Where the Sporting News ranks Oklahoma, Big 12 in early top 25

·2 min read

Another day, another top 25 preseason ranking list has been released. For this edition, Bill Bender of The Sporting News released his top 25 preseason ranking. Others have consistently ranked the Oklahoma Sooners in the top two spots. However, Bender sees it a bit differently for the Crimson and Creme.

Sporting News Top 25 Rankings

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Oklahoma Sooners No. 4

Is this the year the Sooners break through for their first national championship since 2000? Oklahoma closed 2020 as one of the hottest teams in the FBS, and Heisman Trophy favorite Spencer Rattler will improve with another year with Lincoln Riley. The running back rotation is loaded with Kennedy Brooks, Marcus Major and Tennessee transfer Eric Gray. Marvin Mims and Theo Wease and Jadon Haselwood form an elite receiving trio. The defense is always a question, but defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey and Nik Bonitto return. The Sooners will be ranked No. 1 by some publications, and a fifth CFP appearance is within reach. Oklahoma still needs to prove it in the CFP.

Bender put the Sooners behind the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Those four have routinely been touted as the top four teams in all of college football. Most expect that they could be the last four standing by the time the College Football Playoffs roll around in 2021. The Sooners will be the only team of the four returning their starting quarterback. That might give them an edge but only time will tell if Spencer Rattler is ready to return OU to the promised land.

List

Who is the Oklahoma Sooners biggest competition in 2021?

Remaining Big 12 Teams

  • Iowa State Cyclones- No. 9

  • Texas Longhorns– No. 13

  • Oklahoma State Cowboys- No. 17

The Texas Christian Horned Frogs are the most likely team to just miss the cut for the preseason rankings from the Sporting News. Along with the other four teams in the Big 12 Conference, they seem like the obvious answers to battle for conference supremacy in 2021.