Oklahoma came achingly close to recording an undefeated regular season in 2017. The Sooners’ lone regular-season loss came at home against Iowa State on Oct. 7.
Several noteworthy names from the 2017 team, notably quarterback Baker Mayfield, will have moved on once Oklahoma takes the field for its home opener against Lane Kiffin and the Florida Atlantic Owls on Sept. 1 in Norman, Okla.
But who’s to say that the Sooners can’t aspire for a perfect record once again?
By at least one metric, there’s a realistic chance that Oklahoma could be 12-0 once it walks away from its regular-season finale at West Virginia on Nov. 23.
ESPN’s FPI projections for the 2018 season, which give Oklahoma the best chance of any Big 12 team to make the College Football Playoff next year, have the Sooners favored in all 12 of their scheduled games.
That’s not to say that ESPN necessarily thinks Oklahoma will go undefeated, as the projections have the Sooners winning between 10 and 11 games. Still, that’s nothing to complain about for Oklahoma fans, and a mark that will have the Sooners in both the Big 12 title and playoff hunt should it prove to be accurate.
Oklahoma’s schedule is sure to be slightly more challenging this fall, as it will be forced to travel to West Virginia and TCU — likely some of their top competition in Big 12 play. The Sooners’ win probabilities in those two contests stand at 72.4 and 74.8 percent — the two lowest of all road games, though still not a bad number by any means. The only game with a lower win probability for Oklahoma is the Red River Showdown vs. Texas, where the Sooners have a 64.4 chance of emerging victorious.
The game with the highest win probability for Oklahoma, on the other hand, is the team’s Week 4 meeting with Army. The Sooners have a 97.9 percent chance of winning that home contest.
But for yet another year, it appears the Sooners are the Big 12’s best chance of a team making a mark on the national stage.
Oklahoma, in its second season under coach Lincoln Riley, will go for its fourth straight Big 12 title this fall. The Sooners are also the only Big 12 team to ever qualify for the playoff, previously appearing in 2015 before making a return last season.