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40 Predictions for 2011 Part II

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Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

In case you missed it on Tuesday I put out my first ten predictions for the 2011 season including one in which Justin Blackmon doesn’t lead this team in catches (you can kill me in the comments).

11. OSU will finish higher in both the AP and Coaches polls than they start – Yes, they’ve started in the top ten before, but this year feels different. It is different. That ’09 team was dazzling and electric, but this team is nasty. There’s a tangible difference.

12. Brandon Weeden will break the completion percentage record he set last year of .669 – Last year he shattered the former record, that had only been raised .1% in the last 22 years, by a staggering 2%. That’s going up again. 70% isn’t unattainable.

13. Four guys will top 50 catches this year – Last year only two did (Blackmon and Cooper). This year I think they’ll repeat and you can throw Randle and pick one from Anyiam, Moore, Stewart, and Harrison.

14. This year’s team will go for it on fourth down at least 20 times – Last year’s squad went 7-15 in such instances. I just think there’s a trust factor between the coaches and the offense that wasn’t there for the totality of the 2010 season. If the ball is past midfield and it’s not a tight game in the 4th, I don’t see Gundy not going for it.

15. Jeremy Smith will lead the team in total TDs – I think we’ve already established that I don’t see Blackmon having as big of a year as he did last year (not that anyone should be disappointed with something along the lines of 80 | 1,500 | 14) and I think Smith is going to get a ton of chances to punch it in. I also think he’s one of the five players OSU can least afford to lose.

16. Herschel Sims will rush for more yards this year than Joseph Randle did last year (463) – Monken is going to run it and he’s got a wicked trio of back with which to do it. Sims won’t be as important as Randle was last year, but he’s going to blow people away when he’s in there.

17. We won’t see the gray jerseys more than once this year – And I think it’ll be at home against Arizona.

18. Brandon Weeden will be in New York City on December 10 – I know I wrote this summer that OSU should focus its Heisman campaign solely on Blackmon, but the more I think about it the more convinced I am that Weeden is going to have a Heisman-worthy year.

19. Shaun Lewis will lead the team in tackles (but he won’t break 100) – I say that mostly because there’s so much parity at LB. Nobody’s going to pull an Orie and have 133 tackles this year. Lewis is going to be an All-Big 12 player this year though and he’ll have the resume to back it up.

20. Mike Gundy will go back-to-back Big 12 coach of the year – It’s one thing to do it from out of nowhere with nobody gunning for you and it’s a completely other to do it with everyone chasing you down. Just ask Bob Stoops.

To see the full series of 40 predictions (only 20 of which I’ve published so far) you can go here. To see our series on who’s in the way of #1 go here. And if you’re interested in who I think are the 20 most important people to an OSU title run go here.

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