Oklahoma Football: Ranking Sooners' Easiest and Toughest Challenges in 2012
If you look over the Oklahoma Sooners' 2012 football schedule, you can break it up into two distinct groups: the easiest and toughest games.
- 09/01/12 at UTEP
- 09/08/12 vs. Florida A&M
- 10/20/12 vs. Kansas
- 11/03/12 at Iowa State
- 11/10/12 vs. Baylor
Now, the problem with creating these types of lists is that the "easiest" games don't always turn out that way. If a similar list was made before last season, there is no question that a home game vs. Texas Tech would have shown up as an easy game.
What defines an easy game, you ask?
It's a game the Sooners should win roughly nine out of 10 times. An opponent that is clearly outmatched and one the Sooners should defeat. Obviously, there's a reason why they still play the games, and things don't always go down the way we think they should.
UTEP and Florida A&M are clearly nice and easy warm-up games to start the season. Kansas, Iowa State and Baylor are all formidable conference opponents, but none that should strike fear into Sooner nation.
While Baylor did defeat the Sooners last season, it did so on the back of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, who has since been selected No. 2 overall in the NFL draft. Playing in Norman without the likes of RGIII sends an overachieving Bears squad back to reality.
- 09/22/12 vs. Kansas State
- 10/06/12 at Texas Tech
- 10/13/12 vs. Texas
- 10/27/12 vs. Notre Dame
- 11/17/12 at West Virginia
- 11/24/12 vs. Oklahoma State
- 12/01/12 at TCU
Who Are the Sooners Most Likely to Slip Up Against?
Moving on to the rougher part of the Sooners' schedule, it features seven opponents of which six are listed in ESPN's preseason top 25 rankings.
Texas Tech is the only opponent in this group that is not part of the preseason top 25. Considering the Red Raiders' 5-7 finish to the 2011 season, they would normally be considered an easy opponent stacked up against the rest of the Sooners' schedule.
However, considering the 2011 loss to the Red Raiders and the fact that the 2012 game is to be played in Lubbock, Texas—this is anything but an easy game.
The Sooners have not won a game in Lubbock since 2003, but make no mistake, this is a game they should win and be heavily favored in.
Kansas State clocked in as the preseason No. 13-ranked team, according to ESPN. Bill Snyder has done a fantastic job turning this program around. Led by quarterback Collin Klein, the Wildcats posted a 10-win season in 2011. This will no doubt be a tough test in Norman.
The Sooners head into the Red River Rivalry on a two-game winning streak against their heated rivals. The Longhorns will tout one of the best defensive units in the conference, while the Sooners should have one of the top offenses. The true test will be whether or not the Longhorns can resolve their issues at quarterback by Oct. 13.
Notre Dame then rolls into Norman at the end of October for a huge out-of-conference matchup. The Fighting Irish finished 8-5 in 2011, but ESPN has them preseason ranked as the No. 24 team in the nation.
Junior quarterback Tommy Rees must improve for the Irish if they hope to claim a win in Norman. Rees will also have to have someone step up at wide receiver this season. His former top target, Michael Floyd, now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.
Things don't get any easier for the Sooners in a final stretch that will make or break their BCS dreams against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Christian.
The Sooners will be up against one of the toughest schedules in the nation heading into the 2012 season. For a national championship run to take place, Bob Stoops must ensure his team is mentally and physically prepared week in and week out—regardless of whether it's playing Florida A&M or West Virginia.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?