3 bold Oklahoma football predictions for 2022 season
Oklahoma football has changed head coaches for just the second time this millennium. Lincoln Riley jumped ship to take the top job at USC and the Sooners replaced him with longtime Clemson defensive coordinator and Oklahoma grad Brent Venables. Also in the fold is new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who had spent the past couple years with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss.
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Oklahoma football has changed head coaches for just the second time this millennium. Lincoln Riley jumped ship to take the top job at USC and the Sooners replaced him with longtime Clemson defensive coordinator and Oklahoma grad Brent Venables. Also in the fold is new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who had spent the past couple years with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss
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With this change in power comes lots of changes in the roster as well. Some players followed Riley to USC and some transferred elsewhere, while others transferred into the Sooner program. All in all, the Sooners still seem poised to contend for the Big 12 championship once again, and they’ll likely remain in the national title hunt for quite a while as well.
Here’s three bold predictions for Oklahoma’s 2022 football season.
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Oklahoma football 2022 predictions
3. Oklahoma goes undefeated on the road
As a quirk of scheduling, Oklahoma always gets Baylor and Oklahoma State, the two other best teams in the conference, paired together in terms of game location. This means that in odd-numbered years, the Sooners play both rivals on the road, and in even-numbered years like 2022, they play both Baylor and Oklahoma State at home.
This leaves road games at Nebraska, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech. That’s a much more manageable road slate to say the least. Despite the impressive strides Iowa State has made in recent years, they’ve only beaten the Sooners twice since 2000. Nebraska has only played Oklahoma once since 2009, a 23-16 Sooner win.
None of TCU, West Virginia, or Texas Tech have beaten Oklahoma since 2014, and only West Virginia seems to have the roster to compete with the Sooners. All this lines up for Oklahoma to go a perfect 5-0 on the road, a huge boost to their Big 12 hopes.
2. Oklahoma wins the Big 12
Speaking of Oklahoma’s Big 12 hopes, they’re going to win the conference. Sure, they have to play both Baylor and Oklahoma State in the regular season again, but it’s worth mentioning that both Baylor and Oklahoma State were weakened over the offseason much the same as the Sooners. Having both those games at home will be huge for Oklahoma, who lost to both on the road in 2021.
You’d have to think, if they can split those two at worst, and beat Texas in the Red River Shootout, the Sooners would be headed to Arlington to play for the Big 12 title at 11-1. Given the roster in Norman, I’d back the Sooners to win the Big 12 again in 2022 if they make it to the championship.
1. Dillon Gabriel throws for at least 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns
The man that could guide the Sooners to Big 12 glory is Dillon Gabriel, fresh off the transfer portal out of UCF. In his first two seasons with the Knights, Gabriel easily surpassed the gaudy statistical threshold above.
- 2019: 236/398, 3,653 yards, 29 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
- 2020: 248/413, 3,570 yards, 32 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
By the way, Gabriel’s offensive coordinator in his freshman 2019 campaign? None other than his new offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Jeff Lebby. With Oklahoma more receiver heavy than Ole Miss had been the past two seasons, expect the Sooners to throw the ball quite a bit. Even with Ole Miss’ more ground-based approach at times in 2021, Matt Corral still had similar numbers to Gabriel’s 2019, so you’d think that stat line is the floor for Gabriel in 2022.
If he hits those statistics, or better yet exceeds them, the Oklahoma Sooners are going to win a whole lot of football games in 2022.