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The Scoop – What The World Is Saying About Oklahoma


* Just about every conversation regarding the Sooners includes the phrase, "Yeah, they’re talented in the skill positions and loaded on defense but they can’t be as good as last year because of their offensive line." The truth of the situation is that we really just don’t know but what we do know is that they aren’t void of talent along the line.


* Gerald McCoy has joined the same choir that has been singing the praises of sophomore defensive end Frank Alexander.


Alexander says he’s lost a few pounds in the offseason and is down to a more toned 252 pounds filling out his 6-foot, 4-inch frame. Last season, he learned how unpredictable the future could be. He’s hesitant to forecast what his sophomore season will bring. Not everyone is quite so coy.


"He could do bigger than I did," McCoy said.

* Oklahoma certainly isnt taking it easy as the season creeps closer and closer to the first game week. Reports from last night’s practice were that pads were popping.


The 11-on-11 work Monday night seemed a little more physical than last Thursday, when Stoops also opened an hour of practice to the public. Safety Quinton Carter rode Clapp out of bounds and to the ground after the fullback's second sizable gain. Later, true freshman linebacker Ronnell Lewis flung fullback Brandon Crow to the grass after a short pass. And defensive end Frank Alexander got popped in the side of the head so hard at the line of scrimmage that his helmet flew off.


* Yes, you read that right. Brandon Crow is now playing fullback.


* The Oklahoman’s Jake Trotter gives his version of the collision between Matt Clapp and Quinton Carter.


The biggest collision of the day came between to heavy hitters. Fullback Matt Clapp was running down the sideline and ducked his shoulder into a soaring Quinton Carter. Even though they were only in helmets and shoulder pads, both players collided at 90 percent and flew to the ground. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson was on Clapp afterward, saying "You going to let that DB tackle you?"


* Another day brings another preview of the Sooners. If you ever cared to know what they thought of Oklahoma in the northwest…well…here ya go.


OUTLOOK: Oklahoma's schedule is challenging, but won't likely cause many problems, save for the annual showdown with Texas and perhaps one or two other conference games. The non-league slate features bouts with tough teams in BYU and Miami-Florida, and Stoops welcomes the challenge. "I've always felt it gets our players' attention early, that we need to be prepared early to play. You know, hopefully gives you big challenges early that hopefully can help you later."

The OU offense will have little trouble moving the chains and putting points on the board, and the defense should be better than last year. With that, expect the Sooners to once again be playing in the Big 12 title tilt with a shot at another trip to the BCS National Championship Game.

* If you’re like me you most likely took a double-take when Jimmy Stevens name appeared on the Groza watch list. However, there are definite signs of improvement.

I have watched two hours of Oklahoma preseason practice, and the most interesting thing I've seen is the new-and-improved right foot of Jimmy Stevens. The sophomore kicker has tried eight field goals in my presence, and made all eight, including three from 50-yard range.

* No news yet on Mike Balogun.

Balogun, a 25-year-old senior, did not earn money to play in the North American Football League, according to league officials, but NCAA bylaws mandate that if he played in any games after his 21st birthday, he must lose a season of eligibility.

Both the school and the NCAA have declined to discuss specifics of Balogun's case because facts are still being gathered. It's unknown whether the NCAA's
Eligibility Center can grant exemptions, but if it rules that Balogun is ineligible, OU can appeal the finding.

* Non-Football related, the Phoenix Suns signed Taylor Griffin on Monday.