The hype for Oklahoma football continues ahead of the 2017 season with the Sooners coming in at No. 7 overall in the ESPN’s preseason rankings.
Oklahoma is the highest-ranked Big 12 team in the group. The next is Oklahoma State at No. 10. Kansas State (19), Texas (20), TCU (23) and West Virginia (25) made the rankings as well.
“It’s rare when a Hall of Fame coach steps down in June and his team’s promising outlook barely changes,” wrote ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “Bob Stoops wanted Lincoln Riley set up to succeed, and Riley inherits the Big 12’s best roster, led by record-setting quarterback Baker Mayfield and an offensive line that returns intact.”
There are high expectations for Riley in his first season as Oklahoma’s head coach. He also has to replace three of his biggest playmakers on offense from last season: Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.
But the Sooners have a group of talented replacements at running back. On defense, they have two preseason all-conference selections in linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and cornerback Jordan Thomas. And of course they have Mayfield, one of the top players in the nation.
The Sooners face another top-10 team when they play at No. 3 Ohio State in Week 2.
Here’s the full top 10:
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State