Found June 11, 2013 on Fox Sports Southwest:
Oklahoma_v_baylor_dc59
The Oklahoma football team will have a new quarterback, a different coaching staff and the same, old pressure heading into this fall. Well, maybe more than the usual amount of pressure, actually. The Sooners are without an outright Big 12 title since 2010 and haven't been to a BCS game since that same season. Meanwhile they haven't been the same on defense for a good, long while. Wondering how Oklahoma is going to respond in road games at Notre Dame and Oklahoma State? You're not alone. For the first time in at least three seasons, the Sooners won't be a preseason top-10 team, and that only adds to the pressure. Here are the top three who have the most-pressure on them this season: Bob Stoops If you've moderately paid attention to football this offseason, Stoops has been around, in, next to and making the news. Stoops has talked about everything from players getting paid (he doesn't like the idea) to the SEC's dominance (he doesn't like that, either). Seems like he's kind of edgy. Maybe that's what happens when you know you have to replace a quarterback and you're coming off a season where you lose twice at home and then get run over in a bowl game. And as if the fans weren't getting anxious enough, Stoops all but conceded there are issues on his team by making three coaching changes, upping the total to five in the past two seasons. There's always pressure on the head coach, but Stoops seems keenly aware of it this season. Blake Bell Yes, quarterback Blake Bell hasn't been officially named the starter, but, yes, Bell will certainly be the starter when the Sooners kickoff the season at home on Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe and there will certainly be a lot of eyes on the very popular Bell. He's not just coming in as the new quarterback, he's basically coming in as the anti-Landry Jones, and that's a lot to live up to. Jones was a prolific passer, but it was Bell who came in two seasons ago and ran the offense in short-yardage situations. He became a phenomenon unlike any other even getting the perfect nickname, The Belldozer. Now, two seasons removed from being a niche option, Bell will be asked to do a lot more. Instead of a drop-back passer like Jones, Bell's expertise is running, but the question isn't whether the Sooners and Bell can run, it's whether he can be good enough as a thrower. Expect the judgements to come quick on whether Bell will be good enough to lead the Sooners. Mike Stoops Aside from his brother Bob and the quarterback Blake, Mike Stoops has to wonder if this is the season the Sooners return to the defensive form that had them among the best teams in the country when Mike was the team's defensive coordinator in the early 2000s. Fans want to think just because Mike Stoops is back yelling at players on the sideline, the defense will be great. Well, it hasn't been that way. In his first season back, after a stint as Arizona's head coach, Mike Stoops promised energy and enthusiasm. He was good on those deals, just not so much on the actual stopping of the other team. In the second half of the season, the Sooners were absolutely undone by West Virginia, Oklahoma State and then Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. The result led to a shakeup on the coaching staff and a shakeup on alignment as OU has talked about moving to a 3-4 defense, away from the 4-3. Jerry Montgomery is in from Michigan and takes over coaching the defensive line. The Sooners haven't finished in the top-five in the Big 12 in rushing defense the past three seasons. Think there's pressure on Mike Stoops? Well, I think he thinks there is, hence the changes in alignment and changes on the sideline. Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter @andrewgilmanOK
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