BCS Standings 2011: Bowl Outlook for Oklahoma Sooners

Eric PennellCorrespondent IIOctober 17, 2011

BCS Standings 2011: Bowl Outlook for Oklahoma Sooners

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    The Oklahoma Sooners came in at No. 3 in the initial BCS poll, the ranking that ultimately determines who plays for the national championship. This is a great spot for the Sooners, considering the two teams ahead of them—Alabama and LSU—play each other in November.

    Oklahoma also has a chance to knock the No. 4 team back at the end of the season when they play in-state rival Oklahoma State in their annual Bedlam game.

    Given the current makeup of the BCS standings and the Sooners' remaining schedule, what are the possible outcomes?

    Let's take a look at three possible scenarios for the Sooners this season.

Worst Case Scenario

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    Record: 10-2

    Probability: 20%

    Projected Bowl: AT&T Cotton Bowl

    That probability may seem a little high to some Sooner fans, but given their tough upcoming schedule and propensity to come out flat against seemingly lesser opponents, I think it is pretty realistic.

    The Sooners have three ranked teams left on their schedule (OSU, Kansas State, Texas A&M) and a Baylor team that just missed out on the Top 25. The other two remaining teams, Texas Tech and Iowa State, will have upset on their mind as well.

    OU showed last week against Kansas that they are still capable of not getting up for a game. The 27-17 halftime lead for the Sooners left many fans scratching their heads, especially given the fact that Oklahoma State put up 56 points on the Jayhawks in the first half the week before.

    Landry had two easy interceptions dropped by the Kansas defense and the offense settled for field goals three times in the red zone.

    If Bob Stoops wants to claim the school's eighth national championship, he is going to have to keep the team motivated each week, no matter who they are playing.

Middle Case Scenario

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    Record: 11-1

    Probability: 35%

    Projected Bowl: Tostito's Fiesta Bowl

    I'm not sure if "middle case scenario" is a real phrase, but you get my point.

    This probability is a little higher than I'd like as well, but given the reasons in the previous slide, the number feels about right.

    The Sooners have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the country, and the likelihood of a let-down game has historically increased when the team travels away from Norman.

    The chances that Oklahoma will lose one of its three remaining road games against Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State is fairly high.

    OSU provides the most difficult test coming up. If the Sooners come out flat in Stillwater at season's end against Mike Gundy's high-powered offense, things could get out of hand in a hurry. The Cowboys will be hungry for an upset, seeing that the Sooners have extinguished numerous chances at a conference title over their current eight-game winning streak.

Best Case Scenario

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    Record: 12-0

    Probability: 45%

    Projected Bowl: Allstate BCS National Championship

    The highest probability outcome for the Sooners is an undefeated 2011 and a trip to the national championship. Sure, the schedule is tough and yes, the Sooners sometimes come out flat. But Bob Stoops has all of the key elements to a championship team.

    Landry Jones has finally grown into the leader of the team and is surrounded by one of the top skill-position units in the country.

    After a few early struggles, the defense has played lights-out against their last two opponents. The defense outscored Texas all by themselves and held a feisty Kansas team to negative ten total yards and no first downs in the second half last weekend.

    It is all going to come down to the final game of the season, the Bedlam battle against Oklahoma State. Both teams will likely be undefeated coming into the game, making it the biggest game of the 100+ year rivalry.

    Oklahoma's defense and eight-game series winning streak are most likely to come out on top, sending Stoops and his troops to his fifth BCS title game in twelve seasons.