Football: '09 Must Haves

Here's the first part of a two part series of the three miscellaneous things the Sooners must have and must avoid in order to have a National Championship caliber season.

It's that time of year.

People are starting to predict college football games.

Preseason polls are coming out.

Everyone is starting to give it their best shot on picking who will go not only to the national championship, but also to the rest of the BCS bowls and perhaps some of the other major bowls in this year's postseason.

But what everyone always forgets to consider when making their predictions, and honestly, what might be impossible to foresee, are the miscellaneous things that can happen throughout the course of a three to four month college football season.

So, here's the first part of a two part series of the three miscellaneous things the Sooners must have and must avoid in order to have a national championship caliber season.

Three must-haves:

3. Good team chemistry:
This can't be ignored. There always seems to be a bad apple in the middle of a bunch of good ones, and hopefully for the Sooners' sake, it won't show up. In the last couple of years, OU has been lucky enough to have a tight-knit group each time that really came together as the season moved on. In order for them to maximize their potential this is one of the major miscellaneous things the Sooners need.

2. A fast start:
More along the lines of how the Sooners play, they must not come out of the gates stumbling and struggling in their first contest because there are teams on that schedule waiting for it to happen, namely their first opponent, BYU. If OU finds itself having trouble in the first game and any of these problems linger over into ensuing contests, they could be in for trouble and any national championship hopes will go by the wayside.

1. An injury-free season:
After last year, Sooner fans would appreciate this one. First, defensive lineman DeMarcus Granger went down in the Washington game. Then, linebacker Ryan Reynolds suffered a season-ending MCL injury in the Red River Rivalry game against Texas. Then, wide receiver Manuel Johnson suffered an injury that sat him for a couple weeks. And there were a few in between. Everyone remembers the 2007 season when quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a serious concussion in a major upset loss at Texas Tech. Impressive enough, the Sooners were able to battle through all these injuries last year to make it to the national championship game, but if the injury situation happens again, don't count on OU making a return trip to the national championship.

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