Coming on the heels of their second College Football Playoff appearance in the last three seasons, expectations remain high for the Oklahoma Sooners football team. The Sooners fell a game short of the National Championship last season after a classic Rose Bowl game against Georgia. With second year head coach Lincoln Riley at the helm, OU has the fourth best odds at making the college football playoff again this year and are once again heavy favorites to win the Big 12 Championship which would be their twelfth in less than two decades.
Former starting QB Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy Winner, was selected #1 overall in this year’s NFL draft. Mayfield’s exit has created an opportunity for another first round draft pick, Kyler Murray. Murray was chosen with the 9th pick in this year’s MLB draft and in an incredibly rare situation, he will play out this year for OU football then begin his MLB career next spring. Murray was a highly coveted recruit coming in and has an incredibly athletic skillset that could create fireworks on the field with Coach Riley. Riley is considered one of the hottest young coach in the country, and a number of NFL teams have sought his advice on his prolific-offensive schemes this offseason.
Beyond Riley and Murray, Oklahoma is bringing in another top-10 recruiting class that includes 15 4-star recruits. Other than incoming recruits, OU also has returning talent that are poised for breakout years. Rodney Anderson was the nation’s most effective running back throughout the second half of the season and running behind what could be the nation’s top offensive line isn’t a bad pairing. Grant Calcaterra was backup behind NFL draftee Mark Andrews last year, but he’s already stepping out of the shadows being nominated to the preseason All-Big 12 team at tight end.
The Sooners open up an entertaining schedule with Florida Atlantic coached by Lane Kiffin on September 1st; other intriguing home games include UCLA (Sept. 8th), Army (Sept. 22nd), and Kansas State (Oct. 27th).