clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oklahoma Sooners Football Preseason Predictions: Will the Sooners make the College Football Playoff in 2017?

New, 8 comments

Despite a change at the top, the Oklahoma Sooners look poised to make some noise in 2017.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

IT’S (almost) FOOTBALL TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME IN OKLAHOMAAAAAAA, which means it’s time for us to give you our predictions for the 2017 season. The Oklahoma Sooners had a slow start but finished strong in 2016, and hopefully they can carry that momentum into the new season. Five returning starters along the offensive front and a Heisman candidate at QB should certainly help them in that effort.

However, questions remain. Will the defense improve from what we saw last season? Will Oklahoma’s inexperienced skill-position players adequately fill the void left behind by Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook? Will OU have a better showing against the Ohio State Buckeyes this time around? I think the answer to all three questions is “yes”, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Without further ado, here are our preseason predictions for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Big 12 Conference.

Jack Shields

Regular Season: 11-1 with a loss at Ohio State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma (9-0)
  2. Oklahoma State (7-2)
  3. Kansas State (7-2)
  4. TCU (6-3)
  5. West Virginia (5-4)
  6. Texas (4-5)
  7. Iowa State (3-6)
  8. Baylor (2-7)
  9. Texas Tech (1-8)
  10. Kansas (1-8)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

How will the season go? Oklahoma will walk into Columbus on Sept. 9 and put up a fight. In fact, this one might end up being an instant classic. Unfortunately, I think OU comes out on the wrong end of it, but it won’t be a death sentence. I think Oklahoma will then run the table in the Big 12 because I just don’t see a defense that can really slow them down enough to win. Oklahoma’s game in Stillwater will be a nervous affair, but in the end I just think OU will just make more plays. The two schools will meet again in Dallas for the trash-ass revival of the Big 12 Championship Game, where I think OU will win by a pair of touchdowns. That will set up a 2014 Sugar Bowl rematch against the Alabama Crimson Tide, who will end up beating OU by a score of 31-21 before winning a national championship championship the next week. The season will be seen as an overall success for Oklahoma, creating a bit of momentum for Lincoln Riley and the Sooners in the offseason. Despite the loss of Baker Mayfield, 2018 has the chance to be a very special year for OU.

Kartik Rajendran

Regular Season: 10-2 with losses at Ohio State and Oklahoma State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma State (8-1)
  2. Oklahoma (8-1)
  3. TCU (6-3)
  4. Texas (6-3)
  5. Kansas State (6-3)
  6. West Virginia (5-4)
  7. Texas Tech (2-7)
  8. Baylor (2-7)
  9. Iowa State (2-7)
  10. Kansas (1-8)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

How will the season go? No more perfect season premonitions from this guy (read: last year). Oklahoma’s schedule in 2017 is fairly straight-forward. Despite hanging with Ohio State in a much more competitive contest than the last, I foresee no victory in hand for the Sooners on the trip back from Columbus in September. After that, the road clears up and OU could very well reel off six straight, including a colossal Red River win in Dallas, until Little Brother hands Lincoln Riley’s inaugural squad their first conference L in Stillwater on Nov. 4. But the rematch in the Big 12 Championship against the Cowboys will prove much more fruitful for the Sooners, and OU will three-peat as conference champions in 2017. It’s a toss-up whether or not the Big 12 Championship game helps or hurts the conference. Ultimately, I believe two-loss Oklahoma (and the Big 12) will once again miss out on the College Football Playoff.

Austin Brown

Regular Season: 11-1 with a loss at Ohio State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma (9-0)
  2. Oklahoma State (8-1)
  3. Kansas State (6-3)
  4. TCU (6-3)
  5. Baylor (5-4)
  6. Texas (4-5)
  7. West Virginia (3-6)
  8. Iowa State (3-6)
  9. Kansas (1-8)
  10. Texas Tech (0-9)

How will the season go? I think Baker Mayfield is good enough to overcome the loss of Dede Westbrook, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon on offense. I also think OU’s defense will be better than last year. Many people have questions about what effect the coaching change will have on OU’s season, but I expect this team to be every bit as good as last year if not better. The one loss I predict is Ohio State on the road in Week 2. OU certainly has the talent to walk out of Columbus with a win, but last year left a very sour taste in my mouth. As far as Big 12 play is concerned, there is simply no defense in the conference capable of slowing down Baker Mayfield. As long as OU’s defense is at least competent and doesn’t allow 40+ points in games, I don’t see the Sooners dropping a game in Big 12 play.

The rest of the conference has quite a few question marks. It’s impossible to know what we are going to get from Baylor and Texas following a pair of new coaching hires. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Baylor’s defense may be what carries them to a successful season this year. As for Texas, I am not drinking that Kool Aid at all. Texas is overhyped by the media every single year because of their brand. If another program had the exact same players and coaches at Texas, nobody would have them ranked to start the year. I’ve spent the past four years hearing about how THIS was the year that Texas would return to national prominence only to watch the Longhorns sputter to 6-6 or 5-7. You’re only as good as your quarterback in the Big 12, and Shane Buechele is simply not good enough to live up to UT fans’ delusional expectations. Speaking of bad teams, Texas Tech is going to be an absolute dumpster fire. Patrick Mahomes dragged this team to three Big 12 wins last season in spite of one of the worst defenses in the country. If it’s even possible, Tech’s defense will be even worse this year. Tech’s only realistic chance to win a game will be at Kansas. I will be absolutely shocked if Kliff Kingsbury is still employed come this time next year.

Sam Camp

Regular Season: 11-1 with a loss at Ohio State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma (9-0)
  2. Oklahoma State (7-2)
  3. Texas (7-2)
  4. West Virginia (6-3)
  5. Kansas State (4-5)
  6. TCU (3-6)
  7. Iowa State (3-6)
  8. Texas Tech (3-6)
  9. Baylor (2-7)
  10. Kansas (1-8)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

How will the season go? Although I think OU will be able to keep it close against Ohio State in Columbus, I don’t see them pulling off the upset. The combination of a powerful offensive line, J.T. Barrett and their backs will be too much for the Oklahoma front seven. Conference play will be a different story, and OU should roll through the Big 12 slate with relative ease and not have to worry about a serious challenge until they play in Stillwater on Nov. 4. Following Bedlam is where OU could stumble since they will be coming off a big win and Gary Patterson always seems to get his guys fired up to play the Sooners. Following a close win against TCU, OU will take care of business against Kansas and West Virginia but lose to Ohio State in the first round of the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma is on their way up with recent recruiting classes and Coach Riley at the helm but the talent gap between OU and the likes of Bama and Ohio State is still significant.

Seth Oliveras

Regular Season: 11-1 with a loss at Ohio State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma (9-0)
  2. Kansas State (7-2)
  3. Oklahoma State (7-2)
  4. TCU (6-3)
  5. West Virginia (5-4)
  6. Texas (5-4)
  7. Iowa State (3-6)
  8. Baylor (2-7)
  9. Kansas (1-8)
  10. Texas Tech (0-9)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Kansas State

How will the season go? First, I believe Oklahoma will play a much more competitive contest against Ohio State this time around. That said, the deciding factor for me will be the inexperience of OU’s skill position players, giving Ohio State a narrow victory. Beyond that, I’ve got OU running the table in conference play for the second straight season, extending their conference winning streak from 16 to 25 games. The three Big 12 games that will give the Sooners the most trouble will be against Texas, Oklahoma State, and TCU. The Texas game will be tough because it’s a true rivalry and both teams are ushering in new coaches with high expectations. The road game in Stillwater will be challenging because recently, Oklahoma has not proven that they can consistently defend a lethal air attack. OSU’s Rudolph and WRs will be difficult to cover, and I can see this shaping up into a shootout ala 2010. The TCU game will prove to be difficult because it comes the week after Bedlam, and the Sooners will still be coming down from a wild win against the Pokes. Further, since TCU joined the Big 12, their five contests against OU have all been one-score games, decided by an average margin of 4.2 points.

After posting a perfect conference record, I have Oklahoma facing Kansas State in the return of the conference championship game. OU will put on a show in the rematch, solidifying a spot in the top four and making the College Football Playoff for the second time in three years. The committee tries to avoid a rematch with the Buckeyes and pits OU against Stanford. The Sooners best the Cardinal and Ohio State tops Alabama, forcing the rematch anyway. OU gets revenge in an epic clash of titans and wins its 8th national title.

Tyler Hetu

Regular Season: 11-1 with a loss at Ohio State

Big 12 Standings:

  1. Oklahoma (9-0)
  2. Oklahoma State (8-1)
  3. Kansas State (6-3)
  4. Texas (6-3)
  5. TCU (5-4)
  6. West Virginia (4-5)
  7. Baylor (3-6)
  8. Texas Tech (2-7)
  9. Iowa State (2-7)
  10. Kansas (0-9)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

How will the season: We can go back and forth about who’s the “big brother” in the state of Oklahoma, but we all know that the Oklahoma Sooners hold the reins. With Baker Mayfield on a mission to win the Heisman trophy, you can expect him to put up his impressive numbers despite having a young group of receivers. That shouldn’t phase him and Lincoln from calling the deep ball when necessary. Our friends in Stillwater however, while a very good team, I believe aren’t quite complete enough to win the conference. Mason Rudolph is good, but quite not Baker good, and the OSU defense isn’t going to be quite up to snuff. The Bedlam game will still be the best game on the Big 12 schedule, but it’ll favor the good guys.

Texas, while I think they’re still a bit overrated by many, will find themselves battling Kansas State for a third position. Tom Herman has everyone excited for a good season, but I don’t think he’ll deliver in the way people are expecting right away. I think K-State will shock a lot of people and have a relatively good season despite being buried amongst the powerhouse offenses of the Big 12.

With Lincoln Riley being handed the keys to not only one of the best programs in the country, but one of the most historic as well, I think he’ll begin his legacy on a good note. He may not be Bob Stoops, but there’s no need to worry, he’ll be just fine.


How do y’all think the season will go for Oklahoma? Let us know in the comments!

Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!