The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Oklahoma Sooners.
No. 10: Oklahoma Sooners
Spring Practice Starts: March 10
Spring Game: April 14
Oklahoma Sooners Spring Status
Well, that worked out well.
How was Oklahoma going to keep the machine going without Bob Stoops leading the way? Was Lincoln Riley really ready to keep the Big 12 championship run going at such a young, green age?
He took what was already in place and made it better, Baker Mayfield had one of the greatest seasons in the history of College Football, and the team came painfully close to playing for the national title.
And now, with the rest of the Big 12 looking a wee bit worse, why not do it all again?
Of course, Mayfield is gone, but the coaching is still special, the systems are great, and the talent is there. There’s just not a whole lot of front-line experience, with four starters done on the offensive line, TE Mark Andrews finished, and most of the stars in the secondary needing to be replaced.
But if you can replace one of the greatest head coaches of all-time and do that, reloading shouldn’t be an issue.
Oklahoma Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Safety. Of course it’s the quarterback derby – hoping Kyler Murray eventually becomes the star of the show once the baseball star’s full attention is on football – but defensive back will be focused on, too.
Corner Jordan Thomas was great, but he’s done, along with the top safeties. Steven Parker and Will Johnson made their share of mistakes, but they could hit, and they came up with a whole lot of important plays.
Oklahoma Biggest Issue
The offensive line. The Sooners have talent on offense ready to fill in the gaps – including at quarterback – but losing Orlando Brown and four starters up front will be the early problem. It’ll be a bit of a fight to find Brown’s replacement at left tackle – hoping for Quinn Mittermeier to be the man – but find a center to take over for Erick Wren should be the real problem.
Oklahoma Biggest Positive
Young skill guys. Just plug them all in and go. Getting back RB Rodney Anderson is a great place to start, but welcoming back 1,095-yard WR Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb and the rest of the young receivers is a big deal, too. Of course, Baker Mayfield made everyone around him better, and everyone needs time behind this patched up line, but it’s Oklahoma. The numbers will come.
Really, Why Are The Oklahoma Sooners Ranked Here?
In a stepback year for the Big 12 as a whole, this is a good season for OU to go through a bit of a rebuild. The talent is in place to make it a fourth straight Big 12 championship season, but it’s going to take a while to build up the depth.
As always, OU will have to win in shootouts, and they’ll have to limit the mistakes, but there should be a nice attitude, even without Mr. Attitude himself in No. 6. The College Football Playoff might be a bit of a stretch, but win another Big 12 title, and the Sooners will be right there in the discussion – again.