Reg. Season Records: 8-4, 10-2, 10-2, 9-3
SRS Rankings: 28, 20, 12, 4
Talking Point: Bob Stoops. Handling of Joe Mixon. A turbulent offseason. A general malaise. Multiple losses during the regular season nine of the past 10 years. 2015 feels like a pivotal one for him. Though, so did 2012-14. Stoops has brought the Sooners back from a down year before. While Oklahoma disappointed, they still were a few untimely turnovers and special teams plays away from the playoff mix last season.
Why To Like Them: The Sooners are solid at the skill positions. TBL Top 50 RB Samaje Perine had a breakout season at RB. He has depth behind him. Star WR Sterling Shepard returns for his senior year. New OC Lincoln Riley has something to work with. They have playmakers in the back seven on defense, including LBs Eric Striker and Dominique Alexander and CB Zach Sanchez.
Why Not To Like Them: Turnover along both lines. The Sooners are 109th nationally in returning offensive line starts. They lose big DT Jordan Phillips at the front of their 3-4. Their secondary was prone to giving up big plays last season (24 for more than 30 yards). QB remains a question mark. Oklahoma hasn’t had a QB rank higher than 24th in passer rating since Sam Bradford left.
Schedule: The schedule isn’t heinous. But it’s not easy. The first three quarters of the season aren’t too taxing, though there are road trips to Tennessee and to Kansas State. Action comes in late November when the Sooners play a final three-game stretch at Baylor, TCU, at Oklahoma State.
Throwing Darts: One could see Oklahoma sniffing around the playoff discussion. One could also see the Sooners tumbling off a cliff. They’re good enough to steal a game they shouldn’t win. They’re erratic enough to have at least one stolen from them. Nine wins seems reasonable.
Random Alum: Fred Haise
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