The Associated Press preseason football poll was released this week and the Oklahoma Sooners were ranked as the number two team behind Alabama while receiving six first-place votes. Could this be the year Oklahoma gets back to the national championship game? Las Vegas has set the over/under on wins for the Sooners at 11. They are not only the favorite to win the Big 12, but many are predicting them to be serious contenders for the national championship.
Spencer Rattler returns to lead a Sooner offense that returns a lot of weapons at key skill positions. The defense returns seven starters from the 2020 team that won their last eight games and never gave up more than 28 points in their last seven, winning them by an average margin of 28 points. Can they keep the momentum going this season? Let’s take a closer look at the schedule.
September 4 at Tulane
Tulane is not a bad team, finishing the 2020 season 6-6 overall, 3-5 in the AAC, and losing to Nevada in the Idaho Potato Bowl. They’re picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the AAC in 2021. This one might be a game for a quarter or two, but I think Oklahoma will handle Tulane on the road without much trouble.
September 11 vs. Western Carolina
Western Carolina plays in the Southern Conference of the FCS. They were 1-8 in 2020. Oklahoma should have no problem in this game.
September 18 vs. Nebraska
Nebraska hasn’t made a bowl game since Scott Frost became head coach. He begins his fourth year at the helm and, while expectations are high once again, they are most likely going to struggle to get to six wins. This game has intrigue since it’s a renewal of what used to be one of the biggest rivalries in college sports. Oklahoma will most likely be a huge favorite and shouldn’t have much trouble winning.
September 25 vs. West Virginia
Getting the opportunity to open the Big 12 schedule at home against West Virginia is a plus for the Sooners. The Mountaineers have the best defense Oklahoma will face up to this point on their schedule. The game may be close for a while, but I give the advantage to the Sooners.
October 2 at Kansas State
K-State has beaten Oklahoma two years in a row, and Chris Klieman will have a solid team once again. Three in a row is unlikely. Home field advantage will no doubt help K-State, but I think the Sooners get the win.
October 9 vs. Texas
The 2020 game between these two teams went to four overtimes before Oklahoma was able to secure the victory. The 2021 version of the Red River Rivalry could go either way, but I’m picking the Sooners.
October 16 vs. TCU
TCU could be 5-0 when traveling to Norman to play the Sooners. It might be a different story if the game was in Fort Worth this year, but Oklahoma should be able to beat TCU at home.
October 23 at Kansas
Could this be a trap game for Oklahoma? Uh….no.
October 30 vs. Texas Tech
Oklahoma beat Texas Tech 62-28 last season in Lubbock. The score might not be as lopsided this season, but OU will be the heavy favorite.
November 13 at Baylor
Kansas, Texas Tech, and Baylor all in a row should be Oklahoma’s three easiest conference games. The next game on the schedule won’t be quite so easy.
November 20 vs. Iowa State
I think Iowa State will play Oklahoma close, but I give the Sooners the slight edge. This game will be fun to watch.
November 27 at Oklahoma State
Last season’s game between these two wasn’t competitive, with Oklahoma winning 41-13. I think this year’s game will be a lot closer, and it won’t be an easy game for Oklahoma. It is a possible loss, but I predict the Sooners win.
Season Prediction: 12-0.
Best Case: 12-0. Oklahoma plays the most difficult game on their schedule, Iowa State, at home. Texas has a new coach, and the Sooners get Nebraska, TCU, and West Virginia at home. The schedule sets up very nicely for them to run the table.
Worst Case: 9-3. Let’s say TCU, Iowa State and Oklahoma State beat them. I can see all three having a shot against the Sooners.