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Athlon Sports recently ranked every single FBS team from the lowly UMass Minutemen to the dominant Alabama Crimson Tide. We are in peak “preview magazine” season, and Athlon Sports has put together quite the list for us to go through.
As they put it, these rankings are what they think things will look like at the end of the season, so yes, according to Athlon, Alabama is due for yet another national championship.
The Sooners check in at No. 13. While Steven Lassan is very fair in his evaluation of Oklahoma, 13 does seem a bit low.
The Sooners did lose a lot of important pieces in the offseason, which is the focus of the beginning of Lassan’s blurb.
The Sooners’ offseason could simply be described in one word: Change. Brent Venables takes over as head coach after Lincoln Riley left for USC, and the program also experienced its share of roster turnover with just nine returning starters in place for ’22. Losing Caleb Williams (USC) and Spencer Rattler (South Carolina) was a setback for the quarterback room, but Venables and new play-caller Jeff Lebby solved their concerns under center by bringing in UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel. The Hawaii native played under Lebby in Orlando in ’19 and should find a seamless fit again in Norman. Leading rusher Kennedy Brooks and three of the top four receivers from last season have departed. – Lassan, Athlon Sports
A common theme in many of these season preview articles is asking if Brent Venables is truly head coach material. Not so here. Lassan praises Venables’ defensive mind and expects massive improvement from OU’s defense.
There are a few things that OU fans aren’t going to like.
Firstly, they aren’t the highest Big 12 team; Baylor is. Also, USC is in the top ten. While the Trojans should see a jump from the abysmal 4-8 record they had in 2021, No. 9 in the country ahead of Oregon (No. 10) makes no sense.
Lassan thinks that the Big 12 is lacking a clear favorite. As of now, that is true. However, we will know more after the Sooners’ week three matchup at Nebraska. After last year’s frustrating game against the Cornhuskers, Brent Venables will have an opportunity to show that the Sooners are in the right hands.
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