1st: Big 12
6th: Division I
2017 In a Sentence: The Sooners won the Big 12 and made the College Football Playoff, but lost in devastating fashion to Georgia in the national semifinal Rose Bowl 54-48 in double overtime to finish 12-2 overall in Lincoln Riley’s first season.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: QB Baker Mayfield threw for 4,340 yards with a whopping 41 touchdowns with just five interceptions and was named the Heisman Trophy winner last year. He was the first overall NFL Draft selection of the Cleveland Browns this past spring.
Key Player: RB Rodney Anderson led team with 1,161 rushing yards (82.9 yards per game) and with 18 total touchdowns (13 rushing, 5 receiving). The junior totaled 1,079 rushing yards (11 touchdowns) and 1,333 yards from scrimmage (16 total TDS) over last eight games for respective averages of 134.9 and 166.6 yards. With a new quarterback Anderson will be likely asked to carry more load this year.
Fearless Prediction: Despite losing Mayfield, Oklahoma has much talent and will be the favorite to repeat as the Big 12 champions. The Sooners have two tough road games in ones at TCU in the middle of the season and then to end the season at West Virginia but expect Oklahoma to finish in the Top 2 for another berth in the Big 12 title game but may dip and not be enough for a repeat in the College Football Playoff.