Oklahoma football: Kirk Herbstreit likes OU No. 5 in his Top 6 college teams

Oklahoma football head coach Brent Venables believes the Sooners are on course through the first three games of the 2022 season and getting better every week.

Three games in and three wins to show for it, and Oklahoma’s performance in manhandling Nebraska over the weekend serves as a case in point of how the Sooners have bought in to the infectious energy and new direction of OU football under Venables.

What Venables has brought to this football team is a touch point with the Sooner gridiron success of the past along with a new voice that is very much in touch with the present and what the future of the program can be.

This Sooner team is like a giant rockslide that is picking up steam and force as it rolls downhill. Oklahoma has been on the radar of college football experts — for both pro and con reasons — ever since Venables took over after the sudden exit by Lincoln Riley.

There was widespread uncertainty about what Oklahoma football would be after all the dust had settled following the Riley departure. Three weeks into the new college football season there are still some doubters about how good the Sooners are, but there are also growing perceptions that this OU team may be even better than the one Riley left behind. The reason being: better defense under Venables and veteran defensive coordinator Ted Roof, making Oklahoma a more complete team.

The Sooners began the season ranked 9th by both the Associated Press and the Coaches Poll. After three weeks of action, Oklahoma is up to No. 6 in both polls. The Sooners’ performance so far, especially this past weekend at Nebraska, has also caught the attention of ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

After every week’s games, Herbstreit issues his picks for the country’s top four teams plus the next two teams in line, much like the way ESPN introduces the weekly College Football Playoff rankings when those start coming out in the late October, early November time frame.

Herbstreit’s top four this week aren’t all that surprising — No. 1 Georgia, followed by Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan (two SEC teams and two from the Big Ten) — but it’s the next two teams that are truly intriguing and will bring a big smile to the faces of the Sooner faithful. Herbstreit has OU No. 5 this week and USC right behind at No. 6.

Oklahoma and USC won’t play each other this season unless for some unforeseen reason they were to meet up in a postseason bowl game. Well, we can always imagine what that might be like. But for right now, it’s good to know that the Sooners have the upper hand on the Trojans, both in the major national polls and in the view of college expert Herbstreit.