What are the toughest games on the Oklahoma Sooners’ football schedule? Ranked from easiest to hardest, here are how important each of the Sooners’ games are.
How is the Oklahoma Sooners football program going to do this season? Is the schedule too hard to get back to the College Football Playoff, or does it set up well for another Big 12 title?
12. Sept. 10 ULM
The two opened up the 2013 season – a 34-0 Oklahoma win – and this time around shouldn’t be too much more competitive. It’s the home opener for the Sooners in between the Houston and Ohio State games – it’ll be a light scrimmage.
11. Oct. 29 Kansas
Oklahoma has 11 consecutive wins over Kansas since the 20-17 loss back in 1997. In Norman as a home game between trips to Texas Tech and Iowa State, set the early line at -48.
10. Nov. 3 at Iowa State
1990. That was the last time Oklahoma lost to Iowa State. Making this run even worse for the Cyclones, they haven’t even been in the same area code getting obliterated by double-digits in each of the last 11 games.
9. Oct 15 Kansas State
This was supposed to be a dangerous game last year when OU went to Manhattan. One 55-0 win later, the Sooners made amends for losing at home in a 2014 thriller. With the Texas game the week before for Oklahoma, Kansas State might be a wee bit more energized.
8. Oct. 22 at Texas Tech
Oklahoma hasn’t lost to the Red Raiders since a gaffe at home back in 2011, but this should be a fun and wild game as Baker Mayfield goes back to where he first started his college career. With three of the next four games on the road, Texas Tech needs this win – and it should play like it.
7. Nov. 12 Baylor
After getting absolutely doornailed by the Bears in back-to-back losses by a combined score of 89-26, the Sooners got their breakthrough moment in the 2015 Big 12 championship chase with a thrilling 44-34 win last year. This season, Baylor must go to Norman after OU gets a few light games against Kansas and Iowa State.
6. Nov. 19 at West Virginia
Other than a wild 50-49 OU win in 2012, the Sooners haven’t had too many problems with West Virginia since it joined the Big 12 in 2012. This year, it’s the final road game of the year and a dangerous moment going into a week off before going to Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers are coming off the date at Texas, and they should be ready for a big moment.
5. Oct. 1 at TCU
All four games since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012 have been wildly entertaining, including last year’s 30-29 OU win in Norman. Each one was decided by seven points or fewer, and this year’s showdown in Fort Worth to kick of the Big 12 season probably won’t be an exception. OU gets a week off to rest for this, while TCU is coming off a date at SMU.
4. Dec. 3 Oklahoma State
The Sooners have won three of the last four in the Bedlam series, including a 58-23 blasting last year in Stillwater to finish the run to the CFP. Oklahoma State’s offense should be far better this year – especially if Mason Rudolph is healthy. Both teams get a week off to prepare for what could be like a Big 12 title game on college football’s Championship Saturday.
3. Sept. 3 at Houston
Somewhat surprisingly, the two programs have only faced each other twice with Oklahoma squeaking by 63-13 in 2004 and winning the 1981 Sun Bowl 40-14. This time around, Houston will be looking to make a gigantic statement that it plans to be in the College Football Playoff hunt. Oklahoma is better, but it has to play like it against one of the it teams coming into the season.
2. Oct. 8 Texas (in Dallas)
After the strange loss last year in Dallas, Oklahoma woke up and went on a run to the Orange Bowl. It was the one regular season blip, but this year another loss could be deadly if Texas turns out to be far better and a factor in the Big 12 title chase. Getting fired up for this won’t be a problem, but it’s coming off a date at TCU – the intensity should be ramped up more than normal.
1. Sept. 17 Ohio State
In the overall importance of the 2016 season and the College Football Playoff chase, OU can lose this and be just fine. However, in terms of perception for the team and the Big 12 as a whole, beating one of the Big Ten’s best teams would do wonders in every side-by-side strength of schedule look. Winning this game would forgive at least one loss anywhere else.