College Football – Oklahoma Sooners Odds To Make CFP 2020

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Despite the loss of another Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, the offense shouldn’t be a problem. The defense? That’s another story. The Oklahoma Sooners reached the College Football Playoff the last two seasons with a transfer quarterback operating a highly entertaining machine. The experts were uncertain Kyler Murray could follow Baker Mayfield. He did. Now, can Jalen Hurts do the same? Hurts is no stranger to the big stage leading Alabama to the CFP before getting kicked to the curb. He’ll try to continue the formula Lincoln Riley has in place.

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When the Sooners reached the CFP in 2017 their defense was bad. Last year the group was worse, and as we saw they were unable to outscore one of the best teams in the country. OU has been to three playoffs but was bounced in the semifinals each time. The Sooners are the class of the Big 12, but if the defense doesn’t improve a pair of losses will keep them out of the playoff.

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College Football Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu

Oklahoma Sooners to make 4-team playoff

Yes +195

No -255

Oklahoma Sooners 2019 Season Preview

The Sooners led the nation with over 570 yards of offense and 48.4 points per game last season. It will be hard for Hurts to duplicate that kind of production, but he’s a gifted quarterback from a big-time program with championship game experience, so the ball will keep rolling. That’s because OU has an abundance of talented skill players.

Throwing the football has been a staple of Riley’s offense. With Murray throwing for 4,361 yards last year the Sooners ranked seventh in 2018. That shouldn’t change too much in 2019, but look for a more run-friendly scheme with Hurts being a strong runner and the duo of Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks around to shoulder the load. The two combined for 2,003 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground a season ago, and that was OU’s weakness. Riley game plans to his team’s strengths and running the football should definitely be it.

This is a balanced offense with a strong group of receivers. CeeDee Lamb is a NFL talent who collected 65 receptions and 11 touchdowns last year. He’ll give Hurts a top option in the passing game. We’re likely to see a decline in production with the loss of eight starters, so it’s up to the guys on the other side of the ball to make an impact after being carried by the offense.

The transformation started with the hiring of coordinator Alex Grinch from Ohio State. Hopefully Grinch enjoys a challenge because he inherits a group that ranked 113th overall, 101st in points allowed and dead last in pass defense. There is plenty of talent and Grinch is too good a coach for the problems to be so prevalent again.

2019 Oklahoma Sooners Schedule

Week 1: Houston Cougars

Week 2: South Dakota Coyotes

Week 3: at UCLA Bruins

Week 4: OFF

Week 5: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Week 6: at Kansas Jayhawks

Week 7: vs. Texas Longhorns

Week 8: West Virginia Mountaineers

Week 9: at Kansas State Wildcats

Week 10: OFF

Week 11: Iowa State Cyclones

Week 12: at Baylor Bears

Week 13: TCU Horned Frogs

Week 14: at Oklahoma State Cowboys

Even with a crappy defense the Sooners went 12-1 during the regular season, avenging their only loss by whipping Texas in the Big 12 title game. They gave Alabama a fight in the Orange Bowl semifinal before falling 45-34. The Big 12 figures to be better in 2019 with the upstart Longhorns pushing for national recognition.

Improved or not, there is no Big 12 team that should scare OU. The Sooners are likely to be favored in every game and their off weeks are strategically placed. OU opens league play at home against Texas Tech following its first bye and plays the final four games after the second bye. Closing the season with road games against Baylor and Oklahoma State in the final three weeks isn’t going to be easy, but nothing is if you want to play for a national championship.

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