Michaels: Oklahoma lands at 5 on preseason top-10 list

John Michaels will count down from 10 to 1 each day over the next two weeks...

John Michaels
August 08, 2018 - 11:46 am
Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley speaks to quarterback Kyler Murray

© Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

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If there is a team that wishes it could redo the second half of their last game it is the Oklahoma Sooners. They had the semifinals won versus Georgia, and then UGA stormed back and moved on to the title game. My question for Oklahoma: Are the Sooners wash, rinse, repeat under Lincoln Riley, or will they take a step back without Baker Mayfield?

Positives: Rodney Anderson became a star in 2017, even with Baker Mayfield on the team. As a group OU averaged 217 yards per game on the ground, and return a couple of great offensive lineman in Ben Powers and Dru Samia. The receiver corps will be very good again led by Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb, being able to take the top off the defense. Defensively the corners should be really good, as the Sooners only gave up 238 yards per game through the air. Tre Norwood and Parnell Motley will be the stars.

Negatives: Kyler Murray may turn out to be great, but he is replacing one of the school’s all-time best in Mayfield. The defense needs to find a way to generate the same great pass rush from a year ago.

Bottom line: Oklahoma is the favorite again to win the Big 12. If the Sooners do with fewer than two losses on the seasons, Oklahoma will have a chance to be in the Playoff again.