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Everyone knows the expectations for the Oklahoma Sooners heading into the 2021 college football season. Their eyes are firmly locked on a return trip to the College Football Playoffs. To get there, they will have to do what they have the last six seasons, Sooners must win the Big 12 Conference.
They have seen some adversity under their head coach Lincoln Riley during his four-year run as the head coach. With a career record of 45-8, they win a lot more than they lose. Last year the team lost to Iowa State and Kansas State early on which led to many analysts questioning if this was the year a team finally knocks the Sooners off the pedestal. The answer was no as Spencer Rattler and company rattled off seven consecutive wins to secure the conference yet again. They got their revenge against Brock Purdy and the Cyclones when it mattered most.
Recently, Riley Gates of 247Sports predicted the first loss for every Big 12 Conference team.
Sooners Wire takes a look at who could be the first to challenge OU
When does 247Sports think the first loss comes?
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
What 247Sports Says…
Oklahoma might very well be a team that runs the table this year. That’s how talented Spencer Rattler is at quarterback and now he’s got a year of experience on the field under his belt. Oklahoma doesn’t have a very difficult nonconference schedule, with Nebraska being the toughest test, and then it opens Big 12 play with a home game against West Virginia and a road trip to Kansas State. The Sooners will be the pick to win the Big 12 and might actually go unbeaten. But the Texas game with a new head coach in charge will likely be the toughest test they face in the first six weeks and perhaps all season. Away from home, Oklahoma might get tripped up.
Circling the Red River Shootout in Dallas, Texas, is never a bad way to start. However, don’t forget about Kansas State or Iowa State for that matter. The Wildcats come up on the schedule before the Texas Longhorns with kickoff set for Oct. 2. Kansas State under head coach Chris Klieman has a 2-0 record against the Sooners. That is the most important game early on for Oklahoma. Provided Riley gets retribution against the Wildcats, then Texas under Steve Sarkisian could draw first blood.
However, throw it all out in rivalry games. The Sooners are looking to send a message that they still own the state.