet again as Landry is thrust into stardom under the New York lights. As the season concludes, I expect Jones to have 4,500+ yards to go along with 35+ touchdowns.
2) Oklahoma will have a 1,000 yard rusher
The Sooners have not had a 1,000 yard rusher since 2010 when DeMarco Murray eclipsed that number for the second time in his career. It would appear that the coaching staff has taken off with the idea of using multiple backs. However, the shift happens after what we saw in Dominique Whaley last season. He had the potential to crack the mark but was sidelined due to an injury.
3) Trey Metoyer will lead this team in receptions
This is no slight to Kenny Stills or Justin Brown and what they bring to the table. Quite frankly, I may have sold the farm on the hype behind this kid though. To give them a bit of credit, they will play a major role in why Metoyer gets open. Much of the focus will be on them as the experienced receivers, while defenders attempt to rattle the freshman with a bump and run. However, Metoyer possesses the skills as well as the know how that make him a threat everywhere on the field. From the circus catches to being able to separate and find space to using his body to shield the defender, Metoyer does it all. It is because of that ability that he will become the team leader in receptions.
1) Oklahoma will have a Jim Thorpe award winner
I'll let you pick between Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin as to which you feel is best suited for the award. However, my money is on Jefferson who is most likely playing his final season at Oklahoma. He's a natural fit at safety and returning to the position full-time only goes to boost his chances of being recognized as the best defensive back in the nation. It also goes a long way for boosting the OU secondary.
2) Oklahoma will lead the Big XII in rushing
Yeah, I know that you had to read that twice but I'm serious about this. Even with the recent rash of injuries to the o-line the Sooners still have one of the strongest groups up front in the conference. They also have a healthy stable of backs and I'm predicting the strongest rushing attack the Sooners have had since 2008.
3) A one loss team will play for the BCS championship but it won't be from the Big XII
I just don't see it happen. While the BCS title game has had its run of SEC vs. Big XII and SEC vs. Big Ten there has only been one BCS national championship game featuring the SEC vs. the Pac-10/12. USC is back and the media will make it happen.
Where does that put Oklahoma? My guess is the Sooners will represent the Big XII in the Fiesta Bowl against Wisconsin. Yes, I have OU winning the conference but that's not much of a bold prediction.
1) R.J. Washington will eclipse double digit sacks
From everything that I've seen/heard/read from Washington this offseason, the guy is on a mission. He's had people telling him for four years now that he hasn't live up to the considerable hype he brought with him to Norman. It would appear, he's tired of hearing it. A lack of talent has never been the issue with Washington, he's admitted it was a mental issue for him. I think he puts it all together this year and finally cashes in on all that potential with a monster season.
2) Sooners will not have a 1,000 yard running back or wide receiver
Before you light the fire beneath the stake you've tied me to, hear me out for a minute. This is way more about how Oklahoma runs their offense than it is about a lack of talent at either position. The Sooners have multiple quality options at both spots and that is exactly what I'm making this prediction. They'll have so many options in fact it will prevent anyone from breaking the 1,000 yard mark. To be fair, is anyone really going to be complaining if Dom Whaley and Damien Williams both have 800 or so yards? Or if both Kenny Stills and Trey Metoyer each have 900 yards? I didn't think so.
3) Adam Shead will be an Outland Trophy finalist
He wasn't on the preseason watch list, which will make this somewhat more difficult, but if the people who decide on this award actually know what they're watching they won't be able to miss Shead this season. Now a starter, after the unfortunate injury to Tyler Evans and the retirement of Ben Habern, Shead will be a fixture along the offensive line for the Sooners in 2012. If his impressive performance as a true freshman last year was any indication, this could be one of the most talented and dominant Oklahoma offensive lineman in recent years.