Oklahoma Sooners football: Big 12 title hopes dashed at the hands of Baylor


Today we saw any hope of the Sooners winning at least a share of the Big 12 title, and possibly a long shot at a bid from the Playoff committee to participate in the College Football Playoff, come to an end after being defeated by Baylor 48-14.

I feel like the play that broke the back of the Sooners was the Trevor Knight interception that was essentially a pick six. Though you could argue easily that it was the roughing the kicker penalty. Either way, the game was over before half time. The chase for eight, will have to be put off for another year.

The Sooners had a lot of hype this season. After seeing what the Sooners did to the Crimson Tide, many thought that this team could be a prominent power in the 2014 season. After losing two top 10 match ups by a total of 5 points between the two games, Oklahoma was out scored 45-0 after going up 14-3. This team, did not know how to respond to adversity.

That inability, cost the Sooners. But regardless of the result, I will continue to root for Oklahoma to have the best possible season, but I have let go of the ambitions of competing for a national title. Now I just want the Sooners to demolish the opponent in what ever bowl game Oklahoma ends up playing. At least end the season on a high note. Bright side is friends, we aren’t in Kansas’s position.

Doesn’t change the fact that I, like many other Sooners fans, are understandably disappointed. Next season though I look for this offense to improve. I look for the defense, specifically, the secondary to show some improvement. Before I go into the issues, and what could possibly bring Oklahoma success, Sooner Nation is hopeful the injury to Trevor Knight was not as severe as it looked and he is able to recover quickly.

To start, coaching on both sides of the ball during the course of the season, has been suspect at different times. The defense that had been good about making adjustments, has at times looked as if they are incapable of adjusting to opposing offenses. The offense also has failed to make adjustments.

It all starts with coaching. Play calling, and the ability to make adjustments during the game, has to improve. Baylor made those adjustments in game. Oklahoma, was unable too. Oklahoma has a ton of talent on this team, perhaps they need to evaluate the depth chart and make changes to the starting line up. There is nothing left to lose, if there is a player who is looking like they could be a play maker next season, let them get some experience this season. It worked with Micha Quick thus far.

Once the 2014 campaign concludes, the coaches need to consider other options other than Knight. With the eligibility of Baker Mayfield, he most likely will be the favorite for the starting job at Oklahoma in 2015. And why not? He won the offensive new comer of the year playing at Texas Tech. He also did it, only playing six and a half games. It tells you how good this kid is. REALLY GOOD. Unless Justice Hansen or Cody Thomas just come out and show something during the next off season. I am making the call now, and going on record to say: Not only do I think Baker Mayfield should start, I think he will.

Trevor Knight, has been a liability in all three of Oklahoma’s losses. In the words of Oklahoma State legend and Sports Animal host Pat Jones: “What have you done for me lately?” That win over Alabama is now a distant memory. The Trevor Knight who totally demolished Alabama, hasn’t shown up in big games this season. KState, TCU, Baylor. Throwing crucial interceptions in each of those games. All three of the games, included either a pick 6, or field position basically amounting to a pick 6. Because of the inconsistencies, OU needs to make a change at the QB position. Also there are pieces coming into play that will help in a potential transition.

Joe Mixon, a Five Star Running back who lead the nation in all purpose yards, was highly thought by the coaching staff as a player who could have made an immediate impact, until that fateful night at Picklemans Gourmet Cafe where he struck a young lady in the face. Given the facts, only a single misdemeanor was charged. Mixon, on October 3oth, entered an Alfred Plea, where the punishment was a one year deferred sentence and 100 hours of community service. Oklahoma University President Dan Boren released a statement :

"Via The Oklahoman:  “The judicial outcome and the video speak for themselves. The University is an educational institution, which always sets high standards that we hope will be upheld by our students. We hope that our students will all learn from those standards, but at the same time, we believe in second chances so that our students can learn and grow from life’s experiences.As we have previously indicated, Joe Mixon will not play for our football team during the 2014 season, including postseason competitions. He will have an opportunity to earn his way back on the team during the spring semester.”"

With the plea, and the statement, a player that could have really been an asset to this offense this season will be next season. If Mixon is as good as the coaches say he is, he should make an instant impact to this offense, vastly improving an already good trio of running backs. The emergence of Micha Quick this season should translate over into the following season. In fact, I am excited about it. Shepard, Quick, and Dorian Green Beckham. Along with Mixon, who ever the quarterback is, be it Mayfield, Knight, Thomas, they will have no shortage of targets to throw to in 2015. Should DGB remain with the Sooners next season. He has said he will be staying and playing his senor year. Though he has been popping up on mock NFL draft boards. That could very well change anyones mind set. An offense involving DGB would be extremely potent.

The defense, it will be interesting to see how that shakes out. Will Coach Mike Stoops keep the 3-4 system, or move on to another system? Also, Oklahoma loses several players, like Ndulue, Grissom, Wilson, Hayes.The front seven will lose some expereince definately. With the play of Hayes and Wilson thus far this season, it is hard to say how the secondary will respond. Zach Sanchez will become the leader of that secondary. Steven Parker and Hatari Byrd will both have some experience from the playing time they saw this season, and another offseason of practice. The Secondary has a chance to be vastly improved. It would depend who replaces Julian Wilson and how they perform. An improved secondary would take pressure off of the front seven, and improve the defense as a whole.

Oklahoma does have a silver lining. The linebackers. OU will field arguably one of the best line backer corps in the nation. Striker, Evans, Alexander. If Frank Shannon returns to the team following his one year suspension, that would be a killer group. The Sooners understandably will not have as much hype around them following the conclusion of the season. But there is reason to be optimistic, with all the weapons available for next season. You never know.