Hope always springs eternal in preseason practice, but it's never fun for fans to enter a college football season feeling the questions left to be answered about their teams outnumber the rock-solid certainties. So please pardon this Sooner fan for feeling a little uneasy about kicking off 2008.
Can Sam Bradford match his debut season? Will a re-tooled secondary be able to prevent the big play? Who's going to step up at linebacker? Is DeMarco Murray healthy? Is the OU o-line really all it's hyped up to be?
There's more to it than that, though, and it's harder to explain. It's tough to shake the memories of chances missed and unlucky breaks and off-field distractions that have seemed to loom over OU's program lately. From above-the-law boneheads to gallingly incompetent officiating to freak injuries, recent seasons have perpetuated a paranoia that the other shoe is always about to drop.
Funny, though: The worst that has happened since OU won its last national championship in 2000? An 8-4 finish that included a bowl victory over a top-five opponent.
Yes, the Sooners have been unable to seal the deal on another national crown. The fact of the matter remains, though, that OU has been knocking on the door ever since, and there's little reason to think that's going to change anytime soon. Hang around long enough, and the Sooners will break through again at some point.