2010-11: Ranking the Sooner Squads

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners' 2010-11 athletic year was officially completed in all sports when Baylor recently knocked the OU softball team out of the Women's College World Series and the baseball team dropped a pair of games in the Fort Worth Regional, so now it's time to rank the major sports teams and which had the best overall seasons inside.

5. Men's basketball--The hoops squad struggled to its second straight losing season, the first time that has happened since 1967. That led to the dismissal of head coach Jeff Capel and the hiring of new head coach Lon Kruger. The Sooners were 14-18 overall and just 5-11 in conference play after starting 4-4.

4. Baseball--Coming off their 10th College World Series appearance, the Sooners were a preseason favorite both to make a return trip to Omaha and win the Big 12 Conference. Neither of those happened. The Sooners imploded after a 16-0 start, the best in program history. They still finished the year with a healthy 41 wins (41-19), but with 11 draft picks, the potential for this group was much greater and a higher win total and 11th CWS appearance was certainly not only preferable but realistic.

3. Women's basketball--Sans 2010 stars Nyeshia Stevenson, Amanda Thompson and Abi Olajuwon, the youthful Sooners sought after their third straight Final Four this year. They fell short of that, but earned yet another trip to the Sweet Sixteen in the process. This team came together as a unit and more than exceeded realistic expectations considering the circumstances. Guard Whitney Hand missed the first half of the season, so the Sooners had less than half of their previous year's starters and still made a run at the conference and NCAA Tournament.

2. Football--This group showed amazing resiliency after a pair of devastating losses. It especially could have folded following a road loss at Texas A&M that left it in all must-win games down the stretch to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. But the Sooners didn't. They won each of those games, posting victories at home against Baylor and on the road vs. Baylor and Oklahoma State. Then, OU made a monumental comeback to beat Nebraska in the Big 12 Title game, earning a trip in the Fiesta Bowl, where it defeated UConn 48-20.

1. Softball--Behind the arm of ace Keilani Ricketts, who finished the year 29-15, the Sooners earned their sixth trip to the Women's College World Series. They went two-and-out in Oklahoma City with 3-1 and 4-1 losses to Arizona State and Missouri, respectively, but that performance in the WCWS has no bearing on how successful of a year this really was. There's a lot to be said for being one of the last eight teams standing, and that's just what this group happened to be.

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