The Oklahoma Sooners are once again in the preseason top 25, but this time not in the top 10. The Sooners are ranked 16th in this year’s preseason rankings, the first time since 2000 that Bob Stoops’ team was ranked outside the top 10.
The Sooners are also predicted to finish second in the Big 12 behind in-state rival Oklahoma State.
The Big 12 was represented by three other schools in the top 25: Oklahoma State (14), Texas (15), and TCU (20).
The SEC led the way, as usual, with six, five of which are in the top 10, including two-time defending champ Alabama at the top spot.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 are tied with five each.
Oklahoma ranked fourth in last year’s preseason and ended up finishing the season 15th after going 10-3 and 8-1 in the Big 12 for a share of the conference title, its 8th Big 12 title and 44th conference crown overall.
The Sooners open the season in Norman as they’ll face Louisiana-Monroe. A three-game stretch will truly define their season starting September 28 when they face Notre Dame in South Bend, followed by TCU and then the annual Red River Rivalry against Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
The main question around the Norman campus is who is going to be the quarterback. Stoops hasn’t officially announced his starter, but it’s between freshman Trevor Knight and the Belldozer, junior Blake Bell. Sophomore Kendal Thompson will miss time after injuring his foot on the first day of fall practices.
Whoever it may be, will have big shoes to fill by replacing Landry Jones, the school’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and wins.