Oklahoma football’s Big 12 title defense officially gets started on Monday, as the Sooners take center stage at Big 12 media days at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
New Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley will be the story of the day after replacing legendary head coach Bob Stoops. The Sooners will also bring quarterback Baker Mayfield, edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, offensive lineman Orlando Brown and safety Steven Parker.
Here are some of the key Oklahoma storylines and questions to keep an eye on throughout the week.
What will Lincoln Riley say?
New Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has not been particularly vocal since his introductory press conference last month. With the amount of attention he’s about to get, that will quickly change. Riley and Herman will be the biggest stories at all of media days. This is the first time since 1947 that the conference
How will Baker Mayfield handle tough questions?
Mayfield has become the face of the Big 12 – and for good reason. He ranks as the best quarterback in the conference since Robert Griffin III took home the Heisman Trophy. But after an arrest this summer, some in the general public turned on them. It will be interesting to see how he responds to this bit of adversity.
Can Oklahoma make it three in a row?
Only one team in Big 12 history has ever won three straight Big 12 championships; that would be the University of Oklahoma from 2006 to 2008. Of course, that Sooners team also had a legendary quarterback. That time, it was Sam Bradford. Regardless, the Sooners have a tough road to become the second to do it.
Who will step up offensively?
Oklahoma lost the majority of its key skill position players to the NFL after last season. Suddenly, the Sooners are without Biletnikoff-winning wide receiver Dede Westbrook and 1,000-yard rushers Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. There is certainly talent on campus, but Oklahoma needs to show confidence in a couple young players.
Is there any update to the Will Sunderland situation?
Sunderland was one of four players arrested this offseason, but his situation appears to be the most serious. Prosecutors charged him with felony second-degree burglary after allegedly stealing several video game systems from an Oklahoma baseball dorm and trying to sell them. How Riley handles this situation will be critical, especially considering the criticism Stoops got at the end of his tenure.