Oklahoma Sooners take a dip in final AP Poll of 2023

As always with the Oklahoma Sooners, there are high expectations. Even coming out of a 6-7 season in 2022, there was a thought the Sooners would have a chance to “hang a banner” at the end of the year, according to Brent Venables.

The Sooners certainly had a chance after a 7-0 start, which included a win over Texas. But a pair of losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State knocked them out of Big 12 title contention. Still, the Sooners finished the regular season strong, with three straight wins over West Virginia, BYU, and TCU.

Even after their Alamo Bowl loss to the Arizona Wildcats, the Sooners finished the season as a top 15 team in the nation in the US LBM Coaches Poll. In the final iteration of the AP Poll, the Oklahoma Sooners come in at No. 15, falling three spots after their loss to the Wildcats.

National champion Michigan came in at No. 1 and Washington at No. 2. The Georgia Bulldogs climbed three spots to No. 3 followed by the Texas Longhorns at No. 4. Alabama rounds out the top five.

The Sooners are the second-highest ranked Big 12 team to finish the year. In 2024, they’ll face four teams ranked in the top 10 and six in the top 25 of the final AP Poll.

Oklahoma made some promising improvements, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and continues to make strong headway on the recruiting trail.

The Sooners will certainly have questions up front, but they’re attempting to address those concerns in the transfer portal with the additions of Febechi Nwaiwu, Spencer Brown, and Michael Tarquin and the continued pursuit of Zalance Heard from LSU.

With their skill positions solidified and the belief in Jackson Arnold as a top tier quarterback in college football, the Sooners offense should still be among the best in 2024.

Still, they’ll face tougher challenges week-to-week when they arrive in the SEC. They weren’t as good as they could have been in 2023 and have to learn to get out of their own way. Each of their three losses were marred with turnovers. If the Sooners can consistently protect the football, they’ll have a chance to be a playoff team in 2024.

More: Sooners drop three spots in final US LBM Coaches Poll

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire