Oklahoma Sooners top 5 in CBS Sports ‘way too early’ rankings for 2022

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  • Brent Venables
    Brent Venables
    American football player and coach

Turnover comes for every team in college football, every January. Graduations, NFL Draft declarations, and the transfer portal has led to an inordinate amount of turnover for the Oklahoma Sooners in December and January.

The Sooners are in the process of losing as many as 12 starters to that turnover. Amid the turnover, they’ve got some talented players that will get an opportunity to step into pivotal roles for the Sooners, and optimism abounds about the new coaching staff.

ESPN ranked the Sooners No. 17 and USA TODAY Sports had them at No. 6, but CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd had Oklahoma inside the top five at No. 4 in his top 25.

The Brent Venables era begins. The Sooners will play (much?) better defense. They must considering the new coach. Dillon Gabriel is a plug-and-play quarterback. Expect more of the same from the Sooners with an added defensive edge. The Big 12 battle with Baylor will be fascinating. – Dodd, CBS Sports

USA TODAY and CBS Sports carry the same level of optimism for the Oklahoma Sooners heading into winter workouts and Spring Ball. That faith is placed in a new coaching staff that looks to return the Sooners to the defensive dominance they enjoyed when Brent Venables was the defensive coordinator in his previous stint with the Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma’s offense will be in good hands with Jeff Lebby and Dillon Gabriel, and if the Sooners are able to find some players along the defensive front to replace Nik Bonitto, Isaiah Thomas, and Perrion Winfrey, they’ll be in much better shape to return to contention for the Big 12 title and the College Football Playoff.

With Brent Venables leading the way, the Sooners will be one of the more intriguing teams to follow in 2022. This Spring should answer some of the questions surrounding a team that experienced a ton of turnover.

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Oklahoma Sooners, Brent Venables finalize coaching staff for the 2022 season