Oklahoma Sooners Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Oklahoma season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Oklahoma Sooners Preview
Brent Venables: 0-0, 1st year at Oklahoma
2021 Preview: Overall: 11-2, Conference: 7-2
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Oklahoma Top 10 Players | OU Schedule & Analysis
Oklahoma Sooners Preview 2022
There’s a whole generation of Oklahoma fans who have known nothing but Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley as the head coaches of their program, but no – this is not normal.
There was a stretch after the legendary Barry Switzer era when Oklahoma football took a little bit of a break. There were some shifts in philosophy, there was the year of dabbling with Howard Schnellenberger, and then in 1999 came this unknown Stoops guy, followed up in 2017 by this relatively unknown Riley guy.
It’s like Green Bay Packer fans who think quarterbacks are always supposed to play like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. It isn’t easy to find coaches who are that good, that consistent – just ask Texas – and can step into a seemingly sure-thing job and be in the mix for championships every year.
With that said, Brent Venables – at the very least – makes a whole lot of sense to be the exact right fit as the Next OU Coach Up.
No pressure, but he has to not only keep all the production rolling, but he needs set the program up to take an even bigger step forward as it heads into the SEC in the near future – likely 2024, but with forces still trying to push for next year.
Venables represents more of a nod to the pivot to Stoops than the tweak with Riley. Stoops came to OU as a hot shot young defensive coach, and he all but turned the offense over to Mike Leach – at least for the first year – and the Air Raid style that set the tone early on. The O was great, but the Sooners won the national title in 2020 with a jaw-dropping defense.
And then there was Riley, who might have been the brilliant young offensive star who cranked up epic attacks, but the D couldn’t quite do its part.
Stoops had the one massive season almost right out of the gate, but he could never win another national title. Riley was able to dominate the Big 12, but he couldn’t get out of the College Football Playoff semifinals.
That’s where Venables comes in.
He might not be a young star like Stoops and Riley were when they took over, but the guy knows what he’s doing.
He was the defensive coordinator during those early years under Stoops, became the DC at Clemson in the ascension under Dabo Swinney, and now he finally has his first head coaching gig.
Losing a talent like Riley stinks, but Oklahoma actually needed to change things a wee bit. What might have been fun over the past several years isn’t going to get the program through the gauntlet of life in the SEC.
You can be great and be 9-3 every year in the SEC if you don’t have all the talent that Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and now Texas A&M are able to amass. Venables knows what national championship-level teams look like, and he’s got a few years to get Oklahoma there.
It’s Brent Venables – the defense is going to be amazing very, very soon.
If that happens, and Jeff Lebby can do make the offense as strong as he did under Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss – it’s not Air Raid, but it has the same sort of pace and tempo – Oklahoma should be able to party like it’s 1999.
For now, it might be all about SEC, SEC, SEC, but Oklahoma is still in the Big 12, and it can certainly win that and be in the hunt for something bigger.
Nothing stops. Win the Big 12 title, get to the CFP, roll the dice.
Give it a year or so under Venables, accept that it might take a bit to get everything right, and then the focus becomes win the SEC – or be in the mix – get to the CFP, and win it.