Summer Stock: Oklahoma Sooners
The numbers back up the preseason hype surrounding the Sooners
This article is part of our Summer Stock series, a three-week look at the programs generating the most buzz coming out of spring practice.
There is little doubt in most minds heading into the 2011 football season. The Oklahoma Sooners are one of the, if not the, favorites to win the national championship. The team boasts 15 returning starters, eight on offense and seven on defense. It has a star quarterback with a close on-the-field relationship with an All-American receiver and a coach who constantly reloads his group with recruiting talent.
So how do the Sooners combat the hype? The same way they do every year when prognosticators pick them to win it all: by working on all facets of the game.
"What needs to improve the most? Everything," head coach Bob Stoops said. "We're never satisfied."
The proof of the program's strength is in the numbers. In Football Outsiders' five-year efficiency metric, a strong indicator of next-season success, the Sooners rank sixth overall. In other words, the stats back up the fact that the Sooners are justified in being on the (very) short list of national title contenders.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- No. 2 FSU rallies to avoid upset at Louisville
- NCAA upholds Gurley's 4-game suspension
- Plea for Sooner accused of striking woman
- Police release emails detailing FSU RB case
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Summer Stock series
College Football Previews
May 16: Georgia Bulldogs
May 17: Florida State Seminoles
May 18: West Virginia Mountaineers
May 19: Alabama Crimson Tide
May 20: Texas A&M Aggies
May 21: Arizona State Sun Devils
May 22: Arkansas Razorbacks
CFB Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Bruce Feldman's Blog
Daily insight from around the gridiron
Ryan McGee's blog
On refs, bowl bids, and campus life
NFL Draft Blog
A look towards April 2011
Always on top of the college and pro game