Why the Bye Week is Troublesome

Sooners Illustrated previously provided five reasons why the 5-0 Sooners' idle week is at the best time, but now it's time to look at some reasons why a different time would be better.

1. OU just began conference play--OU is coming off a huge win in the Red River Rivalry game over Texas, but that's the only conference game the Sooners have played. So, even though they're riding high off the momentum from that victory and have more than a week to prepare for their next opponent, there is a strenuous conference schedule ahead of them.

2. The Sooners have only played away from Norman twice and once in true road fashion--Along the lines of the first reason why it's bad timing, it's early in the year, and thus the Sooners have a number of road games left on the schedule, including contests at Missouri, Texas A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma State. Perhaps it would be more beneficial if OU's bye week came after one of those contests, although OSU obviously wouldn't be a possibility since it's the last game of the regular season.

3. Opponents can jump them in the rankings--It's a common occurrence and Nebraska figures to have a chance to do so after its impressive 48-13 shellacking of Kansas State Thursday night. Although Auburn won't jump over OU, they stand a chance to gain some ground with a game against Kentucky they should win handily. With so many undefeated teams at this point, a later date after some of those teams have stumbled might serve the Sooners better.

4. It could really break their early rhythm--The majority response to this point will be that OU certainly hasn't peaked yet and thus they truly aren't in a real rhythm yet. But the Sooners are winning close games and catching breaks in those games. Sometimes the best thing, even for a team that's slightly banged up, is to keep moving on when everything seems to be going right otherwise. And beside the fact that the games have been close, OU is methodically moving along in its schedule, exactly how rhythm is defined in this sense.

5. The timing could be too early for some of the freshmen--There's always the argument that the youngsters can evaluate themselves after five games and fix things through a couple weeks of practice, and that's plenty of time to see what they've done right and wrong so far. But more conference experience before an off week might help these freshmen to more accurately evaluate themselves, and not only that, but the fact that so many freshmen are impacting the Sooners in such a big way means that more live game experience before a break is that much more critical.

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