The Oklahoma Sooners 2014 season was one to forget. Starting off ranked in the top four to being blown out by Clemson and Baylor towards the end of the season really made a lot of Sooner fans feel like it was the end of the world. It did disappoint a lot of people around Oklahoma who thought that 2014 would be the year that Bob Stoops was going to bring the Sooners back on top of the college football world. But as we all know, that didn't exactly happen.
The Sooners made some changes to the program this offseason though, changes that should benefit the Sooners this upcoming season. Improvements from all over the field will have to be made for the Sooners to be even better in 2015. Here's five reasons why Oklahoma should improve in 2015 :
5. Bob Stoops track record after disappointing seasons - While Bob Stoops doesn't have many single digit win seasons, when he does, the following season has always included a Big 12 title and at least 11 wins. He did it in 2000, 2006. and 2010. The Sooners have always found a way to bounce back after disappointing seasons and there's no reason as to why this years team can't do the same. While the stats have nothing to do with this years current team, there's no denying Stoops is at his best when people start to doubt him.
4. Frank Shannon, Joe Mixon, and Baker Mayfield - So why are there three people grouped together for one reason? Because they all were forced to sit on the bench last season for one reason or another but are eligible to play this season. Shannon was a standout sophomore linebacker last time we saw him, Mixon was suppose to be the next big Oklahoma running back and Mayfield could very well be the starting quarterback this season. The fact that all three can play this season gives Oklahoma three very good football players who can make a big impact this season. Mixon will compliment Perine's aggressive and tough style with size and speed to make a very versatile running back duo. Shannon will bring two years of experience into a defense that struggled at times last season. Mayfield is projected to be the starter for the Sooners at quarterback, but might back iup last year's starter Trevor Knight.
3. Quarterback play can only get better - Whether it's Trevor Knight or Baker Mayfield taking snaps this season, the Oklahoma quarterback play should improve greatly from last season. With a full offseason working with the receivers in the new system, one can only expect that the Sooners will improve from last season when the Sooners ranked 82nd in passing yards. The receivers struggled last season unlike anything Oklahoma has seen in a long time, but an extra offseason could develop both the quarterbacks and wide receivers into improved players.
2. The secondary will be experienced - While it feels like Zach Sanchez has been around forever, he'll only be a junior this upcoming season, as will Hatari Byrd and Amhad Thomas. The secondary was a weak link in the Sooners defense last year surrendering 272.7 yards per game through the air, good for just 118th in the country. New secondary coach Kerry Cooks who was hired away from Notre Dame should help the Sooners when teams attack down the field as they were torched last season all throughout conference play and the bowl game.
1. The air raid offense - The number one reason that most Sooner fans are excited for this upcoming season is the new air raid offense that Lincoln Riley has installed in Norman. The Sooners haven't seen an air raid offense since Mike Leach brought it with him in 1999. A change in playbooks from the predictable offense last season mixed in with the development of Oklahoma's receivers should lead to more points on the scoreboard. Lincoln Riley has proved himself to be one of the best offensive minds in college football at East Carolina, but it will be interesting to see how he does with this particular roster. But with Oklahoma's starting quarterback, running back, and top wide receiver coming back this fall, it's hard to imagine a scenario where the Sooners don't improve from last season in the new offense. Spreading the defense out with short passes while worrying about Samaje Perine bursting out through the line of scrimmage will be a lot for defenses to handle.