OU Football: What are realistic expectations for the start of the Brent Venables era?

With every coaching carousel, there come lofty expectations for each and every new head coach. After a disappointing end to the 2021 season, Oklahoma Sooners fans are champing at the bit for their team to get back to the adult table of college football.

This is something they have in common with new head coach Brent Venables.

Venables didn’t turn down head coaching jobs for the last decade and come to Oklahoma just for the bigger paychecks. He wants to win national championships. Plural.

While that would be great, it’s not something Sooners fans can reasonably expect out of him in Year 1. So, that begs the question, what would be reasonable to expect out of the beginning of the Brent Venables era in Oklahoma?

Pete Fiutak of College Football News has given his expectations for all of the new head coaches for both year one and over the next five years.

Let’s see what he has to say about Venables.

Before This … He spent 10 years as the Clemson defensive coordinator after working as the Oklahoma DC from 1999 to 2011.

Top Line of the Resumé: 2016 Broyles Award winner as the top assistant, coaching the Clemson defense in a national championship season.

Realistic Expectations In Year One: Win the Big 12 championship and at least come close to making the College Football Playoff.

Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Quickly get back to dominating the Big 12 with a tremendous defense to go along with that offense, get to at least one College Football Playoff, and then go off to the SEC and make a big splash right away in 2024.

-Pete Viutak, College Football News

Seems pretty reasonable. If Oklahoma football is going to thrive in the SEC, it needs to show the teams in the Big 12 who’s boss as long as it is still in the conference.

With no bona fide Tier 1 team in the Big 12 for the 2022 season, asking for a Big 12 title with the current team isn’t an unreasonable expectation.

Joe Castiglione didn’t hire Venables from Clemson just to go 9-3.

My Take

Venables has a lot to prove as a head coach. Being the guy in the big chair is different from being the defensive coordinator. Getting OU’s defense up to his standards is simple enough, but getting results (wins) on a football field is something else.

The Sooners should absolutely make it to the Big 12 Championship this season. Should they win it? Probably. Should they earn a berth to the College Football Playoff? Maybe.

I want this team to get back to dominating the teams that it should dominate (I’m looking at you Kansas and West Virginia) and stop getting pushed around in big games. I’m more concerned with the culture of the team as opposed to the numbers on the scoreboard.

The wins will come, but an improved culture will lead to what has eluded the Sooners for more than two decades.


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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire