Oklahoma Sooners 2023 College Football Preview
July 21, 2023
Record – 6-7
ATS – 6-7
The Sooners struggled in year one of the Brent Venables experience and you need no more evidence than to look at their results vs Texas (lost 49-CACK) and TCU (lost 55-24). It’s hard to find a quality win but we suppose beating Kansas by 10 points was a good effort. The good news is that they played better down the stretch and in their last-three contests they trounced Oklahoma St by 15, lost in OT at Texas Tech, and gave the BURGEONING JUGGERNAUT that is Florida St all they could handle in the Cheez-It Bowl (L 35-32).
Oklahoma Sooners 2023 Outlook
The Sooners only averaged 33 PPG LY (#5 Big 12) but it didn’t help to lose starting QB Dillon Gabiel to injury for a short time. They featured a 3,000-yard QB in Gabriel (25-6 TD to INT, he’s back), a 1,300-yard RB (Eric Gray, HE GONE) and a 1,000-yard WR (Marvin Mims, HE GONE) so it’s not like they struggled. It just wasn’t the same Oklahoma offense that had dominated opponents for many years. Losing Mims at WR isn’t great and they’ll need a new go-to WR to step up. Maybe one of the wideouts bagged thru the portal can be THE GUY? The RB unit looks similar to the WR corps in that there are a lot of talented bodies on the depth chart but no proven #1 option. It’s worth noting tho that Oklahoma had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the close call vs Florida St LY (Barnes, Sawchuk) so it’s very likely they’ll be fine at RB. There are high hopes for the offensive line (147 career starts) but they’ve brought in a lot of new faces via the portal so it may take a while to gel. The offense will be really good with a healthy Gabriel under center but we don’t think they’ll be elite.
The defense was very “un-Venables-like” last season as they allowed 30 PPG (#8 Big 12) whilst getting steamrolled by opponents’ ground attacks (187 YPG, 2nd last Big 12). They’ve got a few difference-makers on this year’s roster particularly up front with the return of Ethan Downs (13.5 TFL, 9 QBH LY) and the addition of DE Trace Ford (Oklahoma St), and it’s great to see leading tackler Danny Stutsman back at LB (10.5 TFL). The depth at LB is a bit worrisome and they appear weak at CB which isn’t great when playing in the Big 12. The defense is littered with transfer portal bodies and the Sooners hope that several of those folks can become productive defenders. Stay tuned!
Losing ace punter Michael Turk really stings (46.8! LY) and they’ll look for veteran Central Michigan transfer Luke Elzinga to carry the torch. PK Zach Schmit was erratic on FG attempts LY (12-18) and they’ll miss dangerous PR Marvin Mims (16.0, 10 returns LY).
Overall – The Sooners will almost certainly whip thru their non-conference tests and start 3-0 for the 2nd straight year. They miss the defending champs from Kansas St in their list of Big 12 assignments and get to play TCU at home to end the regular season. Overall, it appears as tho they’ve got one of the easier schedules in the conference.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at BYU (Nov 18)
This will be the Sooners’ 3rd road test in four weeks and it’s never easy for opposing teams in Provo. Also note that the big game with TCU is up next.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 21
Over 9.5 -110
Under 9.5 -110
That looks like the right number. They’ve got the talent and schedule to reach 10 wins but that won’t be easy in a very competitive Big 12. If you like the ‘over’ we suggest shopping for a flat ‘9’ and/or attacking them with some SWEET FUTURES ACTION. More on that later in the summer.
Last year the Sooners suffered their first losing season this CENTURY (!) (1998) but it’s worth noting that they dropped five games by a TD or less.
Norman, Oklahoma is the home of one of several National Weather Service Forecast Offices, and that makes sense given that the residents of the fine city have to spend most of their time trying to avoid the next tornado. The office plays an important role in trying to convince everyone that “climate change” is making it “hot” in the “summer”.
Here we go!
Strap yourselves in for the Oklahoma REVENGE TOUR. They’ve got a good-looking roster with many talented pieces and a schedule that’ll lend a helping hand. We’ll remind you however that the Big 12 has several competitive teams and this isn’t like the old days (three or four years ago) where most weeks Oklahoma could just roll their helmets out there and win by 38 points. We expect to see them in the Big 12 Championship Game but they’ll have to work for it. BOOMER SOONER!