Oklahoma football: Five bold predictions for 2017

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews /
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NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 17: Dede Westbrook
NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 17: Dede Westbrook /

Oklahoma-Ohio State clash the second weekend will be much closer than the experts predict

Oklahoma closed out the 2016 season with 10 consecutive wins, sweeping all nine Big 12 opponents and handing 14th-ranked Auburn a two-touchdown defeat in the Sugar Bowl.

In a sadistic sort of way, perhaps the Sooners owe a debt of gratitude to Ohio State for their run to perfection after Sept. 17 last season.

The Buckeyes rolled into Norman last season as the No. 3 team in the nation and they proceeded to roll all over the Sooners, handing Oklahoma its worst home loss in 110 games under now-retired head coach Bob Stoops. To put the devastating 45-24-point loss to Ohio State into further perspective, the Sooners only lost nine times at home in the 18 seasons under Stoops.

Ohio State is back on the schedule in 2017, only this time the game will be played on the Buckeye’s home turf in Columbus, where there will be over 100,000 highly partisan OSU fans in attendance.

Considering the beatdown Ohio State gave to Oklahoma in the game last season in Norman, it would be easy to assume that things won’t go well when those two teams get together at Ohio State on the second weekend of the 2017 season.

The offensive yards in last year’s OU-OSU game was actually much closer than the final score indicated with the Buckeyes outgaining the Sooners 443 to 403. Ohio State is almost certain to be ranked in the top-five after the first week of the 2017 season and clearly be favored over the visiting Sooners, maybe even by double digits.

The Sooners have been a very good road team, however, in recent seasons, going 17-2 in true road games the past five seasons. That includes road wins at Notre Dame, Tennessee, at Oklahoma State twice, at Baylor and three times at West Virginia.

Oklahoma is 61-20 in true road games since 1999.

The Sooners will have a very tall challenge this season at Ohio State, but something tells me that the outcome will be much closer than what the experts say.