The Oklahoma Sooners have two games left in the 2022 season. Two more opportunities to look their best as Brent Venables and his staff work towards the future.
They can take a positive step in that direction on Saturday night in Norman. They can end a two-game losing streak and eliminate their rival at Oklahoma State from the Big 12 contest. More importantly, Oklahoma’s sixth win can earn them an opportunity to play another game.
While simply making it to a bowl game isn’t good enough, that’s the last remaining metric by which the team can evaluate its 2022 season. Whether it’s against Oklahoma State this week or against Texas Tech in primetime next week, USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith believes the Sooners will play in a bowl game.
Let’s see where his latest predictions take the Sooners and the rest of the Big 12, and what the college football playoff field looks like.
After their loss to Notre Dame, it looks like Clemson will get some love again if they can close out the season on a winning streak and win the ACC Championship. They may need to fend off USC, Tennessee, and either an Ohio State or Michigan with a loss to reach last place in the playoffs.
TCU appears to be in the driver’s seat for a berth in the College Football Playoffs. All they have to do is keep winning. They will finish the season at Baylor and at home against Iowa State. The Bears aren’t exactly a gimme, and they’ll want revenge for the Horned Frogs knocking them out of the playoffs a year ago.
The Wildcats appear to be on track for a New Year’s Six Bowl, and a matchup with Tennessee would be great fun. This game doesn’t feature Hendon Hooker, but it would be another opportunity for Will Howard, who was a revelation to the state of Kansas.
Could Mike Gundy and Spencer Sanders end another season of Lincoln Riley in defeat?
We don’t ask much.
Florida State’s resurgence has been a funny story this season. Texas looked like they were on the rise but have since slipped back into the middle of the Big 12 pack.
A Southwest Conference rivalry between Arkansas and the Baylor Bears renewed. Dave Aranda is very familiar with the Razorbacks from his time at LSU. Both teams have had some high-scoring affairs this season that could make for a fun bowl game.
There were so many projections with this matchup that it just feels like it has to happen. Oklahoma players would get a chance to see former teammates Spencer Rattler and Austin Stogner and reunite with former assistant Shane Beamer.
Defense is optional for this game as both Kansas and Maryland can score points but haven’t been great on defense this season. Lance Leipold has stamped his job security at Lawrence for as long as he wants after returning the Jayhawks to bowl season.