Oklahoma football remains in the top 15 of ESPN’s post-spring SP+ rankings.

Less than a hundred days remain until the college football season kicks out. In 101 days, Oklahoma will play its first game in the SEC as the Sooners take on Temple in a Friday night opening at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on August 30.

As Oklahoma moves from the Big 12 to the SEC, this season will be crucial for the programme. It will also be a turning point for Brent Venables as he leads the Sooners into Year 3 of his rebuild, coinciding with the most recent conference realignment and the addition of a 12-team College Football Playoff. The Sooners, who finished 10 wins shy of the final AP poll at No. 15, are losing a number of key players on offence (including all five starters along the line), but they are also bringing in new coordinators for defence, special teams, and offence in Seth Littrell, Zac Alley, and Doug Deakin. On the plus side, they return a wealth of defensive experience.

With 101 games remaining before Oklahoma’s Team 130 reaches the field, preseason predictions are already underway. The Sooners were ranked No. 18 in ESPN’s post-spring top-25 power rankings on Monday. ESPN’s Bill Connelly updated his 2024 SP+ rankings post-spring on Tuesday.

The first iteration of the rankings was released in February, just before spring practices for the majority of college football programmes and after the 2024 recruiting period ended. Following the conclusion of spring practices and the post-spring transfer portal window, the rankings were most recently refreshed. In August, the final preseason rankings will be released.

If you’re not aware with SP+ rankings, they are a tempo and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. The definition of SP+, according to Connelly, is “a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football, not a resume ranking.”

Three important criteria are taken into consideration while creating Connelly’s rankings: returning production, recent recruiting success, and recent programme history. The productivity that is returning is rather simple: Oklahoma returns 65% of its overall output from the previous season, ranking 54th nationally. “The calibre of a team’s potential replacement (and/or new stars) in the lineup” is determined by the previous few years’ recruiting rankings, including transfers, with the most recent class bearing more weight. The recent recruiting success is utilised to calculate this. Connelly claims that the final of those three factors, recent history, is determined by a team’s performance during the previous two to four seasons.

The Sooners remained at No. 15 in the most recent SP+ rankings update as we approach the height of the offseason, little over a month after Oklahoma’s spring game and the end of spring workouts. OU’s SP+ is 19.3, a little increase from 18.9 in the rankings that were released in February. The Sooners are 17th in the country for offensive rating (36.0) and 16th among FBS teams for defensive rating (17.5). Oklahoma ranks 95th on special teams with a minus-0.3 rating, which isn’t shocking given the team’s well-known problems in that area of the game during the previous campaign.

Oklahoma’s ranking in the newly expanded SEC, which now consists of 16 teams, is as follows: No. 1 Georgia (36.3), No. 4 Texas (29.5), No. 5 Alabama (29.1), No. 8 Ole Miss (26.6), No. 9 LSU (25.1), No. 11 Missouri (23.1), and No. 13 Texas A&M (19.8) are the seven teams remaining ahead of Oklahoma. The SEC conference boasts the greatest average SP+ score (16.1), far above the Big Ten league, which comes in second closest (9.9).

Five of the seven teams that rank higher than OU in the SP+ rankings are opponents the Sooners will face this season. Oklahoma welcomes Alabama in late November and plays rival Texas in the Cotton Bowl in early October. This year’s debut SEC slate, which is a part of the third-toughest schedule in the country, includes visits to Ole Miss, Missouri, and LSU for OU.

The Sooners’ schedule also includes games against Tennessee (16th in SP+), Auburn (31st), and South Carolina (43rd), the three teams who rank ahead of OU in SP+. OU’s nonconference schedule includes Tulane (65th), Houston (79th), and Temple (132nd out of 134 teams). Maine, an FCS team, is not included in these SP+ rankings.

Oklahoma has a 6.5% chance of going 10-2 or better this season, according to SP+, and they will probably be in the running for a CFP berth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *