0-4. Oklahoma has zero wins and the College Football Playoff since its inception. This has been criticized by many sports analysts and figures throughout the college football world every time Oklahoma is selected. The Sooner teams over the last few years have had great seasons with exceptional offenses led behind their young head coach in Lincoln Riley. This includes two number one overall picks in back-to-back years along with 6 Big 12 championships in a row. The team has no doubt that they can be a success they just haven’t stepped up in the biggest moments. What makes this year any different? Let’s Rewind That Tape.
Let’s start off with the obvious points. All four of the College Football Playoff quarterbacks from last year all got drafted. This leaves all four of the teams from last year starting off fresh in the quarterback situation. It is no secret to college football and the quarterbacks are one of the most if not the most important positions in College Football. This leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the top teams in College Football. Oklahoma had been on the brink of competing but holes on their defense have been their biggest issues.
Let’s talk about Bama first. Waddle, Smith, and Harris all departing doesn’t help the offense at all either. They are going to have to completely reload in order to compete in a stacked SEC. The chances that they send two teams are pretty low with such a competitive conference. Oklahoma has gotten into the playoff before as long as they have the same amount of losses as the second SEC team. That takes care of the biggest problem at hand which would be a threat of a second SEC team. This has been the argument for OU missing the playoffs in the past years. In 2019 and 2020 OU got in over the Second place SEC team.
Next, there is the Big Ten. There’s a very good chance that they will send a team into the College Football Playoff. You would have to assume that OSU gets the bid but that is not entirely safe to say with their new QB this year. Regardless they are probably going to send a team that shouldn’t affect Oklahoma to miss or make the playoffs. The PAC 12 isn’t that big of a contender this year as well. It would be tough for them to be in contention unless we see an undefeated team from the PAC 12. The conference just does not seem strong enough for a one-loss team to get into the playoffs.
Then there is Clemson. Their quarterback played a game last year against Notre Dame in which he played fantastically. There’s a good chance the team will be representing the ACC in the CFP this upcoming year. This team has been playing really well over the last few years and is a no-brainer without Notre Dame in the ACC. They should be in the mix to compete for a championship. If the ACC were to get a lot more competitive then Clemson might have some trouble. This shouldn’t be a problem though with what we have seen from this conference. Just like Bama, it is a good point to note whether either of these teams is better than the new 2021 OU teams.
The last obstacle in the Sooners way is their own conference. The Big 12 is really strong this year and it is completely possible that the Sooners might not make it out of the conference. Back-to-back losses to Kansas State in 2020 and 2021 are definitely going to be on Oklahoma’s radar this year. They also have lost to Iowa State last year and in Baker Mayfield’s final year at OU. It should be no secret that either one of those teams is able to compete with the best. Iowa State has also been talked about as one of the popular contenders to make the playoff over the Sooners. They have a strong offense and lost fewer starters than others have. The Longhorns are obviously another candidate, but they have also lost their starting QB in Sam Ehlinger. It should limit them somewhat even though OU has been able to take him down all four of his years.
The last obstacle in OU’s way would be their defense. They had a great year last year on the defensive side of the ball. The main problem would be the starters they are losing this year. Ronnie Perkins is one of the biggest with his presence in the front. He is quick and is able to add a lot of pressure to the opposing QB. I think it is going to be the hardest for the OU defense to replace. Nik Bonito is going to be the guy to watch next year. He is already climbing through the early draft boards and will be on everyone’s mind as we watch the Sooners season unfold.
Then there is the Oklahoma offense. The best of the best when you look at the past four years with Lincoln Riley at the helm. It is no secret that OU is going to have a great offense year in and year out. It looked like an off-year when the season started for OU with their offense just struggling at times. They quickly cleaned up and ended up winning the rest of their games after starting the season 1-2. OU now brings Rattler into his second year at Oklahoma with a lot more experience under his belt. They also bring Marvin Mims in his sophomore year who was Rattler’s favorite target. This goes along with Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease Jr. into their third year in the Oklahoma offense. Now you have a QB who has faced adversity and talented weapons all around him. This has the potential to rival the 2019 LSU offense which was powered by receivers. It is no secret to anyone that Oklahoma will be a contender year in and year out. This year is just different for OU. They look and play like they are ready to win. This year I think the Sooners will bring the CFP home as the CFP world will bleed crimson and cream.
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