Oklahoma Sooner Quarterbacks have averaged 4,100 passing yards, 640 rushing yards, and 49 total touchdowns per season in the last 5 years.
If you haven’t been paying attention or aren’t a big college football fan, Oklahoma has been absolutely 1-2 PIECING all of college football in the QB department in recent history. Seriously, nobody is even close to their production, consistency, NFL prospects, accolades, and overall dominance at the Quarterback position in the last 5 years. It’s absurd and low key kind of slept on, or at least I don’t think it gets enough attention. I’m also bored and staying in on a Saturday night sipping Corona because all my money is tied up in sports cards, depreciating NBA Top Shots, a deposit on an apartment, and lots of weekday drinks and Ubers from open mics, so bear with me. My main inspiration for this blog is due to how excited I am to see Spencer Rattler play, but let’s take a look at the Sooners history at QB to get an idea of what’s about to happen this fall.
Let’s go back to 2008. The Phillies won the world series, I was in 7th grade & wasn’t even close to hitting puberty, and Ray J had just dropped Sexy Can I. Fucking great year. While all that was happening, Sam Bradford threw for 50 TD’s at Oklahoma, beat out now Jacksonville Jaguar TE Tim Tebow for Heisman, and was selected 1st overall in the NFL draft. Injuries may have plagued Bradford’s NFL career but he was brilliant at OU, leading them to 2 Big 12 Championships and 1 Natty appearance.
I’m not going to bore anyone with the next 5 seasons. Refer to the “5 years” in the opening paragraph. To be honest, Landry Jones (2010-2014) was alright, nothing sexy, but he’s not the meat of this article. Bradford was the appetizer, Landry is the extra drink you get in-between the main course when you’re on a first date and nervous as fuck that you’re bombing, but the meat is thicc. The meat is why you came. And it all started with two bros. Lincoln Reilly and Baker Mayfield.
Lincoln Reilly is a true football nerd-genius. I read a book about his life and comeup, Sooner, and was fascinated about how he became the Sooners HC at 34. Go read the book if you want the full story, but he became the Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma in 2015, which was Baker Mayfield’s 1st year as the starter for the Sooners. That duo is what started this 5 year run of QB dominance at Oklahoma.
Baker came in a sophomore transfer at OU in 2015 and won the starting job. That first season he totaled 42 TD’s and led OU to an 11-2 record but fell short of getting into the inaugural College Football Playoff. Still, Baker arrived and set the tone for the next 2 years. In 2016 Baker totaled 46 TD’s, was a Heisman finalist (lost to Lamar Jackson), and led OU to their first CFP appearance, although they were routed by Deshaun Watson and Clemson. Progress, and now he was comfortable with Lincoln’s system (took over as HC the next season). 2017 was the year for the most fiery CFB QB since Johnny Manziel, on and off the field. On the field, Baker won the Heisman, finished the year as the #2 team in CFB, and won a BIG 12 title. Off the field, Baker copped a public intoxication charge. Frat. Later in 2018, Baker was drafted #1 overall by the Cleveland Browns. QB-U was born.
Who replaced Baker Mayfield? Oh, just some dude that should’ve played baseball named Kyler Murray. Kyler spent 2017 as Baker’s backup and took over the reigns as Lincoln Riley’s guy in 2018. Dude came in and put up straight video game numbers. 4,300 passing yards, 1,000 + rushing yards, and 54 total touchdowns was enough to beat out Tua and Dwayne Haskins for Heisman. It was also enough for him to get drafted #1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals. Q-B-U. Murray is currently a top 8 NFL MVP Candidate according to Vegas.
Next Up??? The Alabama transfer and current Eagle’s starting QB, Jalen Hurts. The system was in place, and Jalen had the talent and motivation to be the PERFECT QB at OU. After his transfer, Jalen went off during his senior season at OU for 32 passing TD’s and 20 (TWENTY) rushing TD’s. You do the math. Hurts was 2nd in Heisman voting and was beat out by Joe Burrow (magical season) for the award, but that year proved something. The Sooners have THE PERFECT system in place for just about any talented QB to not only thrive, but have a chance to win the Heisman and get drafted early.
The prestige of the OU Quarterback system had been established. Baker, Kyler, and Jalen. All similar QB’s in style, stature, and polarization. All Heisman finalist and/or winners, Big 12 champs, and starting QB’s in the NFL (Two (2) #1 overall picks). The next man up? Spencer fucking Rattler.
Rattler was Hurts’ backup in 2019 and earned the starting role in 2020 as a sophomore. He struggled early in the COVID season, starting the year 1-2 and losing 2 in a row in weeks 2 & 3. His inexperience showed, as he was making dumb mistakes and turning the ball over often. The next 8 games were a different story. OU rattled off 8 straight wins to end the season. Rattler went for 23 total TD’s, 3 interceptions, and looked like a completely different QB over that stretch. He got more and more comfortable as the season went on and the confidence showed, as the Sooners went on to win the Big 12 Title and beat Florida in the Cotton Bowl.
Rattler is coming into 2021 as the Heisman favorite, hovering around +250 to +300 odds. He is already getting hype about being the #1 overall draft pick in 2022. OU just earned the #1 overall preseason ranking according to ESPN. He gets more preparation, as COVID restrictions have lifted for the most part, plus he has almost a full year of experience under his belt. The system is in place. The talent is there. Another QB under 6’1 (Tinder height) is about to RUN college football. The pressure is on.
Baker, Kyler, Jalen, and now, Spencer. This season is going to be magical and I CANNOT WAIT to witness it. Boomer Sooner, Baby. I will be betting at least 2 units on Rattler for Heisman and am going to enjoy every game he plays.