Oklahoma football: Are the Sooners turning in to a Big Ten team?


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written mostly in jest, and stems from a random conversation I had recently regarding how well OU would do in a different conference. I found the similarities between the “prototypical” Big Ten school and the 2014 Oklahoma squad the most intriguing. Enjoy.

When you think flashy, exciting football, the Big Ten does not come to mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-coached Urban Meyer team and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon as much as the next college football fan. However, OU might be slipping in to the Big Ten mold.

Think about it (though, not thinking about it probably proves my point better).

Oklahoma has had shaky quarterback play recently, powerful runners, an imposing offensive line, a defense that gets carved up through the air, but excels in stopping the run.

It seems Oklahoma’s played way too many 11 a.m. kickoffs (typically a time where Big Ten schools are scheduled), and that number will probably increase with OU out of the playoff hunt and more appealing games popping up.

However, don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the stats.

As of October 27, 2014, Oklahoma’s passing doesn’t rank low compared to Big Ten schools, but passing yards is the only category they really come close to topping Big Ten schools.

Side note: Imagine if OU didn’t have Sterling Shepard this year….Yikes.

You can play around with the columns to see where OU ranks among the B1G in passing:

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The numbers don’t get much better when it comes to rushing statistics. OU’s run game has been hurt with the absence of Keith Ford. However, OU’s rushing attack is very “middle-of-the-pack” by this year’s Big Ten standards.

Sort and see where OU’s run game ranks below:

[table id=38 /]

As for the defense, Oklahoma’s pass defense does see some great passers, which may be a reason they’re so low statistically compared to Big Ten schools, but check out the numbers:

[table id=39 /]

Here’s one place where OU somewhat excels compared to the Big Ten. OU’s run defense has seen some solid play this year; here’s how they rank:

[table id=40 /]

Things haven’t been great around Norman recently, and while OU can salvage its season by playing spoiler to a few teams and make a decent bowl game, Bob Stoops’ crew is in jeopardy of not reaching ten wins for the first time since OU’s injury-ridden 2009 team.

The competition in the Big 12 has gone up, but would this 2014 Oklahoma Sooners football team have any more success in a different conference? Let us know by voting on our poll and in the comments.