Oklahoma Sooners fall on the wrong side of USA TODAY Sports’ ‘Winners and Losers’ of Bowl season

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Much of the last month and a half for the Oklahoma Sooners has been fraught with turmoil. From the coaching change to decommitments, the Oklahoma Sooners have had to work to repair the damage done by Lincoln Riley and his departure to USC.

With a top 10 recruiting class in 2022 and the latest additions of transfers into the program, the Sooners reclamation project is coming to fruition. However, just as they entered the offseason, still reveling in their Alamo Bowl win over the Oregon Ducks, quarterback Caleb Williams made the decision to enter the transfer portal. Along with him is promising wide receiver Mario Williams, who has indicated that he wants to play with Caleb Williams.

Paul Myerburg of USA TODAY Sports chose his “Winners and Losers” from the 2021 bowl season and while the Big 12 came up on the positive side of the ledger, the Sooners last month hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.

Winning the Alamo Bowl with Stoops on the sidelines and new coach Brent Venables ready to take over was exactly what the program needed after losing Lincoln Riley to Southern California in late November. But then came another enormous loss: Caleb Williams, the star freshman who took over early in Big 12 play and surged into the Heisman Trophy race, announced this week he would be entering the transfer portal “to see who may offer the best preparation and development for my future career.” While he has the option of staying at OU, that the Sooners just took a commitment from UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel suggests the staff has already planned for life without Williams. – Myerburg

It didn’t take long for the Oklahoma Sooners to respond to the transfer portal entry if Caleb Williams. As Myerburg suggests, the announcement of Dillon Gabriel’s arrival through the portal is telling. While Williams left the door open for a return in his transfer announcement, Mario Williams’ departure makes it fairly clear that the Sooners have prepared for life without Caleb Williams in 2022 and beyond.

While there’s an overarching confidence in the future of Oklahoma football with Brent Venables at the helm and Jeff Lebby calling the offense, it always hurts to lose good players. The Oklahoma Sooners will recover. Despite the turnover, they’ll be one of the favorites for the Big 12 once again in 2022.

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Oklahoma Sooners 2022 transfer portal tracker