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Oklahoma Sooners Have 19 Conference Honorees - So How Did They Lose Two Games?

If you don't think the future is bright for OU football then just take a look at list of Big 12 honorees below for the Sooners. The conference's coaches selected 19 OU football players for 1st and 2nd team all-conference along with honorable mention.

Name Position Year Conference
Lewis Baker LB Sr. Honorable
Sam Bradford QB Fr. Honorable
Brody Eldridge FB So. 1st Team
Auston English DE So. 1st Team
Joe Jon Finley TE Sr. Honorable
DeMarcus Granger DT So. 2nd Team
Jermaine Gresham TE So. Honorable
Nic Harris S Jr. 1st Team
Garrett Hartley K Sr. 2nd Team
Juaquin Iglesias WR Jr. Honorable
Malcolm Kelly WR Jr. 2nd Team
Phil Loadholt OL Jr. 2nd Team
Curtis Lofton LB Jr. 1st Team
Gerald McCoy DT Fr. Honorable
DeMarco Murray RB Fr. Honorable
Duke Robinson OL Jr. 1st Team
Reggie Smith CB Jr. 1st Team
Brandon Walker OL Jr. 2nd Team
D.J. Wolfe S Sr. 2nd Team

So how does a team with that much talent lose two games to unranked teams? Oklahoma placed six players on the first-team all conference. That's more than any other school in the conference! Yet it's a Fiesta Bowl birth that the Sooners are playing for Saturday night and not the BCS championship game. Reading the message boards following the loss in Lubbock the questions that many OU's fans are posing is why? Why did this team lose, not once but twice, to an unranked lesser talented squad? Why did the defense seem to crumble in clutch moments? Why was this a totally different squad on the road? Who is to blame?

Many fans, unjustly I might add, are blaming defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Picking on Venables is the easy excuse and requires no thought or other insight. The truth is that bad play calling cost the Sooners more in Lubbock than bad defense. Texas Tech ranked below O-State in rushing defense and yet even with Bradford out Kevin Wilson seemed bent on passing instead of overpowering the Red Raiders the same way they did the Cowboys. How was that Venables fault? Had it not been for a botched fake punt attempt, again not Venables fault, the defense would have pitched a second half shutout at Tech. Oklahoma's defense finished second in the conference and 11th nationally yet some fans feel that OU would be better off without Venables running the show on defense. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Offensively Kevin Wilson may have done his best job since becoming OU's offensive coordinator. The Sooners finished the regular season with the second ranked offense in the conference scoring 43.8 points per game. Nationally the Sooners have the 3rd ranked offense. Wilson isn't to blame so who is, Stoops? Please don't go there! I might enact a second rule for the Crimson and Cream Machine, Call Bob Stoops a bad coach and you can never read this site again. Is he a perfect coach? No, like most humans Stoops is prone to the occasional mistake but he is one of the best in the country and by far the best in the conference.

The blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the responsible party and I know who it is and am more than willing to let you know who it is. The guilty party is none other than circumstance! I'm really sorry if that was anticlimactic for some of you but it is the truth. While there is a ton of talent on OU's football team most of it is raw. The two most talented players on offense are freshman and there isn't a senior to be found on the offensive line. Jermaine Gresham is only a sophomore and the receivers are juniors. The senior leadership on the offensive side of the ball game from two players, Allen Patrick and Joe Jon Finley. In both of Oklahoma's losses it was offensive collapses that were then down fall. The second half at Colorado and the first half at Texas Tech. Take a young inexperienced team on the road and have a few things go wrong in front of a hostile crowd and you have a circumstance that not even the best of coaches can overcome. Experience is the only answer and this team is getting plenty of it. Bob Stoops is taking his 6th team to the Big 12 championship game but this one will be his youngest. No team has ever won back-to-back Big 12 championship games and Oklahoma will have the opportunity to make history. Making history is something that Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham and DeMarco Murray have experience in as they have rewritten Oklahoma's offensive record book this season. A Big 12 championship will be just another notch in their belt. Anyone care to guess how many notches they'll have by the time their days as a Sooner are done?