There are rituals of autumn known to every Sooner. The foliage on the state's dozen trees turn to fiery hues, the summer dust and grit coating tooth relents, and the harvest of copper wiring from homes commences before the bank's short sale.
And then there's Sooner football...
Oklahoma is led by Heisman Trophy winning QB Sam Bradford - a very good young man - who, let's be honest, consistently wears his hair like a floppy-banged dickhead. Sam has a NFL arm and if you give him three and a half seconds unmolested in the pocket, he'll drop the ball in a tighter space than Mary Kate Olsen. Get him on the run and hit him with your woo-stick and he might just collapse like a Lawton crack ho liver punched by Charles Thompson. He throws very few interceptions as safeties find his googly-eyes impossible to key on. He's a cinch for a future Geico endorsement.
Bradford will hand the ball to two quality backs who both went over 1,000 yards last year: DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown. Murray is an oustanding receiver out of the backfield and a solid runner, but he has the constitution of a poinsetta. Chris Brown is a no-nonsense runner with a nose for the goalline (20 TDs in '08) but he lost valuable street cred with the OU coaches when they learned that he wasn't the one that beat the shit out of Rihanna.
Speaking of roughing up women, meet superstar Sooner recruit Justin Chaisson. He has all of the necessary tools: speed, strength, and a Philip's head screwdriver. He certainly has a screw loose. As you'll recall, the 6-5 270 pound Sooner recruit abducted a high school girl, punched her, threw her in the back of his car, drove her out into the desert, held a screwdriver to her throat, and threatened to murder her. Fortunately, friends of hers followed in another car, called 911, and Chaisson eventually fled.
Sooner fans were outraged by this behavior, reacting with barely disguised horror. What did that bitch do to Justin, they wondered. What if my own daughter had betrayed Sooner Nation like that? Can he still play? Of course he can. His scholarship wasn't impacted. It's not like he rapped badly on Youtube. If any of you see Justin around, buy him a vodka and orange juice. Or as I now call it - The Chaisson.
What's a Screwdriver without a hint of OJ?
Now on to a monster of a different variety.
Jermaine Gresham is the best TE in the country and the answer to the Google query - what would result if Ozzie Newsome impregnated a sasquatch? He caught 66 balls for 950 yards and 14 TDs last year. There are rumors that he is injured, but Stoops will likely make him play on whatever shreds of a meniscus that he still possesses; just as Futility will make Stoops coach in future BCS games with whatever shreds of dignity he still possesses. Brody Eldridge is a quality blocking TE that gives them a strong ace package - when he's not starting at center. Matt Clapp is a ponderous FB with a glorious Okie mullet. Visiting fans will see that Clapp is as easy to catch every Saturday in Norman as you'd probably thought.
At WR, OU lost some key guys, but there is some promising talent. Ryan Broyles has all the makings of an Oklahoma superstar: good athletic ability, a conviction for larceny, and finishes every sentence with the phrase "...and shit." Adron Tennell is a 6-4 200 pound senior who has caught around 10 career passes, but he should be a reasonable #3 option. He has a sort of a Dick Cavett workmanlike quality. The other WRs are a murky mire of mediocrity, though converted HB Mossis Madu intrigues me. Mossis could not part the Crimson depth chart at RB and he could be an interesting guy after the catch.
Nietzsche considers the Sooner OL to be God's third mistake.
Former starting center Ben Habern is a redshirt freshman who cut his teeth in the rough and tumble private school leagues of Ft Worth, which offer the same approximate masculinizing value as growing up a Goth kid in Portland, OR. Naturally, the Sooners now have their best blocking TE - the aforementioned Eldridge - starting in his place. I'll set the season over/under at errant shotgun snaps skipped into Bradford's shins or into the back of the Sooner Schooner at 4.5. At one guard spot, Brian Simmons is in his fifth year and he has some starting experience. He beat out Stephen Good, human Maginot, and a highly regarded recruit from Paris who chose L'Ecole du Norman for its stunning architecture, broad boulevards, and outdoor cafes. Hmmm...what's that? Good is from Paris in North East Texas? Oh. No wonder he chose OU. Lives near the Arkie-Okie border. Bunch of savages. The kid probably reads Soldier of Fortune magazine, waterboards golden retrievers, and shits in a trench he dug in his roommate's closet.
If Stephen's Good - we're going through Brody Belgium
The other starting guard is transfer Jarvis Jones. He was kicked off of the team at LSU, an extraordinary achievement given that LSU may possess more miscreants, social retards, and sociopaths than Oklahoma; at this point, it's like Bob Stoops is Harvey
Keitel Korman in Blazing Saddles interviewing villains to sack Rock Ridge. RT Cory Brandon is said to be better than a young Anthony Munoz or Jonathan Ogden.
Back to Good for a moment. The fact that he's terrified of clowns puzzles when one considers that Kevin Wilson is his position coach. We will dress Ben Alexander in a red nose and face paint and have him ride a unicycle out of the tunnel like an enraged juggling circus bear. Stephen, check it out:
Bradford's blind side is protected by future NFL first rounder Trent Williams. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson says he timed the 320 pound Williams at a 4.7 40 which means he's faster than OU's 2008 starting safeties and the NCAA's random drug testing. The OL backups are a human Dust Bowl of sloth and buggery.
The defensive line is nice and deep, featuring stud DE Jeremy Beal and a legit three man rotation at DT led by All-American Gerald McCoy. McCoy is a good citizen and a very upstanding kid, so I imagine his interactions with his Sooner defensive teammates are somewhat strained...
Gerald: Oh, no - that girl carrying the those heavy books - she's about to fall over. We should do something!
DeMarcus: Damn right. Distract her and I'll steal her Burberry.
Gerald: (sigh) No, DeMarcus.
Justin: We could...ummmm...murder her a little? I have a wrench.
Gerald: (sigh) No, Justin.
Senior DE Auston English was great as a sophomore and weak as a junior so he appears to be on the Ian Campbell developmental plan. This DL is the strength of the Sooner football team and they're deep in quality. Fear them. As you would a clown. Or Oprah, the Magazine.
On April 14, 1865, OU MLB Ryan Reynolds left Abraham Lincoln's private box at the Ford theater after injuring his seminal vessicles. Lincoln was then assassinated. On December 6th, 1941, OU MLB
Robert Ryan Reynolds tripped over a napping monk seal on an Oahu beach and twisted his genome. The next day, America found itself at war. In May, 2003, Ryan Reynolds turned his epidermis in a pickup basketball game. Then Ben Affleck made Gigli.
Sooner MLB Ryan Reynolds, human fulcrum of all history. Don't deny it, WHORNS!
Reynolds' back-up Mike Balogun was decertified for playing in a Womyn's Roller Derby League or some shit. I personally think decertification is a tribute to his character. Everyone knows you have to a be a certified asshole to play for Oklahoma.
Incidentally, no Sooner player has ever been successfully de-cocksuckered.
WLB Travis Lewis is a triumph of the OU recruiting model at LB. Identify an aggressive, fast athlete playing another position, coach him up, turn him loose, let the All-Big 12 honors roll in. SLB Keenan Clayton is like a faulty Tesla replica of this process from the movie The Prestige.
OU's secondary will be interesting. The field corner is Dominique Franks and he's a quality dude. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go pro after his junior year. Boundary corner Brian Jackson is a big corner with experience, but he's not a guy that can turn his hips and run with an elite receiver.
Both starting Sooner safeties are gone and though Nic Harris was vastly overrated, he was the brains of the OU secondary and set the defense. It's crucial that new starters Sam Proctor and Quinton Carter demonstrate the ability to deal with that task. Carter is a big time hitter and I expect both guys to provide more athleticism than their predecessors.
Last year Oklahoma's special teams were as spotty as Brent Venables' menstrual bleeding and if you're looking for an area that may submarine their promising season, it's here. They gave up 4 kickoff returns for TDs, were 85th in the country in net punting, and have a pixie field goal kicker with an effective range comparable to that of Bob Stoops' spittle.
Let's be clear: OU has a really good football team. And the makings of a quality prison riot. The game in Dallas will be a toss up more unpredictable than Justin Chaisson with a handyman's belt.