Yes, I realize I haven't blogged in well over a month. BelleoftheBallgame has been neglected like TO's ego late in his Cowboy's stint, and like Tom Brady's present coif. Ew.
Normally it takes an archenemy such as Mack Brown or TSwift to reignite the blogging fervor, but this time I bring much more favorable tidings.
The ESPN College Football Live pre-season #1 is.... the Oklahoma Sooners!
Wait....wha? You're not excited? You say preseason rankings are meaningless? You think the top teams usually fall fast? Well, why don't you cool it Debbie Downer!
I mean, I'm with you- pre-season rankings have very little value. But I really think this top designation could be a real boost to this particular team. Now I know that as of late, OU has not fared well in the #1 spot. But instead of it coming in the middle of the season, it is already here- when they haven't even earned it.
Team rhetoric thus far leads me to believe they almost feel it as a chip on their shoulders in a strange way, and feel they have a lot to live up to to merit such a high ranking. I think it makes them hungrier, rather than complacent. But it will also put a target on their backs for every team they play (I mean, it's kind of always that way anyways), and they will have to rise to the challenge every single week.
That said, let's take a peak at the revamped, finally-released schedule of play.
Sept 3 Tulsa: Should be a good, solid home opener. Tulsa always has a high-octane offense, and with a new, but in-system coach at the helm, we can probably expect more of the same. This is a team the Sooners will likely know not to overlook, unlike the ugly USU game of 2010.
BYE: obviously it will be nice to have a bye week before what could be the biggest test of the season, though hopefully it will not be a momentum-killer. Sometimes the discontinuity of the 'bye' week makes me nervous.
Sept 17 @Florida State: Away game. Against a top ten opponents. Who we curbstomped the previous year at home. Not to mention a coaching sibling rivalry. The Seminoles are going to be out for blood, and we had better be ready for them, because they have a veteran squad who will be ready for us. This is the litmus test of the 2011 season, and it comes very early on. We had better bring our mental 'A' game.
Sept 24 Mizzou: Ahh, the revenge mentality is a two way street. We should be hungry to avenge this one, and in the comfort of our own home against a team breaking in a new QB, I expect a handy victory.
Oct 1 Ball State: Mid-Major conference opponent on our home turf- again should be easily taken care of. Put those backups in early so nobody gets hurt before the big showdown.
Oct 8 Texas (neutral): You can never count either team of out OU/TX (NOT TX/OU). It stands outside of the bounds of predictability. I'll say this: I think Texas is at least a year away from being back in any sort of legitimate contention. Ole Gilbert Godfrey is still nothing to write home about. Hopefully the poor play I anticipate from them will not cause us to take them lightly. Anything can happen in the land of my ancestors (read: parents) better known as Dallas.
Oct 15 @Kansas: Unless Turner Gill completely turns that team around from last year, I expect the trip to Lawrence to be pretty breezy. They will be singing Rock Chalk Jayhawk whilst praying for basketball season to get there sooner.
Oct 22 Texas Tech: We lucked out getting them at home again this year. Even in their solid years, it tends to get pretty ugly for the Red Raiders when they have to cross up into Sooner territory. No Lubbock trap game this year. Thank goodness...my heart couldn't take another one.
Oct 29 @K State- A decent but inconsistent squad. Barring any road meltdowns, we should go in there and take care of business.
Nov 5 Texas A&M- another redemption game. There's a lot of hype around the Aggies again this year, and it will be interesting to see how they do with Tannehill at the help from the get-go. Both sides will be desperate for the win, as A&M felt cheated out of a chance at the last ever Big 12 title game. The Wrecking Crew may yet be strong, but they are one Von Miller short this season. It could be a tough one, but the Norman edge outpaces even Kyle Field lore.
Nov 12 Iowa State- It's Iowa State. At home. Don't overlook them and we're good to go.
Nov 19 @Baylor- Here comes the 'Deja-vu' portion of the schedule. Robert Griffin is good, but we handled him a year ago and I believe we'll do it again. Most of the guys on the field, on our side at least, will have already essentially played out this game, and to positive result.
BYE- another key/nervewracking rest period. Arguably the second-toughest challenge of the schedule lies at the end... in Stillwater. We will need all our guys healthy and ready to go against little brother.
Dec 3 @Oklahoma State- No matter the hype from OSU, we seem to find a way to win, and have lost to them only 16 times in over 100 tries. Sure, they have some weapons, ie Justin Blackmon, and their offense is rarely lacking, but if we come in with composure, poised for a shootout like last year, we will again be Bedlam Champs. The placement of this game during Championship week will bode well for exposure and prestige despite the lack of a conference championship (boo). It will be a big stage- hopefully one that we, by this juncture, will be well prepared for.
I really do think we have a chance to run the table. Granted, I think that every year. But this schedule is quite favorable, and if we take care of business, particularly in Tallahassee, we can take it all the way.