Oklahoma Sooners – 2012
The talent levels in Norman have slipped in the last half decade as the Sooners went from the super elite to a top 10 team following the 2005 college football season. Their worst 3 year stretch of recruiting from 2007 to 2009 ended with their worst win total in the last decade as well (I know, losing SB early didn’t help much either).
The Sooner still remain well above the CFBMatrix blue line of composite talent ranking going into 2012 as #10. Of the last 22 teams to make it into the national title game, 22 have started the season above that line. Oklahoma is in a conference with solid coaching in the teams with mid-level talent, but has a huge talent gap on everyone but Texas. At this level of talent and scheduling anything under 10 wins in a season is a lost opportunity.
2012 was in lock step with the 4 year adjusted recruiting rank for the Sooners. Nothing up, nothing down. Still rock solid elite at #9 overall. This team meets the 3 big criteria that the last 16 national title game players have shared. All else aside, Sooners should have their sites set very high.
You can get excited about the returning starters, but for elite teams I have proven that means very little. If there is one key to the season it is the return of both kickers. That number has proven more valuable on year over year total wins than a returning QB. Don’t be shocked if field position and a field makes the Sooner season. #pressure
The CBFMatrix loves Stoops and his staff. Only once in the last 5 years have the game predictions been off more than 1 total game in a season. At home he has lost just once in 5 years to a team they out recruited. But on the road, that number jumps to 8. In those 8 games it has never been to a team with a CFBMatrix adjusted talent ranking of worse than #37 or better than #21 (see the two teams in the schedule below!).
2012 Sked Breakdown
This is a great schedule for the Sooners. They may not be the most talented team, not that it matters in the BCS top 25 at all, but they have a solid schedule set up to allow for an undefeated season. No other team has a bigger average talent ranking gap per game than the Sooners. They play no elite teams on the road and there is the big break of no conference championship.
Win. Win. Bye. It should be blow out, blow out. 2-0 , then the bye to prep for the best game coach in college football. But the numbers show that Stoops at home against everyone the last 5 years is a near lock win. In my opinion looking at the trends and odds, to bet against any Oklahoma home game is the wrong risk. The Sooners enter the 2nd bye week at 3-0.
The week 6 game at Texas Tech is HUGE. The Red Raiders are one of two teams that meet the criteria noted above as the most likely upset specials based on their talent and the profiles of past upset road losses for Stoops and Co. It is a big trap game too as the Red River Shootout looms in the next week. Texas Tech or the game against Texas is, in my opinion where the best odds lie for a Sooner L in 2012.
Kansas..pffttt. Better than a bye. Low talent and one of the worst game coach effect guys ever in the CFBMatrix. 5-1 and still in the top 10 welcoming in Notre Dame. Coach Kelly and the Irish have been terrible at home but solid on the road. I expect a really good game out of this out of conference tilt that the Sooners win. 6-1.
At Iowa State and home versus and under rated Baylor team. Win. Win. 8-1 and looking at a great trap game November 17th. The Mountaineers represent the other team profile that Stoops loses too on the road. While WVU doesn’t have elite talent, the Sooners will be wise to not be looking ahead to Bedlam the following week. While the last two games are going to be tough, this match up with West Virginia represents the greatest potential for the Sooners to be upset in the last half of the season. Sooners close out the season winning the last two games over Oklahoma State and TCU.
It cannot see the Sooners going 12-0 as the odds are stacked against all teams to pull it off. They have 9 games that are very likely wins. The other 3 they are most likely to go 2-1 to wrap up a 11-1 campaign. Since the BCS top 25 ranks the Big12 behind the SEC and PAC12, a one loss Sooner team may be left out if there are more than one team from those conferences with 1 or fewer loses in 2012.
- Dave Bartoo, The CFBMatrix & your Anti-Homer Follow @cfbmatrix