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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Our Preseason Predictions

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Some of us are more optimistic than others

Oklahoma v Tennessee Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The season is upon us, which means its time for each of us to give our preseason predictions!

Jack Shields

Oklahoma’s Record:

Houston: W

UL Monroe: W

Ohio State: W

@ TCU: L

Texas: W

Kansas State: W

@ Texas Tech: W

Kansas: W

@ Iowa State: W

Baylor: W

@ West Virginia: W

Oklahoma State: W

Regular season W/L: 11-1

Big 12 Standings:

Oklahoma: 8-1

Baylor: 7-2

TCU: 7-2

Texas Tech: 6-3

Texas: 6-3

Oklahoma State: 5-4

Iowa State: 3-6

West Virginia: 2-7

Kansas State: 1-8

Kansas: 0-9

Jack’s explanation: The non-conference slate is going to be very, very tough, but I think OU pulls out fairly close ones against Houston and Ohio State. I think it’s very reasonable to expect Oklahoma to win a conference championship. Some of the usual stumbling blocks don’t seem as treacherous this year. For instance, Lubbock is usually tricky, but if we just run the ball on them they won’t be able to stop us. I think OU loses is Ft. Worth and follows it up with a blowout of Texas. OU will eek out a win against Baylor, but I think the rest of the conference slate will be fairly smooth. OU will make the playoff and play Alabama in a game for the ages. However, I think OU falls just short in that hypothetical matchup.

Graham Dudley

Oklahoma’s Record:

Houston: W

UL Monroe: W

Ohio State: W

@ TCU: W

Texas: W

Kansas State: W

@ Texas Tech: W

Kansas: W

@ Iowa State: W

Baylor: L

@ West Virginia: W

Oklahoma State: W

Regular season W/L: 11-1

Big 12 Standings:

Oklahoma: 8-1

West Virginia: 7-2

Baylor: 6-3

TCU: 6-3

Texas: 6-3

Oklahoma State: 4-5

Texas Tech: 4-5

Kansas State: 3-6

Iowa State: 1-8

Kansas: 0-9

Graham’s explanation: While I'm nervous about Baker Mayfield's health (probably just the Dallas Cowboys fan in me), OU can win 11 games if everyone stays on the field. I'm picking Baylor to be the fateful contest because of the way the Bears pushed Oklahoma last year without Seth Russell, and I can easily see the Sooners overlooking a hobbled and undermanned Baylor team. OU gets a big week off before traveling to Fort Worth, allowing them to recover from a physical Ohio State game and squeak by the Frogs. West Virginia will surprise and take a big step forward, while Texas improves enough to save Charlie Strong and Kliff Kingsbury's seat heats up in Lubbock. The nation bites its nails as Oklahoma's November loss puts its Playoff hopes in jeopardy, but Iowa upsets Michigan in the Big Ten title game and OU grabs the fourth Playoff slot for the second year in a row, losing a close contest to the undefeated Florida State Seminoles in the semis.

Kartik Rajendran

Oklahoma’s Record:

Houston: W

UL Monroe: W

Ohio State: W

@ TCU: W

Texas: W

Kansas State: W

@ Texas Tech: W

Kansas: W

@ Iowa State: W

Baylor: W

@ West Virginia: W

Oklahoma State: W

Regular season W/L: 12-0

Big 12 Standings:

Oklahoma: 9-0

TCU: 7-2

Oklahoma State: 6-3

Texas: 6-3

Baylor: 5-4

Texas Tech: 4-5

West Virginia: 3-6

Kansas State: 3-6

Iowa State: 1-8

Kansas: 0-9

Kartik’s explanation: So, I’m doin’ it! Call me an Oklahomer…but I must. I mean, sure there could be a hiccup in a tough test in Fort Worth or a flat start against an inferior conference foe on a late fall Saturday. I won’t dare mention the “I” word, but the stacked early schedule may actually prove to really work in the Sooners’ favor. Fielding Good vs. Good, OU will be favored in every game this season. And if things come together early this team has a realistic shot to run the table in the regular season. We’ve had all offseason to prepare facing essentially the same offense, with respect to the talent, two of the first three weeks to start the season. The Bye week before TCU is big. Other than the obvious tough foes early, Tech late on the road is one to watch, but as long as the major players are in place, the margin for error is greater in late-season match-ups against the bottom of the conference. Yes, we’ve been here and heard this all before. But very team across the nation has question marks and OU is still teeming with top-tier talent…and excruciating hunger. This is an angry team still stinging from the abrupt end to a memorable but not ultimate season. That is the separating factor. The Sooners navigate through their daunting schedule to go unbeaten, win the Big XII and make the College Football Playoff. The only team that beats OU this season is Clemson, which will be in the National Championship Game. …. Or of course we lose to TCU and Tech, and I never write again.

Matt Ravis

Oklahoma’s Record:

Houston: W

UL Monroe: W

Ohio State: W

@ TCU: L

Texas: W

Kansas State: W

@ Texas Tech: W

Kansas: W

@ Iowa State: W

Baylor: W

@ West Virginia: W

Oklahoma State: W

Regular season W/L: 11-1

Big 12 Standings:

1: Oklahoma: 8-1

2: TCU: 7-2

3: Oklahoma State: 6-3

4: Texas: 6-3

5: Kansas State: 5-4

6: West Virginia: 4-5

7: Baylor: 4-5

8: Texas Tech: 3-6

9: Iowa State: 2-7

10: Kansas: 0-9

Matt’s explanation: Let’s just put it out there: Yes, Texas is going to better this season. No, no, no, they’re not going to beat Oklahoma this year. They won’t capture lightning in a bottle twice. Overall, I went pretty conservatively here. I see OU dropping a game to either Ohio State, TCU, or Oklahoma State. Even if they drop one of the aforementioned games, they’ll still make it to the final four. TCU might have a case if they can drop one game or fewer. OSU will torch our defense with the long ball yet again. Mason Rudolph might have a case for being the best quarterback in the Big 12, and James Washington—who Dez Bryant calls a “bad man”—will be a top three receiver in the nation in terms of both receiving yards and touchdowns.

Steve Smith

Houston: W

UL Monroe: W

Ohio State: W

@ TCU: LTexas: W

Kansas State: W

@ Texas Tech: W

Kansas: W

@ Iowa State: W

Baylor: W

@ West Virginia: W

Oklahoma State: W

Regular season W/L: 11-1

Big 12 Standings:

Oklahoma: 8-1

Oklahoma State: 7-2

TCU: 7-2

Texas Tech: 6-3

Texas: 5-4

Baylor: 5-4

West Virginia: 4-5

Kansas State: 2-7

Iowa State: 1-8

Kansas: 0-9

Steve's explanation: To be honest, I'm not totally sold that OU will lose any games at all. The Sooners would be favored against any team on their schedule if they played them today, and barring injury there's no reason they won't be the better team in each match-up (including Ohio State, who my gut says is just replacing too many players to beat OU in this early contest). Texas Tech may present problems in Lubbock, but no amount of offensive highlights will fix that running defense, and I expect the ground game to carry Oklahoma. Oklahoma State will be tough as well, but OU is the more well-rounded team and should by pumped up for a game in Norman to potentially clinch the Big 12. However, I've seen too much to sit here and predict an unblemished season. Of all the games on the schedule, TCU looks to be the biggest trap game--on the road and stuck right between two other big games for OU. It's true that Mayfield missed a huge chunk of the TCU game a year ago, but TCU was marred by horrible QB play far more than Oklahoma was. Kenny Hill could be a big step up from the tandem they tossed out in Norman last year, and if the defense is up to its standards for TCU, this could be the one game that OU drops.

Oklahoma State returns what should be an elite offense, but I still have them losing to Oklahoma and Baylor, who still has good players even after their tough off-season. TCU, who I think may beat Oklahoma, still has a tough schedule and could drop games to both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. I think Texas Tech has the offense (barely) to put them ahead of Texas and Baylor, though I do think they'll lose to a Texas team that has athletes all over the defense. Speaking of Texas, I think they're one year away from serious contention. I've got Baylor going the opposite direction, slipping to 5-4 in the conference, possibly to get even worse next year. I like West Virginia to upset Baylor, but I don't expect them to do anything else incredibly remarkable. From there, things get a little more ugly. The top of the Big 12 should be very good this year, which never means good things for the bottom of a conference. I don't see a game Kansas should win, and I think Iowa State would need luck to beat anybody but that Kansas Team. I have Kansas State losing to everyone but those two to make for a disappointing season in Manhattan.