In any case that anticipation and questioning what the Large 12 convention was going to do to Oklahoma with the 2023 schedule, it was truly somewhat meh.
If something, in a variety of methods, the convention did the Sooners a favor when it comes to not having Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech not on schedule. These have been three of OU’s six convention losses in 2022.
So that is an preliminary have a look at how the OU schedule shakes out. We’ll reexamine once more following spring apply after attending to see these groups in motion, after which as soon as once more following Large 12 media days and all switch portal strikes locked in.
(So as from best to hardest)
No. 12 vs. Arkansas State (Sept. 2)
The story: There isn’t a variety of intrigue within the opponent, particularly after ASU’s 3-9 season in 2022. As a substitute, it’s going to be about how Brent Venables and firm begin the season. How a lot enchancment will probably be on show for each the offense and protection?
No. 11 vs. SMU (Sept. 9)
The story: Actually no fault of the Mustangs as any opponent right here was going to really feel like a large letdown when changing Georgia. Any storyline there may have been was eradicated when former OU quarterback Tanner Mordecai left SMU for Wisconsin. It’s a homecoming for SMU line of defense coach Calvin Thibodeaux, who performed and has coached at OU.
No. 10 at Tulsa (Sept. 16)
The story: Venables vs. Kevin Wilson will little doubt carry the headlines of the week. The Golden Hurricane have been 5-7 final season, however there’s no method of figuring out what TU goes to appear like with Wilson calling the pictures. It ought to make for a vigorous setting, although, in mid-September.
No. 9 vs. Iowa State (Sept. 30)
The story: You already know what to anticipate from ISU’s protection, however the offense didn’t have a variety of fireworks in 2022 and laborious to know if that’s modified. If not, the Sooners may very well be set for his or her first comfy residence victory vs. the Cyclones for the reason that 2015 season.
No. 8 vs. West Virginia (Nov. 11)
The story: OU performed its worst sport of the season by far within the loss at WVU final yr, the primary time the Mountaineers have defeated the Sooners in Large 12 play. OU ought to be capable to right that in 2023, and maybe in very emphatic trend.
No. 7 vs. Central Florida (Oct. 21)
The story: Dillon Gabriel’s and Jeff Lebby’s ties to UCF give this sufficient oomph for the week, however you additionally know UCF goes to have athletes all around the discipline. A sport the place OU ought to handle enterprise if it brings its greatest sport, particularly coming off a bye week.
No. 6 at Cincinnati (Sept. 23)
The story: If Luke Fickell was nonetheless the pinnacle coach, this might be nearer to No. 4 or No. 3. As a substitute, it lands right here, and one factor is that crowd goes to be going nuts with OU as its first-ever Large 12 residence sport. This rating may change primarily based on what we see from Scott Satterfield within the months forward.
No. 5 at Kansas (Oct. 28)
The story: Jalon Daniels, interval. OU didn’t must face Daniels final season, with Daniels injured for that week. Daniels completed the season with a memorable outing in KU’s bowl sport, and Lance Leipold appears to have the Jayhawks persevering with in an upward trajectory.
No. 4 vs. TCU (Nov. 24, Friday)
The story: All people talked concerning the BYU-TCU combo to finish the season, however no one is aware of in any respect what these groups will appear like in late-November. No person would have anticipated TCU to be 12-0 final season, and it’s laborious to gauge what the Frogs will appear like within the ultimate week. So we hedge a bit and say No. 4.
No. 3 at Oklahoma State (Nov. 4)
The story: Not primarily based on significance or what it means as a result of it will be so much larger, however it’s extremely robust to say what Mike Gundy’s squad goes to appear like. The switch portal exodus in Stillwater was one of many larger tales of the offseason. OSU may have needed to have solved that subject by November, however what sort of crew the Cowboys will probably be is a thriller.
No. 2 at BYU (Nov. 18)
The story: Final yr is a superb instance of why this may very well be troublesome to gauge. Baylor goes to Provo and loses in September. Arkansas goes in October and places up 52. What is going to a Large 12 schedule do to the Cougars at this level? Both method, the environment needs to be great and make this one of many hardest video games of the yr.
No. 1 vs. Texas (Oct. 7, Dallas)
The story: No person needs to recollect 49-0 final yr. Put apart pleasure and revenge and all that, and Texas simply appears to be like like essentially the most gifted crew OU face within the common season. We’ve stated that earlier than about UT, so that you pause a bit. But when the Longhorns are all about soccer and never about different outdoors elements, this needs to be a dandy within the Cotton Bowl.