Expectations within the Sooner Nation are as high as ever coming off the 2020 season in which Oklahoma won a sixth consecutive conference title and then obliterated Florida in the Cotton Bowl. With Spencer Rattler entering his third year under Lincoln Riley, second as a starter, and an offensive line that looks to be vastly improved from a year ago the Sooner offense could return to the record-breaking pace of year’s gone by. However, it’s the defense that is drawing most of the anticipation from those who bleed crimson and cream. This is year three of Alex Grinch’s Speed D and should be the best year he’s had since replacing Mike Stoops. There should be legitimate expectation for Oklahoma’s defense to return to the type of dominance we saw from them in 2009, if not even better.
It’s not just Oklahoma fans raising the bar of high expectations for their Sooners. Nationally OU is expected to do something that they’ve never done before, win a playoff game. The 247Sports post-spring Top 25 is just the latest example of this. 247 has Oklahoma at #2, just behind Alabama, and also mention Rattler’s experience and the Grinch defense as keys to success.
The Sooners were the only team in three versions of the 247Sports poll to receive a first-place vote. Alabama, however, took a unanimous No. 1 spot after National Signing Day, and remains up top after the spring. For Oklahoma, spring and the offseason brought plenty of excitement to Norman. The Sooners added multiple key talents via the transfer portal, and the hype around Spencer Rattler is as strong as ever heading into his second full season as the starter. Rattler threw for 3,031 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven picks last season, and is among the 2021 leaders to win the Heisman Trophy. Can he follow names like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts by leading OU to the College Football Playoff?247Sports
Other notable rankings by 247 are Iowa State at #6, Texas at #19, and Oklahoma State at #25.
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