Top 25 Teams and Games
No. 2 Oklahoma
Published: Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 11:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 11:45 p.m.
TEAM NO. 2 — OKLAHOMA
The buzz:Off another disappointing bowl loss, the defending Big 12 champion Sooners are determined to contend for a BCS championship.
Difference-maker:Sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford won the three-player competition for the position last season and posted an outstanding season with 36 touchdown passes. What do you for an encore? Bradford should enjoy as much success behind an offensive line that returns all five starters.
The upside:Bradford's passing and an excellent offensive line are complemented with the return of veteran receivers Manuel Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias. The Sooners led the nation last year in punt/kickoff return yardage.
The downside:Oklahoma could be prone to giving up some points because its back seven, with five new starters at linebacker and in the secondary, is in transition. The Sooners will need to rely heavily on the pass rush to make plays on defense.
Schedule factor:It's light early. A trip to Washington on Sept. 13 is an intriguing non-conference game, even if the Huskies aren't what they used to be. The toughest stretch will come in mid-October, with an Oct. 18 home game against Kansas following the Oct. 11 Red River shootout in Dallas against border rival Texas.
GAME NO. 2— FLORIDA VS. GEORGIA
Where: Jacksonville, Fla.
Why it's sexy:The world's largest cocktail party took an interesting turn when Georgia ended Florida's SEC title hopes last October. Of course, Florida fans and players remember the entire Georgia team rushing the field and dancing in the end zone after the first touchdown. Spoiling Georgia's national title hopes this season could serve as potential revenge for the Gators.
Preseason buzz:Both teams come into the season loaded. This game could decide the SEC East and could have BCS title implications.
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