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Is Bob Stoops Hinting That Baker Mayfield Is Leading The Quarterback Competition?

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Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

It's still technically the off-season but that doesn't mean there isn't still a whole lot to discuss when it comes to the 2015 Oklahoma Sooners football team. With multiple position battles set to begin when OU opens camp next week the most glamorous of them all it the battle for the starting quarterback where it's a neck-and-neck race...or not.

At last week's Big 12 Media Days Bob Stoops pretty much eliminated Cody Thomas from the competition and made it a two-man race between Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight. "Trevor Knight and Baker Mayfield are in a tight battle, and Cody Thomas is right on their heels," Stoops said during his media session.

After establishing Thomas as the guy who appears to be on the outside looking in, Stoops then went on to make a statement that could be damning to Knight. "I think we had eight turnovers last year that went for touchdowns, and those are hard to overcome." There isn't a coach around who likes to see his team commit turnovers but with visions of Kansas State and TCU returning game clinching pick 6's still fresh on the mind of Oklahoma fans, it's easy to understand why many have soured on Knight.

While Mayfield has the advantage of not making those kind of mistakes in an OU uniform I wouldn't look into these comments as more than Stoops saying that he's adamantly opposed to turnovers. "So whoever can protect the ball the best will be that guy leading us, and then we'll just see, as it goes and the competition goes, who earns that job."

While at best that can be interpreted as a strong message to Knight it would be a stretch to say that's it's a nod towards Mayfield. However, in an interview on KESN-FM (103.3) ,in Dallas, Stoops was asked specifically why he likes Mayfield.

"Well, he's a headsy player, he has the chance sometimes to make something happen when something's not there," Stoops answered, "but he's also had some experience in this offense and he throws the ball well, but I could say the same thing about all of our guys."

Hate to disagree with the reigning King of Oklahoma football but you actually can't say that about all of the other guys. Mayfield is the only quarterback with experience in this type of offense and he was good enough to be the 2013 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year. I know he had to throw a bone to the other guys in the competition but that statement was all about Mayfield and was the reason why the starting job is his to lose.

Sometimes you have to read between the lines of "coach speak" but sometimes that isn't hard to do. The backup quarterback is typically the most popular guy with the fans but in this case it may be true with the coach as well. Knight was the guy Stoops took to Dallas for Big 12 Media Days but it sounds as if Mayfield is the one that he's really been looking at.