Opponent: University of Oklahoma
Nickname: Sooners (or Traitors, your pick!)
Kickoff: November 13th
Location: McLane Stadium
Head Coach: Lincoln Riley (entering fifth year)
Last Year’s Record: 9-2
Notable Outcomes: Lost to Kansas State 38-35; beat Baylor 27-14; beat Florida 55-20
Key Losses: Ronnie Perkins, DE; Rhamondre Stevenson, RB; Creed Humphrey, C
Strength: Everything? I’ll probably go with quarterback here. Spencer Rattler looked like a freshman last year in his first four or so games, but really came on with a vengeance down the stretch. The Sooners won eight straight games to end the 2020 season, largely due to the play of Rattler.
Weakness: The Sooners look quite strong at nearly every position so this is a tough choice, but I’ll go with the cornerbacks. OU is young at this position and has a couple of fresh faces likely to start here (well, kind of fresh at least, as Woodi Washingotn and D.J. Graham started in the Sooners’ bowl game where they blew out Florida).
Way Too Early Prediction: I had made my peace with Baylor losing this game months ago when I took a big picture look at Baylor’s schedule before starting this weekly column. And nothing about the matchup has changed on paper, Baylor will still likely be heavily picked against here. But I’m sure I speak for every Baylor fan (and seven other Big 12 teams) when I say, this and another game have certainly moved up the “go out and win this game” priority list. Can Baylor do that? Maybe! They kept it within two scores of Oklahoma last season, despite that Baylor team being potentially much worse than this year’s (for all of Baylor’s offensive struggles, Aranda had certainly figured out the defensive side of the ball by the time they played OU). If nothing else, however, I hope that Baylor fans come out in force and make McLane as loud as it can possibly be for this one. It seems highly likely this will be the last time Oklahoma visits Waco in a long time... But for the sake of my prediction, I have to go with my head and I just don’t see Baylor getting this win. I REALLY hope I’m wrong on that.