To say that the 2013 Cotton Bowl will define the legacy of Landry Jones seems unfair. In reality, it’s almost appropriate.
His career and legacy will be defined in the very same building it began. Some would say Landry would be coming full circle. I call that destiny.
Landry Jones had to start his OU career a lot sooner than expected. When the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner went down late in the first half, the 2008 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year got a crash course in the scrutiny that a big time quarterback receives on a week-to-week basis.
With an inexperienced group of receivers and a banged up offensive line the redshirt freshmen QB fell just short losing to BYU 14-13. A season that began with national title aspirations was lost in a blink of an eye.
How could things get any worse? The exact same scenario took place five games later. Same City. Different stadium. Same result.
Sam Bradford once again was forced to leave the game by re-injuring his shoulder that would end his season and ultimately his college career at Oklahoma.
Once again Landry Jones had the opportunity to lead his team to victory. Unfortunately, a deep pass over the middle was intercepted by Texas safety Earl Thomas and sealed the win for the Longhorns.
One has to wonder if those two games had gone a different direction would Oklahoma fans feel differently about Landry Jones overall? Despite a loud minority, most Sooner fans like him.
And how could they not? Just list the accolades. He owns nearly every passing record, has more victories than any other quarterback in school history, and has a 3-0 record in bowl games.
What more could you ask for? If you have to ask that question you probably root for Oklahoma State. Standards are very high in the empire that is Oklahoma football.
Josh Heupel, Jason White, and Sam Bradford have one of two things that Landry will never have. National titles and Heisman trophies are special and few and far between. At Oklahoma they are expected. Without one of those trophies on his resume’ Landry Jones will never be looked at as one of Oklahoma’s best.
Sadly there are fans and alumni that are counting down the days till Landry will finally no longer be under center for the crimson and cream. Despite breaking records, three straight wins over Texas, and possibly becoming only the second quarterback in college football history with a perfect 4-0 bowl record, it will never be enough.
January 4th, 2013 is a big day for Landry Jones. As a redshirt freshmen he replaced a Heisman Trophy winner in a losing effort only to return to the same place three years later to defeat the very first freshmen Heisman winner.
A loss will seal his fate as a “what if” story. His legacy ultimately swallowed by the insatiable monster that Bud Wilkinson created over sixty years ago. A win will allow him to ride off into the sunset as a hero. A hero we may long for one day. Maybe a lot sooner than you think.
Some destiny, huh?