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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Five Predictions for the Next Five Years

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What does the future hold for the Oklahoma football program?

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Auburn vs Oklahoma Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

10 days ago, one of our SB Nation league managers tasked each of the college blogs with a project...

We were to predict what would happen with our respective programs over the next five years!

A few days later, we were given a more specific template, which was to give five predictions for the next five years. For better or worse, this development saved y’all from a post that was going to be BUH-NANAS. I had laid out detailed predictions not only for each of the next five seasons, but for the next five recruiting cycles as well.

Now, I’m pretty familiar with the names comprising the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes, but I was getting a bit too creative with 2020, 2021 and 2022. After the part about the 2019 season, I included the following:

NOTE: The names of all recruits (and their respective backstories) from this point forward are completely fictional. Do not google ‘Andouille Ayodele Rivals’ or ‘Shaq Jields 247’.

Let it be known that Andouille Ayodele (no relation to former Sooner and alleged “Bountygate” co-conspirator Remi Ayodele) and Shaq Jields (my athletic alter ego) were going to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to the Promised Land.

Anyway, there will be none of that in this post. Here are some realistic predictions for the future of the Oklahoma football program.


1. Bob Stoops will be in Norman for at least another five seasons

Bob has stated on multiple occasions that he doesn’t plan on becoming an old football coach like his mentor Bill Snyder. However, he also stated last July that he hopes to coach for “another 10 years or so”. Barring health issues, I think that’s a safe bet. He has recruiting back on the right track for the most part, and his job security is more than safe.

It’s easy for coaches to become jaded and seek a change of scenery, but each time people begin to speculate that he’ll take that path (usually after a down year such as 2014), he makes adjustments and injects enthusiasm back into his program. The program will continue to experience high points and (relative) low points, and there will be times when people will doubt the man, but at the end of the day (see what I did there?) he’ll still be better than most.

2. The Air Raid is here to stay

After Oklahoma’s struggles in 2014, Bob Stoops decided to make a change on the offensive side of the ball, so he sent Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell packing in favor of the Air Raid. Lincoln Riley came aboard shortly thereafter and quickly made Oklahoma’s offense a force once again. Two years later, Riley is considered a rising star in the profession and could be a head coach in the not-so-distant future. However, I think it’s safe to say his departure will not bring an end to the Air Raid in Norman. Riley (along with Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia) has proven that a run/pass balance can be found within the system. Because of this, I think Bob will bring in another Air Raid guy after Riley leaves.

3. Texas will consistently challenge Oklahoma for Big 12 supremacy

It’s obviously a bit early to be jumping on the Tom Herman hype train, but I have a feeling that he’ll bring Texas back to where it needs to be within a year or two. It won’t happen in 2017 (I predict they finish the regular season with a record of 8-4), but our days of shrugging off Texas and fretting about Baylor are pretty much over. After years of relative calm in the rivalry, the next five-plus years are going to be very eventful on both the field and the recruiting trail.

4. Mike Stoops will still be in Norman in 2022

I’m not gonna lie to you guys — I went back and forth on this one quite a bit.

Fans were red in the face after watching Mike Stoops’ defense get embarrassed by Texas Tech in 2016. It wasn’t the first time they’ve been furious about OU’s defense during Mike’s second stint in Norman, and I don’t think it’ll be the last.

The defense should be more talented in the coming years, and the gradual shift to the 4-3 should help matters. However, Mike seems to have trouble making adjustments in a timely manner when things start to go awry. It could be out of stubbornness, or maybe the game is passing him by. Either way, difficult situations are going to arise no matter how talented the defense happens to be. If OU has another season in which its defense embarrasses its fans, the screams for Bob to fire his brother will be even louder than they were in 2016.

I think there’s a fairly decent chance that that’ll happen at some point in the next five years. Will it result in his firing? I don’t think so. Can you imagine Bob getting rid of his brother? Neither can I.

I can, however, envision a scenario in which Bob “encourages” Mike to take a job elsewhere. The issue is that Mike wouldn’t exactly be in high demand after another subpar season for his defense. I know the mere thought of him being here in 2022 will make some OU fans want to pull their hair out, but I kind of think that’ll be the case.

5. OU will still be chasing No. 8 in five years

Here are some on-field predictions for the next five seasons:

  • Oklahoma will win three Big 12 Championships
  • Oklahoma will make two College Football Playoff appearances
  • Oklahoma will go 3-2 against Texas (excluding potential Big 12 Championship matchups)
  • Oklahoma will not lose to Oklahoma State
  • Kyler Murray and Chris Robison will both be two-year starters
  • Oklahoma will have a sixth Heisman winner
  • Oklahoma will still have seven national titles in 2022

It’s apparent that the talent level in Norman is on the rise, and I think the program is in good hands. Plenty of great memories are in store for OU fans. However, I don’t think OU is going to reach the level that Alabama or Ohio State currently occupy. The talent on the offensive side of the ball will give the Sooners a chance to win an eighth national title, but I’m not sure that OU’s defense will ever be quite good enough during that timeframe to win the ultimate prize. I’ll be ecstatic if I’m wrong about this, but I think the #ChaseFor8 will continue for at least another five years.

Bonus Prediction: No realignment for the Big 12

The Big 12’s grant of rights agreement doesn’t expire until 2025, so it’s pretty safe to assume OU will not be moving within the next five years.

Do I think the Big 12 will add teams in the meantime? No.

Do I care? Nah, not really.

I, like most other fans within this dumpster fire of a conference, am resigned to the fact that there’s nothing that can really fix it. Oh, believe me, plenty of rumors will circulate between now and then, but nothing will materialize.


So, what do y’all think will happen between now and May 1 of 2022? Feel free to share your predictions in the comment section!

Poll

Will Bob Stoops be Oklahoma’s head coach five years from now?

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Yes
    (1773 votes)
  • 13%
    No
    (286 votes)
2059 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will OU still be running the Air Raid in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Yes
    (1786 votes)
  • 9%
    No
    (198 votes)
1984 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will Texas compete for championships under Tom Herman?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Yes
    (1205 votes)
  • 40%
    No
    (813 votes)
2018 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will Mike Stoops be Oklahoma’s DC in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Yes
    (500 votes)
  • 75%
    No
    (1504 votes)
2004 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many national titles will OU have five years from now?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    7
    (616 votes)
  • 58%
    8
    (1235 votes)
  • 9%
    9
    (199 votes)
  • 0%
    10
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    11
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    12 (!!!!!)
    (39 votes)
2110 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will the Big 12 expand by 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Yes
    (704 votes)
  • 40%
    No
    (811 votes)
  • 25%
    Who cares?
    (511 votes)
2026 votes total Vote Now