‘Oklahoma is next year’s TCU’: Joel Klatt believes the Sooners are a team to watch in 2023

There were many remarkable aspects to the TCU Horned Frogs’ run to the College Football Playoff national championship game. A team that was 5-7 in 2021 and brought in a new head coach, Sonny Dykes, had a remarkable turnaround in Dykes’ first season.

With 2022 behind us and Georgia the back-to-back national champions, the question on Fox College Football analyst Joel Klatt’s mind is who could be 2023’s TCU. His answer: the Oklahoma Sooners.

“I already told you earlier, they were 0-5 in one score games,” Klatt said during his show on YouTube a few days ago. “All they have to do is start winning close games, which they should do, and they’re easily a 10-win team, maybe an 11-win team. And if they’re an 11-win team, in particular in the regular season, 11-1, they’ll be playing in the Big 12 championship game. And if you’re playing for the Big 12 championship game at 11-1,  guess what? You’re probably vying for a playoff spot. And if you’re vying for a playoff spot, guess what? You’re next year’s TCU.”

If the Sooners had gone just 2-3 in the five one-score games, Oklahoma would have won eight games in 2022. Four of those five losses came by a field goal. With what the Sooners have done this offseason to upgrade the defensive side of the ball, the Sooners should be better equipped to get one more stops or have the depth to sustain their defensive effort late in games.

Getting Dillon Gabriel back and adding some veteran pieces to the offensive line should help Oklahoma maintain or improve its offensive production from 2022. Coming up with a consistent big-play threat to replace Marvin Mims will be key, but Oklahoma has several options at wide receiver that could win downfield.

As we saw in the Cheez-It Bowl, the Sooners should be able to run the ball with great effectiveness; Jovantae Barnes and Gavin Sawchuk lead the way. If they can get a better defensive performance in 2023, Oklahoma will have a chance to make its 6-7 season a footnote.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire