Reasons For Optimism Heading Into The SEC

After four Heisman winners, four national championship game appearances, and an astonishing 14 conference championships, the Oklahoma Sooners have officially ended their chapter with the Big 12, as they have their sights set on the SEC. With a 69-45 win over the TCU Horned Frogs last weekend, the Oklahoma Sooners closed out their final game as a member of the Big 12 conference on top, like they have done for so many years now. Although they just missed out on a shot at the conference crown this season, the Oklahoma Sooners have a lot to be optimistic about going into their first season in the SEC.

First of all, the SEC is coming off one of their more down years in recent memory. They finished below .500 in non-conference games against other power five schools. Sure, Alabama still got into the CFP as SEC champions, but only in the very last spot as the four seed. A spot in which Florida State had just as much as an argument to get as they finished the season undefeated at 13-0 and won the ACC. However, in doing so they lost both their first- and second-string quarterbacks, which was taken into account by the CFP committee, thus thrusting Alabama back into the national championship picture. Without those two injuries to the FSU quarterbacks, we could be looking at the first ever CFP without an SEC team. In addition, although it was their bitter rivals down south, the Sooners watched Texas go into Alabama and defeat the Crimson Tide in their house earlier this season. Which should give the Sooners the feeling that they will be able to hang on the road in the SEC as well.

Another reason for optimism is the promotion of Joe Jon Finley and Seth Littrell to co-offensive coordinators. The biggest thing with this move is that it was announced before the bowl game. So, Sooner fans will not have to wait an entire offseason to see what the offense looks like with those two at the helm. This move should come as a relief to Sooners fans, as a guy like Finley has really emerged as one of the better young coaches in college football. There is a very good chance this guy is a running an offense by himself one day, or maybe even head coaching somewhere. Sooner fans need to enjoy him while he is here.

The last reason for optimism is the new 12 team CFP format being implemented next season. A format that would have been perfect for this season mind you. Nonetheless, the Sooners no longer have to worry about being “perfect” during the regular season. With the four team format, 2 losses pretty much eliminated you from any playoff contention. Now, in some seasons, 2 losses (maybe even 3 depending on the season) would still leave in contention for competing for a national championship. However, even though there are more spots available, the path still has gotten more difficult with the change to the SEC. Going to places like Baton Rouge and Knoxville are a much different animal than Lawrence and Ames. Before we see any of that though, the Sooners have one final game in the Alamo Bowl against Arizona on December 28th. This is the Sooners 42nd 10-win season and would be their 28th 11-win season in school history with a victory.

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