2013 is upon us, y’all. We survived the Mayan Apocalypse, which means Oklahoma’s big game with Texas A&M is still on in Arlington.
So while we wait for OU’s final game of the 2012 season, let’s make a few resolutions for the new year, shall we?
1. Defend home field. This past season was out of the ordinary to say the least. Two home losses in the same year is unheard of around these parts. However, Oklahoma got two of the nation’s best teams in Norman. It’s hard to control something like this when teams like the Snydercats and Fighting Irish came out of nowhere to be two of the top four teams in the FBS. Though, Oklahoma fans need to be behind this team every step of the way. Get loud and make Norman the most feared place in college football once again. A season ago, there was an illusion that no one could win in Norman, but Texas Tech shattered that. OU needs to recreate this illusion, starting with 2013.
2. Win the conference outright. Call me selfish, but I am not sharing another conference title with anyone. This “co-champion” crap has got to go, and in order for that to happen, Oklahoma just needs to run the table in the Big 12. It will not be easy, and Oklahoma’s slate begins week two of the season against West Virginia. Also, OU will have to go to Manhattan and Stillwater to end the regular season, and at that point, those games could make or break the Sooners’ chances at a “back-to-back” conference crown. Everybody plays everybody, so just win the games, and we will be good.
3. Fly under the radar. This one is hard to control being a program like Oklahoma, but there would be nothing wrong if Oklahoma played more methodical and less exciting in 2013. All Oklahoma needs to do is win games. By all means, please avoid the wretched attention of the media. Be the team people count out. It worked for Notre Dame, and Oklahoma can embrace this Friday. People are expecting Johnny Football to rip the Sooners in Arlington and for Landry Jones to fall in last game as a Sooner. Oklahoma needs that 2000-type mentality. Just go out and win ball games.
4. Take every precaution in August. The offensive line came around in 2012 after several preseason injuries to key players out of that group. However, Oklahoma needs to do everything in its power to avoid these big injuries. In order to be a champion, Oklahoma needs to condition like one. I am not saying the injuries are really anyone’s fault, but what a difference a healthy Ben Habern and Tyler Evans would have been for Landry Jones who had to show off his mobility in the pocket. Injuries do happen, they are apart of the game. However, let it be our goal to rid ourselves of these August injuries and throughout the season, of course.
5. Play the best defense within reason. Oklahoma can’t always have the best defense in the country. It’s just not going to happen. Though, Oklahoma’s performance in Morgantown this season is just unacceptable. Avoid a complete meltdown like that at all costs. Oklahoma gets an early chance to redeem themselves against the Mountaineers in Norman. Let’s hope in Mike Stoops’ second season back Oklahoma and its fans do not have to suffer from another game Tavon Austin put us through in mid-November.
6. Don’t expect a championship. This is one is pretty self-explanatory. Fans need to put in their minds, Oklahoma is not a championship contender next season. They lose one of the best quarterbacks in the school’s history, but I’ll get to that in a second. Also, Oklahoma could lose Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin. So while a title is not out of the question, it should not be expected. I am not saying it will be a rebuilding a year, but you’re going to see some struggles in the Sooners’ first year without the ‘Stache. Let’s make it our goal to not be overly disappointed when Oklahoma loses that first game “they aren’t supposed to lose.”
7. Don’t be shocked if Blake Bell isn’t our savior. Maybe this isn’t exactly a resolution, but let’s not be baffled when Blake Bell isn’t the Second Coming. Now of course, he may turn out to be greater than we expected, but then again, it is not a guarantee he will start either. So while you called for the Belldozer many times in 2011 and 2012 to get the start over Jones, don’t be shocked if he isn’t any better than Landry. More than likely, he will spend some time adjusting to his new role as QB-1, and it may not be pretty. So don’t take Landry for granted, because you may find out he isn’t the reason why Oklahoma still hasn’t won a championship since 2000.
8. Get Dr. Pepper in the stadium. Hopefully I am not the only one who feels this way, but Oklahoma needs to drop their deal with Coca-Cola and get on board with Dr. Pepper products. Stillwater’s concessions are superior in my mind, because they know what’s up, which is Dr. Pepper. Not sure how hard this would be to do, but if our voice is strong enough, maybe the fine people who operate Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will take it in to consideration. Side Note: STOP CHARGING $5 FOR ONE STINKIN’ CHICK FIL A SANDWICH!
9. Beat Texas. Four in a row over the Longhorns. Got a nice ring to it?
10. Stay in school. The draft stock of the players eligible to declare for the NFL Draft may not change much in 2013, but hey, why not try to go after one more championship? Why not try to fine tune your skills and possibly get even more national exposure? For some, it will be hard to turn down the NFL money, and Sam Bradford’s misfortune in 2009 may hit way too close to home, but think of the children that want an eighth National Title in Norman. Just think about that and tell me you don’t want to rep the crimson ‘n cream for one more season and go after a crystal ball.