Why OU Won't Be Unbeaten After Non-Conference

Sooners Illustrated now delves deeper into the 2010 nonconference schedule.

Here are some reasons why it will be difficult for OU to win all four of the contests against Utah State, Florida State, Air Force and Cincinnati and they might lose one.

1. Strength of schedule—Out of the four teams listed here, only one (Utah State) didn't compete in a bowl during the 2009-10 season. FSU, Air Force and Cincy all played in the postseason last year. The Seminoles defeated West Virginia 33-21 in the Gator Bowl. Air Force beat Houston 47-20 in the Armed Forces Bowl, and Cincy, although they lost 51-24 to Florida, finished their season with an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. So clearly the strength of this lineup won't be easy to sweep through unscathed.

2. Tough road game at Cincinnati—It may be the only road game on the nonconference slate, but it's certainly not one that's a piece of cake. The Bearcats will likely be undefeated and ranked in all the polls when the Sooners come to town. And, as everyone knows, all teams are up when the Sooners roll on in.

3. Lingering problems with offensive line—It's not to say that it's a certainty by any means because all indications are that the line will be much improved. But if the offensive line has any problems at the beginning of the season, this is set to be a long game. A road contest with an atmosphere that figures to be electric given the magnitude of the game will not be the place to correct any issues up front on offense.

So, these are a few of the reasons why OU might not be undefeated going into the Red River Rivalry on October 2.

For the reasons why it will be the other way around, check here.

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