Oklahoma’s strength of schedule leaves little room for error as Big 12 play begins

·3 min read

There isn’t much to be mad about with the Oklahoma Sooners’ start to the 2022 season. They’re on a roll.

They’ve beaten their three opponents by a combined score of 127-30. That’s an average of 42.33 to 10. Three straight 30-point wins, and they’re 2-1 against the spread, narrowly missing the cover against Kent State despite winning by 30.

Good teams win, great teams cover.

The Oklahoma Sooners have dominated their opponents, and they shouldn’t apologize for the lack of quality opponents on the schedule to start the season. It’s not Oklahoma’s fault that Nebraska has become one of the worst college football programs in the nation. You can’t plan for that.

At the same time, the lack of a quality opponent on the schedule doesn’t give the Sooners much wiggle room for the rest of the season. And that’s the lingering question for Heather Dinich of ESPN as she asks if teams like Oklahoma, Clemson, and Michigan are for real.

Here’s what she had to say about Oklahoma.

Still, Oklahoma has yet to beat an opponent with a winning record, and it entered Week 3 with the No. 123 strength of schedule. If Oklahoma is going to separate itself as the league’s front-runner, it’s going to have to continue to play complete games against better competition. Like Clemson and Michigan, there’s little margin for error, and Oklahoma will need the selection committee to hold teams in its league in high regard because the nonconference lineup won’t help. – Dinnich, ESPN

While the nonconference schedule didn’t provide a quality opponent, the way they won has to be considered a quality win. Oklahoma has three ranked opponents remaining on the sched,ule with Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma State still to come. Trips to Ames, Morgantown, and Lubbock loom large as three of the most difficult places to play in the conference. And then there’s Kansas State, who many though would be a dark horse Big 12 contender in 2022, and the upstart Kansas Jayhawks, who will pose a bigger problem than they have in recent years.

The Big 12 schedule will tell the tale for the Oklahoma Sooners and their College Football Playoff prospects. Win out, and they should be in. Even to a ranked opponent, a loss could be problematic even if the Sooners were to win the Big 12 championship.

As Brent Venables has said on multiple occasions, “It’s about us,” meaning Oklahoma can’t worry about what it can’t control. If they continue to win and win in an emphatic fashion, the Sooners will be well-positioned to qualify for the College Football Playoff later this year.

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Updated look at Oklahoma's game-by-game win projections after dismantling of Nebraska

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire