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CFN Analysis - Oklahoma "Belldozes" Past Iowa
Oklahoma QB Blake Bell
Oklahoma QB Blake Bell
Posted Dec 31, 2011

CFN Instant Analysis on the Oklahoma win over Iowa in the Insight

CFN Analysis   

OU 31, Iowa 14

By Pete Fiutak

- It’s not like Oklahoma looked like it didn’t want to be there, but this was a far cry from the machine that was rolling at times early this year when it was No. 1 in the nation and had everyone healthy.

- Yeah, if you’re Oklahoma and you’re a preseason No. 1, finishing the year with an Insight win is disappointing. It might not seem fair and might not seem right, but that’s the deal for a football superpower.

- In yet another game since Ryan Broyles got hurt, Landry Jones didn’t look ready for the NFL. On talent and skills, he’s a top ten talent, but he just doesn’t seem to have it. That might be nebulous and unfair, but however you want to define it when it comes to potentially leading a team to a Super Bowl, it just doesn’t seem to be there.

- The problem is that it’s hard to envision anything special out of Jones at the next level. He seems like he’ll be a solid starter, but he doesn’t do anything at a potential Pro Bowl level.

- Oklahoma’s Jamell Fleming did a brilliant job on Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt. That’s how you frustrate a receiver.

- Iowa might not have been the same without Marcus Coker running the ball, but the OU linebacking corps would’ve stopped him cold. The difference is that James Vandenberg wouldn’t have had to carry the offense. He started to find his groove in the second half, but it was too late.

- Oklahoma needs a running back. Going with the Belldozer – Blake Bell – for hard yards isn’t going to get it done on a regular basis. You’re Oklahoma. If a slew of top backs left, go recruit another one.

- But I would like to thank you, Bell, for making my awful confidence pool sheet look a tad better.

- Riley Reiff had himself a game at left tackle. The Iowa junior did a terrific job on Frank Alexander; Vandenberg had enough time to work, he just didn’t have anywhere to go.

- Mike Stoops is going to return to the Oklahoma coaching staff? Remember, the Sooners lost their big game mojo in when he took off for the Arizona job.

- Thanks, Norm Parker. Your guys didn’t get you the win, but they played their hearts out.

By Matt Zemek

The 2011 Insight Bowl featured two teams who generally disappointed their fan bases. Oklahoma underachieved more than Iowa did relative to its talent, but it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for a program when it makes back-to-back Insight Bowl appearances. Iowa deserved a great deal of credit for getting off the deck when Pittsburgh gained a 24-3 third-quarter lead on the Hawkeyes back in September, but it’s also worth noting that if Iowa hadn’t completed a comeback in that contest, the Hawks might not have qualified for any bowl game at all. Seeing Iowa go down meekly against Oklahoma in Tempe, Arizona, underscored one very important macro-level point about college football programs: They underachieve at different levels.

When Iowa underachieves, it finishes just north of .500. When Oklahoma underachieves, it still wins 10 games. Iowa frequently fails to meet expectations; the 2009 season was the only season in the past five that left the Hawkeyes feeling fulfilled at the end of a long autumnal sojourn. Oklahoma’s biggest problem in the Bob Stoops era has been the BCS title game (or any other bowl game against an opponent of equal or greater quality). Iowa’s biggest problem has been getting out of its own way on an annual basis.

This game makes me appreciate the collection of conference championships Bob Stoops has accumulated in Norman. It also magnifies the extent to which Kirk Ferentz hasn’t won conference championships at Iowa (he tied Ohio State in 2002, and that’s it; before you make claims about other seasons, remember that the Weekly Affirmation views some conference ties differently from others). Programs underachieve in different ways and at different levels. We should all have the problems Oklahoma has… not Iowa’s.
Phil Harrison

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

- Oklahoma has struggled in bowl games the last few years but more so on the biggest of stages. Yes it won the Fiesta Bowl last year, but BCS wins have been few and far between in recent years. Stoops and company now seem to have the formula figured out: lesser bowl + lesser opponent = high probability of winning a trophy + less media scrutiny.

- You can’t help but wonder how each program would be different if Bob Stoops would have taken the head coaching job at his alma mater--Iowa, instead of Oklahoma at the end of the 1998 season.

- Iowa QB James Vandenberg has some serious growing to do. He possesses an electric arm and good athleticism, but the decision making and touch on some passes needs to improve to move the Iowa program forward. We’ll give him a bit of a pass as a first year starter but that’s it.

-The Mike Stoops to Oklahoma talk seems to be heating up. If he does land with Oklahoma to be reunited with his brother it could be fun. Based on the way the Sooner defense played at times this year, it is none to soon--to get back to Oklahoma standards.

- Can we please quit calling Kirk Ferentz a great coach. Look, he is a very solid college head coach, but even he has to be getting tired of the label “he does more with less.” That’s pretty close to the girl you have a crush on calling you a “nice guy.” Start winning some conference championships again and then we’ll talk. It’s been long enough.

- How big of a year will Oklahoma have next year? The answer to that question likely rests on the decision of Landry Jones to come back for another year or be a millionaire in the NFL.

- Okay Big Ten, this was a shot to make a statement and instead you sputtered and stuttered your way to an ugly loss. Things need to go better in a hurry....

- Iowa's offense was so bad this game that the best move Iowa WR Marvin McNutt displayed was avoiding the tackle of the ESPN Sky Cam.

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

- Oklahoma was clearly the better team in this game, and it showed from the opening whistle.

- However, Iowa deserves a lot of credit for hanging around as long as they did. After the Sooners went ahead 21-0, it looked like the game was all but over. Instead of giving up, the Hawkeyes kept fighting, and mounted two long scoring drives to cut the lead to just 7.

- Even if Stoops was trying to run up the score (and I doubt he was), I have no problem with Blake Bell’s final touchdown. It is the job of the defense to stop the offense from scoring – regardless of how much time remains.

- The Sooners finally played the type of defense that made them the No.1 team in the country heading into the 2011 season. Oklahoma’s front seven dominated the line of scrimmage, and took away the running game. Even when James Vanderberg had time to throw – which was not often - the Sooner DB’s were there to knock the ball away, or make a big hit.

- Of course, how bad was the defense this year if Bob Stoops is entertaining the thought of bringing back Mike Stoops as co-defensive coordinator next year?

- Does Landry Jones really want to turn pro after the struggles he had at the end of the season? Throwing for only 161 yards against the Big Ten’s worst passing defense will not impress NFL scouts.