Early slate will reveal much about Blake Bell
In the opener against North Texas, Bradford tied the school record for consecutive completions and broke the record for passing yards in a half. After a five-touchdown performance Week 2 against Miami, the Sooners knew they had their quarterback.
Last week during a caravan stop in Wichita, coach Bob Stoops reiterated he’s in no hurry to name a starting quarterback. Thompson and Knight both have talent. Despite his offseason dustup with police, Thompson remains one of the hardest workers on the team. He also has displayed a great feel for escaping trouble in the pocket and making plays downfield. Knight is an athletic freak who has the potential to be prolific as a dual threat. By several accounts, both Thompson and Knight have been sharp during 7-on-7 workouts so far this summer.
But given his seniority, his relative understanding of the offense, his experience on the field and the way he closed out the spring in the Red-White game, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which Bell isn’t ultimately named the starter for the opener. Whether he’s able to hold the job will be another storyline.
All of the Sooners’ first six opponents are coming off bowl appearances. Yes, OU will be heavy home favorites in the first three games against Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia and Tulsa. But the second trio of games -- at Notre Dame, TCU and Texas -- figures to be the defining stretch of the season. For Bell, especially.
The Irish lost quarterback Everett Golson during the offseason. But they should have another formidable defense, headlined by perhaps the best defensive line in college football. The game is also in South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame has won 10 of 11.
After facing one of the top defenses in the country, the Sooners will see what should be the best defense in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs feature two defensive All-American candidates in end Devonte Fields and cornerback Jason Verrett.
And following all of that, the Sooners will still have the Red River Rivalry, which has both vindicated and vanquished many quarterbacks over the years.
By that point, the Sooners will know a lot about Bell. Including whether he’s their guy going forward.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.