May 2014 Roundtable: Stadium upgrades, Baker Mayfield, and preseason favorites


Many stories have come out during this off season, which can reshape the landscape of college football once August 30th comes around. For example, the NCAA is looking at changing eligibility rules for walk-on students, enabling them to play with out losing a year if they transfer. The SEC also announced they will be toughening up their non-conference schedules by requiring schools to schedule a game from the other 4 conferences. Also, SportNews placing Oklahoma as the preseason #1.

And of course, we also bid some of our favorites the past few years good bye and good luck, as they await the NFL Draft. Here is our latest roundtable discussion:

What is your biggest takeaway from SportingNews’ decision to put Oklahoma as their top-ranked team in 2014?

Joe Buettner, Editor (@joebuet): It shows there is a bit of respect for the Sooners heading in to the season. That is a good thing, however, you have to take it with a grain of salt. So much can change between now and August and January, it is important to stay as level-headed as possible.

Sean Forster, The C3 Show (@Onikuno): The expectations for OU are back to competing for the national championship. A win over Alabama on the BCS stage has many believing the Sooners of old are back.

Christopher Long, Columnist (@the_real_clong): Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Preseason polls are always all over the place, especially four months prior to kick off. ESPN for example, has Oklahoma at #3. SportingNews is the only media outlet that has Oklahoma as a preseason #1. It was a splash headline in my opinion.

As much as I would love to put Oklahoma at the #1 spot, I personally feel like that they will be 5th or 6th once the season starts. In the words of Al Davis, “Just win, baby!”. Do that, and everything else will take care of itself. Being number one on August 30th doesn’t matter that much. Being number one after the national title game on January 12th, that is the goal.

Which stadium upgrade are you most looking forward to seeing?

Buettner: Everyone wants to see how the south end zone is going to look, but I really want to see this next press box. Not that the thing is an eyesore, I think it’d be a solid upgrade to make, especially for the fine media who cover the team. Also, I like the south end zone the way it is.

Forster: Well, if the reports are true, I guess it would be interesting to see what the south endzone will look like after the construction is all said and done.

Long: I just think its awesome that the University has finally brought forth the plans to make this a reality. Increasing the capacity to over 90,000, should make it one hell of an experience. Boomer Sooner!

Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners center Gabe Ikard (64) in action against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Which Sooner will be called first this weekend at the NFL Draft?

Buettner: Gabe Ikard definitely is the most likely choice, however, I would not be surprised if a team takes Aaron Colvin. Even with an injury, a team with a need for a defensive back may not want Colvin to slip away.

Forster: My bet is Gabe Ikard. Colvin being my next guess, despite the ACL injury.

Long: The general consensus has Gabe Ikard going in the 4th to 5th round. With the injuries to Colvin and Millard, Ikard is the most likely choice to be the first Sooner called up. I would not be surprised that he is called up before the 4th round.

Would an eligible Baker Mayfield give Trevor Knight a real run for his job this year?

Buettner: Yes. I believe an eligible Baker Mayfield could compete for the starting job. Would he earn it? I’m not so sure. I think Trevor Knight is the direction Heupel wants to take the offense, and while Mayfield is really talented, I do not see him surpassing Knight any time soon.

Forster: No. Stoops sees both of them in practice every day. And until Knight can’t do it there he wouldn’t pull him unless due to an injury or he had a complete and utter meltdown in a game.

Long: Yes. The answer to this question is yes, and here is why: Mayfield was the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year during his freshman year at Texas Tech, even with the injury he suffered. Due to some circumstances surrounding his scholarship, he transferred to Oklahoma. He would be a very capable player with this offense.

He played well in the spring game, completing 9/9 passes and threw a pair of touchdowns playing against the second team defense. Given what he was able to do at Texas Tech, I believe that he has the same ability to recreate that success, and then some. This was a good pick up for Oklahoma. I am hopeful that the NCAA does look at this prior to the season, and he ends up being eligible.

What dream out-of-conference rivalry would you want to see most for the Sooners? 

Buettner: OU does have a home-and-home with UCLA coming up, but I’d rather see Oklahoma and USC battle it out. It would continue to help with West Coast recruiting, and also, OU owes USC a few beatdowns. College football needs more tradition-rich teams like the two going at it, and this just seems like a no brainer.

Forster: Those nice folks from Lincoln might make a fun game once in a while…

Long: I live on the east side of Oklahoma, near the Arkansas border. So, I interact with a ton of Arkansas Razorback fans. Who are of course SEC fans as well. The conference allegiance is VERY strong, as you would expect.  Alabama, who has defeated the Razorbacks the last two seasons to the tune of 104-0, had the Hawg Nation’s full support when they faced Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Once Oklahoma got the upper hand and the Tide started to turn, the talking started.

There were rumblings of things like, how much better the SEC was than Oklahoma and the weaker Big 12. That Oklahoma didn’t deserve to be playing an SEC team like Alabama. The Sooners would not stand a snowballs chance in hell against the Razorbacks. Okay. With the constant jawing, and the location of Norman and Fayetteville, a home and home series Oklahoma versus Arkansas would be very ideal. The Sooner Nation who live on the border, would love to make the short drive to Fayetteville to see it. With the SEC now requiring tougher schedules out of conference, this could very much be a reality soon.