Will Oklahoma Sooners Finally Live Up to Preseason Hype?

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The 2013 Oklahoma Sooners finally exceeded expectations in the biggest way since their 2000 national championship run under Bob Stoops.

Here’s a fun fact. Guess how many times the Sooners finished a season ranked higher in both polls than when they started the season after that 2000 championship and before last year. It was once, in 2010, when they opened the season ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll and No. 8 in the USA Today Poll and finished No. 6 in both polls. Outside of that, the only other time the Sooners met expectations was in 2007, opening the year No. 8 in both polls and finishing the year No. 8 in both polls.

The rest of the years starting with 2001, the Sooners have fallen short of expectations. To be fair, they are ridiculously high in Oklahoma, and the only time the Sooners grossly fell short of high expectations were 2009, when they started the season at No. 3 and finished unranked, and 2011, when they started at No. 1 and finished out of the Top 10.

Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops smiles as his defense hold the Alabama Crimson Tide near the end of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Oklahoma won, 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The expectations are back this year for Oklahoma. Coming off of an 11-2 season and a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama, Oklahoma is ranked No. 3 in the preseason Coaches Poll and is sure to be a Top 5 team in the AP Poll . They are also the overwhelming favorites to win the Big 12.

But should they be? Lots of this is based off of that one big win against Alabama, but echoing what Nick Saban said earlier this summer, it’s hard for me to believe the Crimson Tide cared at all about that game. How can you sell me a national title contender based on one bowl performance?

Baylor would certainly be the favorite if they weren’t losing so many starters, and when you take into account that the Bears beat the Sooners 41-12 last year, can you still sell Oklahoma being the better team this year?

If they are, Stoops will still have to address some issues, despite all the returning talent. Offensive Preview on Next Slide

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