Can OU survive the month of September without their defensive leader?
For college football fans, August is a time for speculation and questions. Questions about depth charts, play-calling, strength of schedule and predictions are really all we can talk about. But there are a few questions around the conference that really stand out to me.
The departure of Von Miller leaves a gaping hole at A&M's Joker position. It appears that Sophomore Damontre Moore is the heir but we're less than a month away from kickoff and all I can find about Moore is how he was busted for pot back in June and is awaiting punishment from head coach Mike Sherman. Aside from losing Miller to the NFL, the Aggies also lose their leading tackler from a season ago, Michael Hodges. It doesn't look like anyone stands out as a replacement for him. Bottom line here is Texas A&M has a lot to figure out defensively in a short amount of time if they're going to live up to the pre-season hype.
2. Can Missouri Quarteback James Franklin be the man in Columbia?
If you believe what Missouri fans are saying, Franklin is good - but his arm isn't as strong as Blaine Gabbert, and he's not as fast as Brad Smith. What does that mean though? It seems like he'll have good players around him (every player who caught a pass in 2010 returns this year) but will that be enough? Early season road games at Arizona State (Sept 9th) and Oklahoma (Sept 24th) will be trial by fire.
3. Can Oklahoma survive the month of September without their defensive leader?
OU is a good football team, no doubt. But losing a player like Travis Lewis for a road game at Florida State is a huge blow. Add to that, questions at running back and a quarterback who struggled on the road last season, and I have my doubts. Lewis is said to be out "8 weeks" which means he'll for sure be out against Tulsa, Florida State, Missouri and Ball State. The Texas/OUgame will be held exactly 8 weeks and 4 days from yesterday. I know he'll play, but will he be full strength in Dallas? Can the Sooners succeed without their defensive leader?
4. What happens at Quarterback in Austin?
There appears to be a 3 way battle for the position of starting QB at Texas between the incumbent Garrett Gilbert and golden boy Case McCoy. Gilbert was horrendous last season with 10 TD's and 17 INT's. McCoy has done nothing other than be born to the same family as his brother Colt. It looks like there might be rotating QB'sin Austin during the month of September which let's be honest, never works.
5. What impact will Todd Monken REALLY have on the Oklahoma State offense?
There is absolutely no reason Oklahoma State can't pick up where they left off last season offensively. Sam brought up a great point on the podcast that I really hadn't thought of that much and that is how will Todd Monken's Play Calling compare to Dana Holgorsen? That appears to be the key. We know he'll be calling plays from the coaches box, which is a change from last year. I don't think we'll truly know the impact Monken has on the offense until we go to College Station.