Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine arrived at the doorstep Wednesday. Some notables about Oklahoma:
Steele projects that OU will go to the national championship and face Florida State at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. (By the way, if that happened it would be the fourth time of five tries OU would play for the BCS title in its opponent’s home state).
While Athlon selected Landry Jones as its third-team All-Big 12 QB, Steele ranks Jones as a second-team All-America and the No. 3 QB in the country behind USC’s Matt Barkley and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson. Interestingly, Steele has OU backup Drew Allen as the No. 36 overall QB, but left Blake Bell out of the top 60.
Jones is Steele’s No. 2 Heisman contender behind Barkley, ahead of the likes of Marcus Lattimore, Montee Ball and Denard Robinson. Steele actually has Kenny Stills as one of the top 20 contenders (I actually think Dominique Whaley would have a better shot of winning the Heisman than Stills).
Whaley is the No. 44 overall RB, 14 spots ahead of teammate Roy Finch. It’s reasonable to think Whaley would be ranked higher had it not been for last year’s season-ending ankle injury.
Joining Jones on Steele’s All-America teams are Stills (third team), OG Gabe Ikard (fourth team) and S Tony Jefferson (fourth team). Stills is rated the No. 7 WR overall. The only other OU WR ranked is Jaz Reynolds at No. 60.
Trey Millard is deservedly ranked the No. 2 FB in the country, behind SMU’s Zach Line. Curiously, Marshall Musil, who hasn’t seen a significant snap since the 2009 Red-White Spring Game, is rated the No. 16 FB.
How about this? Steele rates Michael Hunnicutt as the eighth-best kicker in the country.
Tress Way is the ninth-best punter, according to Steele.
Rightfully so, Steele is pretty high on the OU secondary. Demontre Hurst is his No. 14 CB; Aaron Colvin No. 41. Tony Jefferson is the No. 5 FS. And, as a bit of a surprise, Javon Harris is ranked the No. 13 SS nationally.
In his unit rankings, Steele has OU’s QBs No. 2; its RBs No. 15 (which is actually only fourth in the Big 12); its WRs No. 10; its OL No. 5; its DL No. 17; its LBs No. 14; its DBs No. 4 (behind both Texas and Oklahoma State); and its special teams No. 15 (we’ll see.)
On Steele’s All-Big 12 team: Jones, Stills, Ikard, Wort and Jefferson; second-teamers include Whaley, Evans, Way, Hunnicutt, Walker, Nelson and Hurst (can’t really argue any of these, though I think Colvin has a better shot at All-Big 12 than Walker and Nelson.).