Chat with Jake Trotter
Welcome to SoonerNation! On Monday, writer Jake Trotter stops by to chat about everything Oklahoma.
Trotter joined ESPN.com in 2011 after four years with The Oklahoman covering OU and Big 12 football. Before that, he worked at the Austin American-Statesman and Middletown (Ohio) Journal. Trotter grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Washington & Lee (Va.) University.
Send your questions now and join Trotter Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Jake Trotter (4:01 PM)
Hey guys, thanks for joining the chat. Let's get it rolling...
Matt (Norman, OK)
First off, wanted to know what you think about Bedlam? Difference makers? Prediction? Why
Jake Trotter (4:02 PM)
I want to see how OU reacts to not having Broyles in the lineup before making a prediction. Obviously, the Weeden vs. Jones matchup will be huge in this game. Other potential difference makers: Ronnell, Jefferson and Roy Finch. On the OSU side, Quinn Sharp, Josh Cooper, Justin Gilbert.
Dustin Reed (Lindsay, TX)
What will it take for the Sooners to make it to the National Championship? Will beating Baylor and Iowa State by a long shot, and defeating Oklahoma State be enough for them to jump into the national championship game?
Jake Trotter (4:04 PM)
It might be as simple as winning out. That wouldn't guarantee the Sooners a spot in the title game, but I think they would have a very good case, especially if they impress in Stillwater. The battle for No. 2 could be very tight, but several very knowledgeable people about the BCS believe OU will be there with a Bedlam win.
It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. How awesome would an eight team playoff be this year?
Jake Trotter (4:05 PM)
Even a plus one would be cool. The OU/OSU winner vs. Oregon on one side; then an SEC rematch on the other. All debates settled.
Any news on the 2012 non conference schedule? Besides ND, will it be UCF and a cupcake? Any rumored possibilities?
Jake Trotter (4:06 PM)
UCF is a good possibility, but that's not a done deal yet. Considering Notre Dame is the other opponent, the third opponent will probably be from the Sun Belt/MAC/FCS.
Do you think Jaz and KStills have what it takes maturity wise to step in for Broyles?
Jake Trotter (4:09 PM)
They have the talent. Do they have the maturity? We're about to find out. Both are bright kids, and I think they're capable of playing at a high level the last three weeks. Whether they do will go a long way in determining the Bedlam game.
Marco Molina (Utica, New York)
how do you think peyton manning will react if the colts draft andrew luck?
Jake Trotter (4:09 PM)
Jake if OU is going beat OKState they are going to have get off to a much, much better start than they have the last 3 games.
Jake Trotter (4:10 PM)
I agree. If the Sooners start off slow in Stillwater, they might be down 3 TDs at half. OU doesn't have to jump out to a huge lead. But the Sooners can't afford OSU to do what Texas Tech did in Norman.
Mike Stoops (Norman)
How long til I'm added to the OU staff? A lot of people seem to realize OU hasn't won a national championship since I left.
Jake Trotter (4:11 PM)
If Brent Venables gets a head job in the offseason, this is not out of the question. I'm not sure you would want to come back to a job you had seven years ago. But I know OU fans would be delighted if you did.
Will we be able to handle Baylor, ISU, and OSU without our top running back and top receiver?
Jake Trotter (4:14 PM)
Baylor, ISU, sure. OU, I don't know. The Sooners historically have had to outscore OSU in Stillwater. With the way Weeden is playing, it might take 45. Can OU score 45 without Broyles? It's going to be tough.
Do you really think the voters(assuming lsu and ou wins out) would rather see a rematch of lsu alabama or Oregon?
Jake Trotter (4:15 PM)
No, which is why I think OU could have a big advantage among the one-loss teams.
Is something wrong with the run block scheme? i dont remember demarco murray doing this in college
Jake Trotter (4:16 PM)
I admit, I didn't see this coming. At all. If I had, I would have drafted DeMarco in my fantasy football league.
We are observers and allowed to look ahead. Who will have more pressure in Bedlam? I have to think that the pressure on OSU will be palpable when you factor in that they have never been to any BCS game, much less the national title game. They have the weight of the entire school riding on their shoulders.
Jake Trotter (4:18 PM)
Pressure will be on both schools, but there's no question OSU will have more pressure in this game. It's probably going to be THE biggest game in their school history. That's pressure.
What happened to Brennan Clay?
Jake Trotter (4:19 PM)
He's been dealing with an array of injuries and has sort of become the forgotten man. I think with the extra week, the Sooners will look to get him more involved again.
Jake,What senario would have to play out to see OU in the BCS NC game?
Jake Trotter (4:20 PM)
Here's the ideal scenario. OU wins out. Oregon loses to UCLA in the Pac-12 title game. Alabama loses at Auburn in the season finale. That would end all discussion about who belongs.
Pacquiao Marquez Decision (Las Vegas, NV)
I totally approve of how college football decides their champion. Because remember, if there is controversy that means people are talking about your sport and that is a good thing.
Jake Trotter (4:20 PM)
A lot of people would agree.
What is more complicated, figuring out the BCS or solving the NBA lockout?
Jake Trotter (4:21 PM)
NBA lockout. The BCS I can understand.
Jake - does OU have the receivers to keep up with OSU, in the wake of Broyles's injury?
Jake Trotter (4:22 PM)
The real question is, does OU have the offense to keep up with OSU after losing its leading receiver and rusher? It's going to be tough. Landry will need one of the best games of his career.
Any word on Tony Jefferson? Has he really been banged up or has he been slacking in some regard (school or practice..ala Roy Finch at the beginning of the year)?
Jake Trotter (4:23 PM)
He's been banged up with a knee. The week off should really be a help to him.
If OU ends up in the Fiesta Bowl, who are their potential opponents? Ive seen Stanford and Oregon listed, any others?
Jake Trotter (4:26 PM)
Stanford is the most likely, but in a story today, I detail how the Fiesta is hoping to pit OU against Nebraska. It would be tough to turn down Stanford at 11-1 with potentially the Heisman Trophy winner (Andrew Luck). But OU-Nebraska would be a boom to ticket sales and TV ratings. Other possibilities would be Wisconsin and Michigan. Depends how the last 3 weeks of the Big Ten shake out.
OU is the quite the conundrum among the one loss teams if they win out. They will have the worst loss and best win and more wins over ranked foes. What will the voters do with OU?
Jake Trotter (4:27 PM)
It's hard to predict how the human polls will react. But I would bet the prevailing impression would be a win over OSU 12 hours ago vs. a loss to Tech 2 months ago.
Play the percentages:Chance OU wins out.Chance LSU and/or Alabama lose.Chance OU plays in the BCS NC game.
Jake Trotter (4:29 PM)
What is the chance OU wins out? I probably put it between 40-45 percent. The Sooners might need anything more than that.
Jake, are Sooners at the top again next year if everyone returns? (Hurst, Lewis, Jone)
Jake Trotter (4:31 PM)
Yeah, preseason Top 5. Probably higher.
David (Houston, TX)
Jerry Palm says "In every year of the BCS, the top two teams in the final regular season BCS Rankings have been conference champs." OU lost Big 12 title in 2003, but still finished #1, correct?
Jake Trotter (4:32 PM)
Correct. Nebraska also didn't win the Big 12 in 2001, and still played for the title, too. There is precedent for a team playing for the national championship without winning its conference.
Shannon Powers (Midwest City Ok)
given the loss of Broyles and Whalley, what are OU's chances in Stillwater? and IF the sooners run the tables what chance do they have to play for the Nat Champ.? Will a victory over the #2 pokes be enough?
Jake Trotter (4:34 PM)
With Broyles' injury, I'd expect OSU to be a slight favorite. 1-2 points. But to me, the game is about a pick 'em. OSU is healthier, but OU has a massive psychological edge in this series. I believe a victory over OSU would be enough. But it's going to be close.
Does OU need to beat OSU convincingly to have a shot at #2? Or would a 38-35 win be enough?
Jake Trotter (4:35 PM)
A narrow win might be enough. Then again, it might not. But it would be really hard to keep OU out if the Sooners did to OSU what they did to No. 1 Missouri in the '07 Big 12 title game.
And people wonder how the players lose focus on the game at hand...
Jake Trotter (4:36 PM)
Bob Stoops today was asked about this this morning. He said he has no problem with the fans and media looking ahead. He said it's why the game has become so marketable. The challenge is on him to keep his team looking at the game at hand. It's not going to be easy next week against Iowa State.
Better question is can the sharks keep up with OSU
Jake Trotter (4:37 PM)
Strength on Strength.
Joe (tulsa ok)
Jake, If LSU were to lose against Arkansas would that hurt or help OU?
Jake Trotter (4:39 PM)
Probably would help. It would eliminate the chance of an SEC rematch.
What is the biggest challenge for OU this week in traveling to Baylor? Is it focus, because everybody is idiotically focusing on Bedlam?
Jake Trotter (4:40 PM)
Focus, no doubt. We've seen what can happen when this team doesn't come to play.
Jake, I'm surprised that your focus is on how well OU's offense will play, but you don't seem to be accounting for OU's defense against OSU offense? It will be the best defense OSU will have seen all year by far.
Jake Trotter (4:41 PM)
Good point. Remember, a defense that wasn't as good as this one held OSU to 27 offensive points last season. A repeat performance would probably give OU the win again.
Ray Chalres (Norman)
Does OU need to beat Baylor to have a shot at the Big12 title?
Jake Trotter (4:41 PM)
Ram (Champaign, IL)
Do you see the TE's factoring in more with the loss of Whaley and Broyles?
Jake Trotter (4:42 PM)
You know, I don't. They probably should be throwing to Hanna more often. But I don't get a sense that the TEs are going to be that much of a greater factor in the passing game just because Broyles is gone. What I do think we'll see is more variations of the Belldozer.
How would the Sooners match up with a team like LSU in the NCG? Wouldn't the loss of Whaley and Broyles be too much to overcome against the Tigers D?
Jake Trotter (4:43 PM)
LSU's defense is a bad matchup for anyone. The OU defense would have to shut down LSU's offense for the Sooners to have a chance.
Seeing how Klein gave the cowboys some trouble, do see OU giving the "Belldozer" even more snaps leading up to and in the Bedlam game?
Jake Trotter (4:44 PM)
Absolutely. I was discussing this very thing earlier today. There's no question OU is looking at that K-State film and thinking it can do the same thing with the Belldozer.
Adam (Phoenix, az)
What happened to Jimmy Stephens?
Jake Trotter (4:45 PM)
He's still on the team, but it's likely he's attempted his final FG.
Last I checked OU was pretty loaded at WR, while you can't replace a Ryan Broyles, maybe we can get the TE's involved more. This should help Stills and Reynolds open up for the big play. At RB, Finch isn't too shabby a backup for Whaley. If we are able to run the table with the major injuries we have, that has to count for a lot?
Ziyun (Norman, OK)
If both OU and Alabama win out, do you think voters will put OU ahead of Alabama?
Jake Trotter (4:47 PM)
Yes. OU plays No. 2 on Dec. Alabama is idle. That's a big factor to remember.
Do you think OU needs get the tight ends more involved with the loss Broyles?
Jake Trotter (4:47 PM)
Yes, notably James Hanna. He can be a difference maker.
THE question: what will it realistically take for OU to make it to New Orleans? Blowing out OSU and additional Alabama/Oregon losses?
Jake Trotter (4:48 PM)
If OU runs the table, that might be all it takes.
I heard rumor of The Hammer in the backfield with the Belldozer, OR will it be The Wild-Hammer instead with #56 taking snaps, OR does Ronnell just provide a running threat that will keep Landry on the field?
Jake Trotter (4:49 PM)
I've heard the rumor, too. Can't imagine how that would work. But it would be fun to see the Hammer with the ball in his hands. We'll see.
do you think Blake Bell and our 3rd and short offense is a good indicator of OU intentions of taking the air out of the ball during Bedlam?
Jake Trotter (4:51 PM)
Not so much taking the air out of the ball, but exploiting the Cowboys where they are vulnerable. Look at what A&M and K-State did to OSU running up the middle.
Blake Bell (Norman)
All I do is run up the gut for short yardage. Don't get me wrong I like helping my team but when will coaches let me throw? Nobody would expect it.
Jake Trotter (4:51 PM)
Blake, get the cannon ready. It's coming out this weekend.
Who do you think could be this year's Cameron Kenney? Someone who excels down the stretch that we haven't heard much about?Trey Franks, Brennan Clay, and Aaron Colvin are my top three.
Jake Trotter (4:52 PM)
Good comparison. How about Dejuan Miller? Like Kenney was, Miller is a senior, has shown flashes. I think he could really be a factor if given the chance.
why is the only talk about the worst loss of the one loss teams. shouldn't good victories come into play as well. ou might have 5 wins against current bcs top 25 teams away from home, but all I hear on tv is the loss to texas tech
Jake Trotter (4:54 PM)
OU needs Tech to finally win a game. That would take some of the attention off that debacle. Losing 66-6 will not.
That would be a sick backfield, Bell, Hammer, Millard
Jake Trotter (4:55 PM)
They would pack a punch.
Jake Trotter (4:55 PM)
Guys, that's all the time we have. Thanks for the questions. If you want to ask anything else, send it to the SoonerNation mailbag and I'll get it answered. Have a great week.