Each an every year, teams across the country are vying for the top spot in the land. In an attempt to do so, many programs have begun scheduling top tier schools for part of the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Oklahoma Sooners are no different, however, they may have outdone themselves this year. With a revamped defense to go along with the uncertainty of who will step out of the tunnel as the starting quarterback on August 31st, there are some concerns when looking into the schedule.
|2013 OU Football Schedule|
|09/07||West Virginia||Norman||11/17/12 (50-49, OU)||3-2, OU|
|09/14||Tulsa||Norman||09/03/11 (47-14, OU)||17-7-1, OU|
|09/28||at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||10/27/12 (30-13, ND)||9-1, ND|
|10/05||TCU||Norman||12/01/12 (to be played)||7-4, OU|
|10/12||Texas||Dallas, Texas||10/13/12 (63-21, OU)||59-43-5, UT|
|10/19||at Kansas||Lawrence, Kan.||10/20/12 (52-7, OU)||70-27-6, OU|
|10/26||Texas Tech||Norman||10/06/12 (41-20, OU)||14-6, OU|
|11/09||at Baylor||Waco, Texas||11/10/12 (42-34, OU)||21-1, OU|
|11/16||Iowa State||Norman||11/03/12 (35-20, OU)||70-5-2, OU|
|11/23||at Kansas State||Manhattan, Kan.||09/22/12 (24-19, KSU)||71-18-4, OU|
|12/07||at Oklahoma State||Stillwater, Okla.||11/24/12 (to be played)||82-17-7, OU|
Playing Down to the Level of Competition
First on the list is none other than the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Jumping out to a quick start, ULM shocked the nation as it took to the road against an SEC favorite in the Arkansas Razorbacks and came out of Little Rock with an overtime win. Following the upset, the Warhawks looked to be at it again while their run ended short, once again in overtime at Auburn.
It was clear from the get go that ULM was out to set the tone for the rest of their season while proving to the nation that they could play with the heavyweights. Once again they will be upset minded as the Warhawks travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the first week of college football.
First Road Test For New Starting Quarterback
On a positive note, it would appear that the university has done their part in finding optimal dates for a bye week. It provides a week off before taking on what could be a stout top ten team in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish regardless of the fact that they are losing their media darling, Manti T'eo.
Fact remains that this will be the first road test for a first time starter at quarterback for the Sooners. Nerves could get the best of whoever the starter may be giving way to Everett Golson to showing these inexperienced Oklahoma quarterbacks a quick lesson on what a dual threat QB looks like.
What makes the Notre Dame game a potential down turn to the season comes knowing the TCU Horned Frogs are right behind. This sets up what is likely to be the first two ranked opponents the Sooners will face in back to back matchups.
The "Trap" Game
TCU jumps out as a trap game seeing as it is sandwiched between two of the biggest games on the year for OU...Notre Dame and the Texas Longhorns. It is always easy to overlook a quality opponent when one of the best rivalries in the nation is loom just around the corner.
Lack of Home Games Late in the Season
Finally, the Oklahoma Sooners should be worried about the lack of home games late in the season. When all is said and done, players will have been banged up and bruised. Who is ready to go late is somewhat of a mystery because we are not sure what will occur during the course of a season.
The Sooners play three of the last four games on their schedule on the road. One is against a team that will be losing their fearless leader, Collin Klein, at the helm of the offense. Yet, Bill Snyder has worked miracles in the past with the Kansas St. WIldcats.
The other has come on as of late and given Oklahoma fits...that would be the in-state rival Oklahoma St. Cowboys. Playing a plethora of quarterbacks due to injury helped get Clint Chelf onto the field last season as he lead a late charge to end the season. O-State has three returning quarterbacks who all threw for over 1,000 yards. The sting of Brennan Clay rushing into the endzone during overtime will still be fresh as the 2013 season draws to a close and the Cowboys are salivating for a chance at revenge.
The Bedlam game will mark the first time since 2010 that OU has played back to back road games in conference.
The Oklahoma Sooners have a tough schedule ahead of them and will be playing for a a conference championship and BCS Berth in the final year of the BCS contract. Of course, many teams will be eyeing the same prize and are willing to do nearly anything to obtain it. It is a long road ahead but, great teams always find a way to win no matter what the odds are.