The boys at SoonerNation, our ESPN site covering Oklahoma, each took a turn answering one big question for 2012 around Norman.
What means success for Oklahoma in 2012? Click here for the full post, but here's a taste of the consensus from the group.
Writes Jake Trotter:
Honestly, I don't think anyone will consider this a successful season unless the Sooners get to the national championship game. That's unfortunate. But when you're a blue-chip program and a preseason Top-5 team that was preseason No. 1 last year, that's the expectation.
Counters Brandon Chatmon:
A national championship. Some programs play to improve their national prestige, others play for conference championships, but at Oklahoma the Sooners play for national championships, it's just that simple. Even if the Sooners make the national championship game and come up short, there will be more talk about OU's struggles to win BCS title games than how successful the season was, particularly when you began the season with a fifth-year quarterback who has started 37 games in three seasons.
Do you agree? I'm not so sure I do.
There's no question, with the amount of talent the 2011 team brought back, the only benchmark for success was a national title.
But to expect the same in 2012? I don't know if that's fair, especially for a program that lost a conference title and a BCS bid to its in-state rival by 34 points last season.
The receiving corps has been gutted, highlighted by the loss of Ryan Broyles, the FBS career leader in receptions. The defense lost the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in Frank Alexander, and four-year starter Travis Lewis at linebacker. Streaky defensive end Ronnell Lewis left for the NFL, too.
Oklahoma's a good team with the potential to win a national title, but is it fair to expect one from this team? My vote is no, especially considering the depth and quality of the Big 12 this season.
The Sooners might be in the preseason top five, but after last season's disappointment, winning a Big 12 title and taking home another BCS bowl win (over an actual opponent this time, not Connecticut) would qualify as a successful season in my book. It's not ideal. It's not the best or the dream scenario, but I'd still consider it a "success."
What's your vote? Be heard in our poll.