Landry's development, Saban's retirement 

March, 4, 2010

It's Friday. Let's hit the mailbag.

From Chris in Texarkana, Texas: Some people think Landry Jones might be sick next year -- like maybe one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. He did look good at the end there, vs. Stanford and Oklahoma State. What do you think or know? Can he be like, a tier below Bradford?

I thought Jones played reasonably well last season, in spite of his youth and the shaky OU O-line. He must become more consistent and make better decisions, which should happen as he matures. You're right, though -- he did finish the year well, and if I'm a Sooners fan, I'm encouraged by his progress. Now how much better can he get this offseason when he knows it's his team? That's much different from last year at this time, when everyone knew it was Bradford's show.

This is no shocking statement, but when Jones played well, OU won, and when he didn't, the Sooners usually lost. He threw eight of his 14 interceptions in the Sooners' five losses. In those wins, he completed more than 62 percent of his passes. In the losses, he completed less than 52 percent. Getting a healthy Ryan Broyles back will be a huge help. They should become a dangerous tandem. DeMarco Murray's return also is a big plus. I'm not as sold on the O-line though. I do think they have a decent shot at winning the Big 12 because all the other teams have sizable question marks, too.

I'm sticking with Texas as the favorite in the Big 12 South, but if OU's O-line can jell, the Sooners have a pretty good chance of overtaking UT.

From Kendall in Houston: Saw some stuff on the message boards. Those things are always crazy, but this one was claiming Nick Saban may have told Kirby Smart to stick around for a few more years and he'll be the head man at Alabama. Seems ludicrous. My question is, with how much Saban puts into his job, how many years DOES he have left? 10?