The hearts of
Bowl on a weather-perfect, big-game Saturday afternoon no doubt went out to quarterback Sam Bradford as they watched him, head down, approach the famous ramp for what is likely the last time in what looks to be a star-crossed end to his college career.
In an unexplainable chance of fate,
This one may--and probably should be--the final debit.
Sam was unselfishly and totally correct to come back to try and play again this season. The point of view that because of the tremendous game turned in by the defense, OU would have beaten
Grudgingly, however, I’ve got to admit now that Sam probably should cross this season off as done if his doctors don’t. There’s really no point in attempting another comeback. Not for him, not for the teammates he so covets. There is little he now can do to help them salvage a season.
Most of these kinds of re-injuries knock the situation back to square one--optimistically meaning another four weeks, 10 games into a season in which by then a fourth consecutive Big 12 championship is lost in the haze of a distant August preseason.
OU must look to playing out this season without him. To attempt to salvage something in what now looks to be a rebuilding process for coach Bob Stoops’ program. Landry Jones shows real promise, as do quite a few members of the current freshman class.
But the personnel losses between the end of this season and the start of the next could prove to be staggering--this time on a defense that despite a couple of late drives is reminiscent of the best of the Stoops’ era and close to measuring up to the Best of Barry and Larry (Lacewell).
The cards are stacked against a strong finish because of Jones’ inexperience and an offensive line that struggles to show any signs of progress, whether tight end Brody Eldridge is in it or not. Backs DeMarco Murray and Chris Browns can’t run to daylight that isn’t there.
Railing against offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is folly. He ain’t got much to work with folks. Losing
Stoops hasn’t lost it. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who threw an insightful game plan against the Longhorns, hadn’t lost it last year, either--as pompous chat-room experts sagely declared.
Though Stoops as he must will loudly protest, this season is entirely another matter.--Mike Jones.