There are a lot of people out there who are afraid to take chances. Afraid to make bold predictions. We here at CCM do not consider ourselves to be those kind of people. Stating that OU is "going to be really good this year" or "the Sooners will win the Big XII" aren't really all that bold. Stating that Garrett Gilbert won't wet himself as Ronnell Lewiscomes clean off the edge this October in Dallas is bold. Proclaiming that Mike Gundy will restrain himself this year to just three weekly fake bake sessions is really bold. So I think you get where I'm going with this. We're not going to sit here and tell you that "Ryan Broyles is going to have a great season", why would we waste your time like that?
Rather, we here at CCM have compiled a list of our bold predictions for 2011 and ready to share them with our loyal readers. Now keep in mind, just because their bold doesn't mean we're making outlandish predictions that have little to no chance of actually happening. Will things have to go almost perfectly for some to occur? Possibly, sure, but where is the fun in "laying up" if you'll allow me an awkward golf reference in a football story. Go big or go home as the motivational speakers of the world will tell you, so we're going big.
Might as well kick things off with possibly the boldest prediction one could think of and it comes from our man Jubanator14. Jimmy Stevenswill win the Groza Award. In a word. Wow! My man is just putting it all out there with this one. Here is Nick's explanation behind the prediction:
I am saying this now, Jimmy is going to win the Groza this year. That's right I said it.With as loaded as our offense is this year, we will be scoring a lot of touchdowns and the few times that we don't score a TD, I have full confidence that more times than not we will be in Jimmy's range (39 yards and in). Now we may not set the scoring record that we did a few years back, but I think this team will around 625 points which means Jimmy will probably account for around 135 of those points which will put him right at where Dan Baileywas last year when he won the Groza.After killing Jimmy for four years now, he will redeem himself with a spectacular season that ends with the Groza award.
Brennan Clay will lead the team in carries. For some reason, Clay seems to have become the guy in the OU backfield that Sooner fans are casually brushing aside. Maybe it was his struggles in limited playing time last year, but I've never quite understood why he seems to be almost the forgotten man back there. Coming out of high school, he was more highly regarded than his fellow classmate and RB, Roy Finch. He's big, fast, very adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. He's got all the tools that OU typically looks for in their backs. You'll almost get a different answer every time from OU fans on who they think will become the main ball carrier as there are certainly no shortage of options. Whether it's Jonathan Miller, Finch, Clay, Brandon Williams, or even Jermie Calhoun, it is anyone's guess as to who steps up at the RB position. I just have a feeling that Clay, with all the skills he brings, is that guy in 2011.
Jonathan Miller and Roy Finch will outshine Brandon Williams. Apparently ccmachine and I don't see eye to eye on this one. Let him tell you why:
There's a ton of talk about Oklahoma's heralded freshman running back and I'm hoping that he proves it all to be justified this fall but I'm predicting Jonathan Miller and Roy Finch to be the backs that shine the most for OU this fall.
Ultimately I dont' think Sooner fans really care who the player/s are that stet up in the running game, just that it actually happens. Running the ball consistently has been somewhat of an issue the last couple years, so balancing out the offense and taking some of the burden off Landry could go a long, long way towards getting that elusive #8.
Travis Lewis will not lead the team in tackles for a fourth consecutive year. Another VERY bold prediction, this time by ccmachine. Personally, I'm not seeing this one but he does have a very valid argument as to why he believes it could happen.
I believe that he'll be all conference and an all american but his bid to become the first player to lead the team in tackles will come up short thanks to the necessity of the coaches getting Corey Nelson on the field.
So maybe we can convince him to jump in on the comments and tell us who he thinks will lead the team in tackles if not Travis Lewis?
Tony Jefferson will make first team All Big XII. The things this young man was able to accomplish last year as a true freshman were more than impressive to say the least. Now with a year under his belt, the coaches and Sooner Nation are expecting even bigger things from him in 2011. Clearly at home defending the run and playing close to the line, Jefferson will look to improve upon the one aspect of his game last year where he did struggle at times. Dropping into coverage. If he's able to make considerable strides in that area of his play, the sky is truly the limit for the immensely talented CA product and Sooner fans could truly be witnessing the second coming of The Real Roy Williams.
Landry Joneswill bring home OU's 6th Heisman Trophy. OnlyOneOU is buying big time on Landry in 2011:
1) Landry Jones may not be the best QB in the nation but he is darn close. I would rank him as the second best coming into 2011 behind Andrew Luck. However, Jones has possibly the nations best receiving core to throw to. Due to this Jones will have an insane amount of touchdowns and yards. I would go ahead and say that he will throw for the most yards for any major program as well as have the most TD passes.
2) Jones has progressed each an every season and if that progression continues into 2011, we can expect Jones to be off the charts. Patience has come to Jones and he lost the panic mode as we saw against Nebraska. Jones will have the best TD to INT ratio in the NCAA.
3) With Heupel taking the reigns you can bet that he will use a gunslinger like Jones frequently. Jones is playing the right system in which the QB will receive the glory (as it is on most teams anyway).
4) Oklahoma's schedule sets up primetime games in which most of the nation will see Jones play week in and week out. This will give him an upperhand over someone like Luck and LaMichael James.
Dejuan Millerwill catch double digit TDs. I'll be honest, this one might be more wishful thinking on my part. I'm hopeful, as I have been for the past three years, that the offensive coaches would use Miller in a way so as to exploit what would be an obvious mismatch in almost any goal line situation. I've always believed that Miller could be a TD machine, much like Gresham was, when the offense gets in the redzone. He has the size and leaping ability to go up and over or out muscle any defender. I can only hope that with our new offensive coordinator, Miller's potential is finally realized in this his senior season.
Trey Franks will emerge as a return guy that forces other teams to kick away from him. The Sooners have been missing a truly explosive kickoff return guy for at least the last five years and OU fans should know, sadly having watched so many opponents return kicks against them, just how big of an impact that can play in the outcome of a game (or simply capturing momentum). Those within Sooner Nation who are not familiar with Franks' high school track career have yet to really witness just how truly explosive he can be. Look for 2011 to be the year Franks announces his presence and takes at least one kickoff return to the house.
Jaz Reynoldswill keep true freshman WR Trey Meotyer from playing this year. Well, Reynolds and the fact that his finishing up his JUCO classes required for him to qualify has forced a late arrival to Norman. But if this happens, I really think it will be more about Reynolds than his late arrival. I will say this one is REALLY going against every inclination I have and pretty much evertying I've ever said about Metoyer here on CCM. I still believe Metoyer can be a real difference maker on the outside, but from all accounts Reynolds has impressed over the spring/summer and seems to have worked his way (at least partially) into the good graces of the Sooner coaching staff. We saw flashes from Reynolds two years ago, so if he's able to refrain from the social media blunders that cost him last season OU fans know he can deliver if called upon.
Gabe Lynn will start more games at corner than Jamell Fleming. It's just hard for me to see Stoops and Martinez punishing a kid like Lynn, who has done everything asked of him up to this point, by benching him now that Fleming's back. Despite the fact that, in my opinion, Fleming is a 1st round NFL caliber talent, I think Stoops rewards Lynn for his hard work and keeps him ahead of Fleming on the depth chart. Looking at it now, I'm not sure I see a solution for how they can get them enough snaps to keep both happy. Honestly, this is a situation that OU fans will need to keep an eye on at least early in the year, both from an on the field perspective and a team chemistry one as well.
Frank Alexanderwill have a better year than Ronnell Lewis at defensive end. ccmachine bringing the heat yet again. Gotta give him credit, his argument for it again makes a lot of sense.
Not because Lewis is subpar to Alexander but rather because his speed and power off the edge will result in multiple double teams leaving Alexander free to get into the backfield.
As always, we want to hear what you have to say as well. Did some of our predictions above illicit a "What?!?" from you and you're just dying to tell us we're crazy? Do you have one you think we missed? Well jump on into the comments already, the water is just fine.