Will the Oklahoma Sooners find a way to win the Big 12 after their major personnel changes? Or will we see a disappointing season for the Sooners football program?
As we continue our Big 12 football predictions, next up we have the Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners are facing quite the challenge of having a new head coach in Brent Venables, offensive coordinator in Jeff Lebby, and a revamped offense. However, the Sooners program is not going to go through a total rebuild. Last season the Sooners finished 11-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play. The Sooners barely missed out on the College Football Playoff and instead beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
As we head into the 2022 season, OU is prepping for the SEC gauntlet. Going 9-3 in the SEC might not be enough with teams like Alabama and Georgia running the conference. OU is approaching this season and maybe next, as years to prep and get the team into SEC football shape. If they play at an SEC level, winning the Big 12 in 2022 will be one of the easiest accomplishments in their history. That being said, let’s start breaking down the Sooners 2022 schedule.
Week One, Home Game vs UTEP
As most Power Five schools do, Oklahoma will start the year with a non-conference game. This will be yet another stereotypical “tune up game” where OU will win by a bunch. The season opener against UTEP will be a chance for UCF transfer QB Dillon Gabriel to get his feet under him. This will be a game where you see OU test out their fast paced offense under new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and UTEP unfortunately has to deal with that. OU will win this game by quite a bit so do not worry about watching this one.
Score Prediction: OU 63, UTEP 10
Week Two, Home Game vs Kent State
In week two, OU has another non-conference game against Kent State. Once again this will be another game for this newly branded OU team to find its footing overall. The defense did not lose much from 2021 so they will get a chance to find that spark again. No need to drag out what will happen in this game, OU wins big.
Score Prediction: OU 55, Kent State 14
Week Three, Away Game vs Nebraska
To close out their non-conference schedule, OU goes on the road to take on Nebraska. As much as Nebraska wants to win this game, it will not happen. However, this will be the first big road test for Oklahoma under Venables. Lincoln Nebraska will be jumping and rocking to host Oklahoma for the first time since 2005. However, this will be where we start to see how legit this Sooner team is despite all the changes to the program.
Score Prediction: OU 38, Nebraska 21
Week Four, Home Game vs Kansas State
Week four is where the conference games begin and they get a good test early against K-State. This game will be much tougher than Nebraska on many levels. K-State has a shot to ruffle some feathers in the Big 12 this year. However, this Oklahoma program will not go down quietly on their way to the SEC.
OU’s transfer quarterback will take on a familiar foe as former Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez is now at the helm for the Wildcats. This is going to be a competitive game for three quarters. After that, I think OU’s defense kicks in and shows why they are still one of the best in the Big 12. OU walks away with this one late in the game.
Score Prediction: OU 35, K-State 21
Week Five, Away Game vs TCU
Sure the TCU Horned Frogs are not what they once were but they still pose a threat. TCU will be one of the more dynamic offenses that OU faces halfway through the year. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof and Brent Venables will be challenged by either Max Duggan or Chandler Morris under center. TCU has a dynamic receiver in Quentin Johnston so this could be a trap game. I do not see the Oklahoma offense slipping up but rather the defense. With the Red River Showdown against Texas the following week, OU will be tested but still come out victorious.
Score Prediction: OU 35, TCU 28
Week Six, Neutral Site Game vs Texas
Next will be the neutral site Red River Showdown against Texas. While Oklahoma might still have some serious firepower on offense and a solid defense, Texas is dangerous. This is going to be a high scoring game and I talked about this in the Texas win/loss prediction.
The showdown between Dillon Gabriel and Quinn Ewers will be one to watch. Both defenses will struggle and this will be the day we see which transfer QB comes out on top. This will be a Red River Showdown for the ages but I think this will be OU’s first slip up of the season. I have Texas winning in a close one in walk-off style.
Score Prediction: Texas 50, OU 47
Week Seven, Home Game vs Kansas
After dropping one to Texas, OU could be gifted a game against Kansas at home. KU will feel and look good for about a quarter and that is about it. Oklahoma is far too good to let KU beat them this late in the season. In my KU win/loss prediction, I have OU winning big so obviously I am sticking to that. This will be a good bounce back game for the Sooners.
Score Prediction: OU 41, KU 21
Week Eight, Away Game vs Iowa State
The Sooners will then go back on the road against Iowa State in week eight. Again, another Big 12 team that will not be the road threat they once were but still a good test. The Cyclones lost most of their offensive talent thanks to the NFL Draft but could still force some mistakes on OU. However, with the missing talent for ISU, the Oklahoma talent on both sides of the ball will prove to be the difference maker. I like OU to flex their muscles in the Big 12 standings with a big win on the road here.
Score Prediction: OU 31, Iowa State 21
Week Nine, Home Game vs Baylor
Week nine will be the Sooners biggest test of the season with Baylor coming to town. Baylor is a favorite to repeat as champions in the Big 12 in 2022. Baylor was voted the preseason favorite for the first time ever breaking OU’s six-year streak. This game will likely have the winner of the conference prove victorious. OU has a young and talented defense that will need to play their best game of the season to win. Dillon Gabriel and the offense might not light up the scoreboard but they will do enough. Give me Oklahoma to prove they are the king of the Big 12 in 2022.
Score Prediction: OU 28, Baylor 24
Week Ten, Away Game vs West Virginia
After he tough matchup with Baylor, the Sooners go on the road to take on West Virginia. Oklahoma struggled to beat WVU in 2021 so this will be another road test. Dante Stills is no longer in Morgantown but the OU offensive line will have to deal with interior threat Akheem Mesidor. I can see this being an uncomfortable game for the Oklahoma run game but the fast paced passing game will find a way to win. Give me OU in a tight game that will help them solidify the Big 12 lead.
Score Prediction: OU 28, West Virginia 21
Week Eleven, Home Game vs Oklahoma State
The tough final stretch of 2022 brings Oklahoma State to town. The Cowboys are going to be a tough outing overall in the Big 12 in 2022. Oklahoma State’s two most important pieces, Spencer Sanders and Malcolm Rodriguez, are back and this could be troublesome. However, the Oklahoma defense knows what to expect now so I see this Sooners defense forcing the Cowboys offense to make mistakes.
The fast paced OU offense will once again prove they are up to the challenge. This will be another close one but a late season victory over Oklahoma State will likely lock up the Big 12 title for the Sooners. I like the Sooners to pull this one out with a few key plays late in the contest.
Score Prediction: OU 34, Oklahoma State 28
Week Twelve, Away Game vs Texas Tech
To close out the 2022 regular season, Oklahoma goes on the road one final time to take on Texas Tech. While the Red Raiders will likely not be competing for a Big 12 title, they will gladly play spoiler. Night games in Lubbock are weird and this last road test will prove how legit Oklahoma really is. I think we will have another high scoring game on our hands but OU proves why they are are the top of the Big 12. Plenty of mistakes from both teams but OU will make less.
Score Prediction: OU 38, Texas Tech 31
Final Record For Oklahoma Football In 2022: 11-1 (8-1)
With the Sooners leaving the conference soon, what better time to show they are still good than one of their last seasons in the conference right? Oklahoma will be tested in the back half of the year and if they come out unscathed, they will be heavy favorites to make the College Football Playoff. This offense will need to find its footing under the new OC and QB but overall, I like the Sooners in 2022. Maybe this will be their year to climb the mountain before switching to the SEC.
Which Big 12 team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
Check out the rest of the conferences predictions here!