The Oklahoma Sooners struggled mightily over the course of Brent Venables’ first season in Norman.
After OU’s historic 49-point loss in the Red River Rivalry to Texas, it was anyone’s guess whether the team would even reach bowl eligibility. Nonetheless, the Sooners scraped by just enough teams to reach six wins and go bowling. It may not seem like a big deal, but in a season where everything has gone wrong, Oklahoma will take the positives.
Outside of losses against Texas and TCU, the Sooners had opportunities to win every game on the schedule. Four losses were a one-possession game, and three of those were decided by a field goal. Oklahoma’s late game collapses plagued the team all year.
Despite the underwhelming season, the Sooners still have a solid recruiting class with plenty of young talent returning next season. While there are multiple impact players moving on after this season, the losses project to be nowhere near last year’s seven NFL Draft picks. Oklahoma could also hit the transfer portal for many key needs. For now, though, Venables and the team will turn their attention to the extra game on the schedule.
Here are a few projections for Oklahoma’s bowl game:
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After Oklahoma’s 6-6 season, it’s hard to ask fans to get excited about a lower-tier bowl game. But a few of the Sooners’ projected matchups would make for both solid games and television. If Oklahoma were projected to play either Wisconsin or Arkansas in a bowl game at the beginning of the year, it would have been projected to be a much bigger game.
For the Sooners, a win over either a future SEC conference foe, or a steady Big Ten team like Wisconsin, would add positive momentum heading into the offseason and provide a fun matchup for fans. Oklahoma would certainly have its hands full.
Based on Sports Illustrated’s remaining projections, the Big 12 has a busy bowl season on deck. Here’s where the rest of the conference is slotted according to SI’s Richard Johnson:
- TCU: Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ, vs. Michigan
- Kansas State: Sugar Bowl, New Orleans vs. Alabama
- Texas Tech: First Responder Bowl, Dallas vs. Air Force
- Kansas: Liberty Bowl, Memphis vs. State
- Oklahoma State: Texas Bowl, Houston vs. Arkansas=
- Baylor: Cheez-It Bowl, Orlando vs. NC State
- Texas: Alamo Bowl, San Antonio vs. Utah