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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Five big questions entering the 2021 season (Misc.)

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What will be our takeaways from this first game?

Syndication: The Oklahoman CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN via Imagn Content Services, LLC

This is the final installment of three preseason roundtable sessions pertaining to the 2021 Oklahoma Sooners. After covering the offense and the defense, we enter the miscellaneous category.

I think we all know who we’re picking to win the Big 12 in 2021, but who finishes second?

Allen: TCU, but I’ve picked the Horned Frogs to finish second for five straight years now.

Stephen: Iowa State. They have the experience and the coach to do it all over again.

Seth: Kansas State, just so Lincoln Riley can even the score against Chris Klieman.

Jack: Texas. I think beating Texas twice in one season would be neat.

In an attempt to predict the future, what do you think will be your main takeaway following the season opener versus Tulane?

Allen: The Sooners will look sharp and build enough of a first-half lead to pull the starters for the second half. Even if the Green Wave put a few scores on the board late, there shouldn’t be any of the questions about “killer instinct” that dogged OU a season ago.

Stephen: Oklahoma looks the part of a national championship contender. Alex Grinch’s most complete defense yet. Oklahoma’s offense looks improved and someone will suggest Caleb Williams should be QB1 moving forward.

Seth: Defense. Defense. Defense. Specifically the D-line. I expect that group to live up to their lofty projections and put on a show from start to finish. I’m talking pass breakups, forced fumbles, multiple sacks and tackles-for-loss for multiple players. The whole nine.

Jack: Rattler impresses by distributing the rock fairly evenly amongst his targets. The defense looked solid after some busted plays in the early going. The newcomers (Mike Woods, Eric Gray, Mario Williams, Billy Bowman) stand out the most.

The current line for OU-Tulane is -31.5. Do the Sooners cover?

Allen: Tulane will sneak in the back door for a late cover.

Stephen: Oklahoma covers. I think Lincoln will want to see what he has offensively which means he won’t take the foot off the pedal.

Seth: I definitely see OU covering, and I don’t think it’ll be all that close. It would honestly shock me if the Sooners win this by only four touchdowns. I’m actually predicting the final margin to be in the neighborhood of 35-42 points.

Jack: I’ll go with an OU cover, as I think the depth of this team — particularly on defense — will keep that intact in the second half.

Which college football pundit is going to irritate you the most in 2021?

Allen: Kirk Herbstreit. He’s actually a fine analyst, but with his kids playing at Clemson, he has an obvious conflict of interest. He has basically turned into a Dabo Swinney hype man.

Stephen: Not sure I have one specific. I’ll say anyone that suggests it was Oklahoma’s decision to move to the SEC is bad for college football but fails to recognize Bowlsby’s ineptitude to keep a P5 conference together. I’ll also go with Joey Galloway since he doesn’t watch much football.

Seth: Whenever Jim Mora Jr. is on my screen, I lose brain cells. I don’t know if he’s still employed by ESPN or if he’s somewhere else, but wherever he is, I hope his mic is turned off. Also, I really, really hope Tim Brando is never assigned to call another OU game for as long as I shall live.

Jack: Tommy Tuberville is now in the US Senate, so my first choice is gone.

Does OU win Natty No. 8 this year?

Allen: Yes.

Stephen: Yes.

Seth: Yes.

Jack: At the risk of allowing myself to be hurt again… yes.

BONUS: What’s your favorite thing about New Orleans? (Note: Can answer even if you haven’t been)

Allen: I love everything about New Orleans, but my favorite thing is Port of Call on Esplanade.

Stephen: I’ve never been to New Orleans, but will be making my first trip there next spring. I plan on asking Trevor Knight where he got whatever voodoo magic he used against Alabama. Also heard beignets are good.

Seth: I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting NOLA, but I do fancy Cajun cuisine. So whenever I do make the trip, my favorite part will probably be the food.

Jack: The food is superb (shout-out to the Court of Two Sisters). Live music at places like Tipitinas is an experience to put on the bucket list. The to-go drink situation is obviously nice, but you’ll actually be able to do that on game day in Norman this year. The historical significance of the town is endless. It’s really difficult to pick one thing.

DOUBLE BONUS: Once OU joins the SEC, which fan base within the conference will you despise the most?

Allen: Alabama. It’s more the guys in the stands with pom-poms… er, “shakers.”

Stephen: Hard to pick between Texas A&M and LSU. I’ll go with A&M though.

Seth: During football season - probably Auburn fans. During softball season - definitely ‘Bama fans.

Jack: Arkansas fans are already under the impression that OU is their rival, so this is just going to add fuel to that inferiority complex. I love Hog fans, but my word… their delusion knows no bounds.