CBS 11 sportscaster Bill Jones, a University of Oklahoma graduate who has done play-by-play for OU's pay-per-view telecasts, gave his Saturday college football picks on Twitter this morning and had this semi-shocker: OU 33, UTEP 20.
In other words: no blowout.
Oklahoma opens the season at the Sun Bowl at 9:30 tonight (Fox Sports Southwest) against UT El Paso with six players having been suspended going back to May. The latest is presumed starting tight end Geneo Grissom. Rivals.com and The Oklahoman reported that news Friday. Plus, defensive tackle Casey Walker was left at home with a non-football-related injury.
That adds to the absences because of suspension of other key players, including defensive tackle Stacy McGee and receiver Jaz Reynolds. OU is particularly thin on the defensive line.
Grissom had been switched from defense to offense after the graduation of James Hanna (now a Dallas Cowboys rookie) and Trent Ratterree and the dismissal last year of tight end heir Austin Haywood.
Oklahoma is opening on the road in El Paso of all places because of the Big 12's revolving door. The Sooners were scheduled to play TCU this season in a nonconference game. That has become a conference game, of course. OU scrambled to fill the sudden opening, and locked into the Fox Junior time slot late Saturday night.
In the spotlight tonight: OU starting defensive end R.J. Washington, from Keller Fossil Ridge, who hopes to go from a major overhyped recruiting bust to big-time contributor. Coaches have raved about his improvement and demeanor on a team needing leadership and maturity.
And Rashod Favors, a former Fort Worth Dunbar standout, won accolades in preseason camp and was shifted from linebacker to defensive end. He could be much needed tonight as OU fills its suspensive state of being.
By the way, Bill Jones (@cbsdollarbill) picks Texas to win the Big 12 and Oklahoma second.
— Vince Langford