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CBS Sports includes Sooners among teams that can make playoff in 2024

In the 2024 college football season, all eyes will be on the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. The college football world will want to see how the Red River Rivals fair in their first season in the SEC.

Proclamations have been made, with many favoring the Horns to contend for a national title, but the Sooners aren’t looked upon as favorably.

There’s reason for skepticism with the Sooners. Even the most ardent supporters acknowledge the turnover that Oklahoma is facing, especially on offense, and even more specifically along the offensive line.

But even with the turnover the Sooners are facing, that may not even be the biggest issues. Oklahoma’s schedule in year one (and year two) in the SEC is one of the toughest in the nation. But nobody is going to feel sorry for Oklahoma, not even its fanbase. This is a blue blood program with national title aspirations regardless of the schedule, the conference, or the playoff format.

With spring ball underway, CBS Sports’ Will Backus took a look at the 16 programs he believed could contend for the 12-team playoff in 2024 and the Sooners came in at No. 16.

This will all come down to how Oklahoma acclimates in its first year as an SEC member. To compound an already difficult task, the Sooners will be breaking in an entirely new offensive line after losing five players with starting experience. Brent Venables nabbed four linemen from the transfer portal, and Oklahoma does have some veteran options that can push for more playing time. Having a coach like Bill Bedenbaugh to oversee things makes the overhaul easier. Otherwise, the Sooners look pretty solid across the board. Former five-star QB Jackson Arnold is stepping into the starting role on offense, and the defense should continue its upward trajectory with stars like Ethan Downs, Billy Bowman Jr. and Danny Stutsman back. – Backus, CBS Sports

Bill Bedenbaugh is facing arguably his toughest test to date, replacing his entire starting offensive line. But a combination of home grown talents and transfer portal additions provide the Sooners with good options to block for quarterback Jackson Arnold.

And with Arnold, the talent is there for him to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Can he put it all together in one offseason to help lead the Sooners into contention? That will be the question on everyone’s mind as the Sooners head into the SEC in 2024.

Nonconference will give Oklahoma an opportunity to get right before they host Tennessee for the Sooners’ SEC debut, but then the fun begins.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire