So Homerism was able to get his hands on some advance material from Phil Steele's JAM-PACKED 2011 college football fantasy file, and while The Animal's still pretty high on the Oklahoma Sooners, he has them coming up just short to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game.
Steele notes that he has OU on top in six of his nine mysterious power ratings, calling the Sooners "a team with no real glaring weakness." One the other hand, Steele's tried-and-true indicators from 2010 do raise a few red flags related to the Sooners:
- favorable turnover margin (+14);
- minimal starts lost to injury (4);
- net of 5 "close wins."
Some other items of interest:
*Steele's projected Big 12 finish:
2. Texas A&M
3. Oklahoma State
6. Kansas State
7. Texas Tech
9. Iowa State
*In terms of OU roster tidbits, Steele has freshman phenom Brandon Williams listed as the Sooners' starting running back, ahead of Roy Finch. He also still lists Jamell Fleming as being part of the squad, which remains a grey area.
*Sooner quarterback Landry Jones and defensive end Ronnell Lewis are surprise additions to the first-team all-conference honorees, joining receiver Ryan Broyles, center Ben Habern, linebacker Travis Lewis and corner Demontre Hurst. Williams shows up on the second team.
*Steele is clearly buying the Malcolm Brown hype, pegging Texas' talented freshman as a member of the first-team all-conference team.
*OU has four games against teams ranked in Steele's top 25 (in order): No. 10 Florida State, No. 18 Texas, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 19 Oklahoma State. Obviously, he doesn't share the view that the Cowboys are a national championship dark horse.
*The biggest surprise to: Virginia Tech is ranked No. 5 overall. Steele likens the Hokies to last season's Auburn team. (Really?)
*If you're a Notre Dame hater, be prepared. The Fightin' Irish come in at No. 6.