Week 1 finally arrives
Take a bow, everyone. We made it through the offseason. Now to actually play football...
✌🏽 Happy Monday, friends. Let’s ride.
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The Main Thing
Let’s recognize a special someone worthy of all the praise in the world.
You did it. You made it through the most chaotic Oklahoma offseason since … well, last year when it and Texas announced their move to the SEC.But the idea of OU going through a head coaching change this time one year ago is unthinkable. The health of the program seemed just fine as OU entered the 2021 season with College Football Playoff aspirations and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Spencer Rattler, at quarterback.
Perhaps OU’s scare against Tulane in its ‘21 season opener was a warning for what was to come. Not that it matters so much now. That coaching staff is gone, and the new one’s approval rating couldn’t be higher even without having played a game yet.
It’s a complete reset, which is always calming for a program coming off of a disappointing campaign. Of course, public opinion will adjust with the season. OU is bound to lose a game at some point,and how and why it happens will drive the narrative of this team. But among the team’s coaches and players, there’s a strong belief that there’s not much reason to fear a dropoff.
So, welcome to Week 1. Oklahoma hosts UTEP for the first time since 2017and is the heavy betting favorite, which we’ll discuss the matchup in more detail throughout the week.
But what a ride it’s been to get here.
We aren’t likely to really know how good this OU team is until it heads to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Sept. 17 for its first road test. And even then, the Huskers might not be the measuring stick OU particularly wants for itself.
But for anyone who’s been glued to their phones over the last 10 months, consuming whatever OU football offseason content they could get their hands on, simply seeing OU snap the ball on Saturday should be therapeutic after what’s felt like the longest OU offseason I can remember.
A round of applause for you.
We’re back, folks.
We made it.
— Joe Buettner
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🏈 Game day details
UTEP Miners (0-1, 0-1 C-USA) at No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)
When: Saturday, Sept. 3 | Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Place: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Radio: Sooner Sports Network
Spread: Oklahoma -31.5 | O/U: 57
All-time series: OU leads 4-0
🗳 Preseason survey
The readers have spoken.
Ahead of Oklahoma’s 2022 football season, we asked you all to fill out a fan survey to get a better understanding of your expectations for this year’s team.
We received 124 responses, and I can’t thank you all enough for your participation.
Let’s dig into the results.
📚 Read options
Dillon Gabriel and the gulch: How bond forged in Hawaiian ravine will be key in climb OU's 2022 season poses [Read more at OU Daily]
'Reason I’m here today': How Jim Gush started Brent Venables' journey to OU football coach [Read more at The Oklahoman]
Eric Gray and Key Lawrence describe what motivated team during Cale Gundy situation [Read more at Tulsa World]
DaShaun White embracing leadership role, versatility in Sooner defense [Read more at Norman Transcript]
Tulane transfer Jeffery Johnson brings unique perspective after being on the visiting sideline at Owen Field [Read more at SI Sooners]
Former four-star RB and Washington transfer Emeka Megwa has apparently enrolled at Oklahoma [Read more at SI Sooners]
🔒 Recruiting trail
Oklahoma picked up a pair of blue-chip commitments and jumped to No. 4 in the 247Sports Composite team recruiting rankings over the weekend.
Meet the latest Class of 2023 prospects to verbally commit to Oklahoma:
Four-star WR Anthony Evans seemed destined for Georgia. Oklahoma came in late, however, to secure Evans’ verbal and add another major weapon to OC Jeff Lebby’s offense. [Read more at Sooner Scoop]
Alabama wanted him but Oklahoma came out on top for four-star DB Makari Vickers. The Florida product is one of the top Class of 2023 prospects, regardless of position, in the country. [Read more at 247 Sports]
How is OU *still* playing in the Big 12 this season?
If we’re being honest, there’s probably to be a meltdown the first time an OU defensive back is burned for a long touchdown.
And if you’re asking me, I think this team’s floor is a Big 12 championship game appearance. Brent Venables didn’t come to Norman to go 8-4.
Another first-year OU head coach got his team to the playoff that year.
I mean, how are you going to lose to Northwestern in Ireland?!
Rankings based on preseason AP Top 25 poll.