Under two months from the Oklahoma Sooners season opener against the UTEP Miners and the time for predictions and prognostications has arrived.
Eager to bounce back from their disappointing 2021 season and open a new chapter of Oklahoma football, Brent Venables will be looking to build upon the foundation set by Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley.
The folks over at College Football News predicted every game in the Big 12 and who would make the conference championship game. How did the Sooners fare in their 2022 predictions? Let’s take a walk through their schedule and see how College Football News predicted each game this season.
Sept. 3: UTEP Miners (Norman)
Nov 20, 2021; El Paso, Texas, USA; UTEP Miners offensive lineman Bobby DeHaro (73) speaks to his teammates before facing the Rice Owls at Sun Bowl Stadium. Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
When the Oklahoma Sooners come out of the tunnel for the first game of the Brent Venables era, the faithful at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is going to absolutely erupt.
The months of anticipation to kickstart the next era of Oklahoma football will create an absolutely electric atmosphere. If the spring game was able to draw 75,000 fans with the energy it had, imagine what the season opener will do.
Sept. 10: Kent State Golden Flashes (Norman)
Dec 21, 2021; Boise, Idaho, USA; Kent State Golden Flashes running back Bryan Bradford (31) runs the ball during the second half against the Wyoming Cowboys at the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertsons Stadium. Wyoming defeats Kent State 52 to 38. Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports
No matter how the week one game goes against UTEP, per Brent Venables’ philosophy, it probably won’t be good enough, because it’s never good enough. That means, the evaluation of week one will lead to a preparation for week two that will put the Golden Flashes of Kent State right in the crosshairs of a Sooners team looking to build off the game against UTEP and make a statement before heading to Lincoln.
Sept. 17: Nebraska Cornhuskers (Lincoln)
Sep 18, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Justin Broiles (25) and Oklahoma Sooners cornerback D.J. Graham (9) reacts during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
On the road to Lincoln to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers constitutes the first real test for the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2022 season. The Sooners won last year’s matchup 23-16, and both teams have turned over a fair amount of their roster since then.
Brent Venables’ first road game, first Power Five opponent, and first rivalry as a head coach. This game will have a ton of hype in the build-up.
Sept. 24: Kansas State Wildcats (Norman)
MANHATTAN, KS – OCTOBER 02: Linebacker DaShaun White #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners tackles running back Deuce Vaughn #22 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on October 2, 2021 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
No rest for the weary after a nonconference road trip to Lincoln, the Sooners return home to face the Kansas State Wildcats. Head Coach Chris Kleiman has gone 2-1 against the Sooners in his tenure, and the Wildcats bring back arguably the most dangerous player in the conference in Deuce Vaughn.
Oct. 1: TCU Horned Frogs (Fort Worth)
Oct 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) catches a touchdown pass over Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Billy Bowman (5) during the second quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Going on the road is never easy and the Oklahoma Sooners have made it a habit of dropping a game they probably shouldn’t for quite some time. New TCU Head Coach Sonny Dykes and his offense that features wide receiver Quentin Johnston will provide a stiff test for the defense.
Coming out of the Nebraska game and a week ahead of the Red River Showdown, there’s certainly the potential for a letdown, though the closer we get to the start of the season, this doesn’t feel like a game the Sooners will lose.
Oct. 8: Texas Longhorns (Dallas)
Oct 9, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) pressures Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson (11) during the first half at the Cotton Bowl. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
If they drop the TCU game, you know this team will bounce back with an inspired performance against Texas. The Longhorns will boast a strong offense that will have been tested with an early-season matchup against Alabama. This will be the biggest test the defense may see all year with what the Longhorns will roll out on that Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. If they can make enough stops, the Sooners will pull this one out.
Oct. 15: Kansas Jayhawks (Norman)
Nov 7, 2020; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Marcus Stripling (33) reacts after a sack during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
After struggling for a half last year against Kansas, I don’t think this year’s squad goes into their matchup with the Jayhawks overlooking the steadily improving program.
Oct. 20: BYE WEEK
First-year OU football coach Brent Venables works with his team during Thursday’s practice in Norman. The Oklahoman. CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Oklahoma Sooners’ bye week comes pretty much right in the middle of the season. Though they had some tough matchups early in the season with Nebraska, Texas, and TCU, it’s only going to get tougher as they still have Baylor and Oklahoma State at home and road trips to face Iowa State and West Virginia.
Oct. 27: Iowa State Cyclones (Ames, Iowa)
Nov 20, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) fumbles the ball in front of Oklahoma Sooners linebacker David Ugwoegbu (2) during the game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Originally scheduled for a Thursday night, this game got pushed to Saturday but will still more than likely be a night game. Though Iowa State has given them trouble the last few years, this is a different Cyclones team with Breece Hall, Charlie Kolar, Brock Purdy, and Mike Rose all off to the NFL.
Nov. 5: Baylor Bears (Norman)
Nov 13, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears running back Trestan Ebner (1) is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Jalen Redmond (31) during the first half at McLane Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma will be looking for revenge against the Baylor Bears, who handed the Sooners their first loss of the season last year. The prevailing thought is that Blake Shapen provides a better passing game option than Gerry Bohanon, but Baylor will be without their two running backs, Abram Smith and Tristan Ebner, as well as wide receiver Tyquan Thornton.
What they do have going for them is arguably the best offensive and defensive lines in the conference heading into 2022.
Nov. 12: West Virginia Mountaineers (Morgantown)
Oklahoma’s Shane Whitter (13) brings down West Virginia’s Leddie Brown (4) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Oklahoma won 16-13. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
While I think the West Virginia Mountaineers could be a darkhorse to make it to the Big 12 title game, Oklahoma taking a loss in Morgantown would be a bit surprising. J.T. Daniels was a great addition at quarterback and Graham Harrell’s had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator. We know the defense will be good, but the biggest question is, do they have the skill players to threaten the Sooners’ defense?
Nov. 19: Oklahoma State Cowboys (Norman)
Nov 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Justin Broiles (25) picks up a loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the third quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State won 37-33. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
This is the one that got away from the Oklahoma Sooners last season. After scoring 24 points in the first half, the Sooners’ offense failed to score in the second half despite being gifted a nine-point lead by the defense and special teams.
With everything that transpired after, you know Oklahoma fans will be itching to get this one back and the players that participated in last year’s Bedlam matchup will be extra motivated to hand Oklahoma State a late-season loss.
Nov. 26: Texas Tech Red Raiders (Lubbock)
Oct 30, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Marcus Major (24) knocks the helmet off of Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Eric Monroe (11) during the second half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the excitement about the future of the Texas Tech Red Raiders with new head coach Jerry McGuire and some promising talent at quarterback, this looks like a team that’s still a couple of years away from being a contender.
Oklahoma wins this one, and they clinch a spot in the Big 12 championship.
Big 12 Standings per College Football News
Dec 19, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Rhamondre Stevenson (29) reacts during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Big 12 Championship
Dec 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates after the Big 12 Championship game against the TCU Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
If the Sooners and the Texas Longhorns were able to negotiate a buyout of their media rights deal after this season, this could be the last in a long line of Bedlam matchups. And if the Big 12 plays out like College Football News predicts, then we could get two Bedlam matchups in the same year.
It would be a fitting end to the Sooners reign in the Big 12 if they were to play their in-state rival for one last Big 12 title on their way out the door. That is, if they leave in 2023.
With each team carrying multiple losses into the Big 12 championship game, it’s unlikely either would be playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff, however it would still provide New Year’s Six bowl implications.