Oklahoma football: USA Today writer sticking with OU as Playoff pick

Before the 2022 season started, most all college football experts had three playoff positions pretty well locked down by Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State. That left one spot left and a dozen or so teams left to fight it out, including Brent Venables’ Oklahoma football team.

There were a couple, maybe even three, college football crystal ball types who genuinely felt the Sooners had a fighting chance for a College Football Playoff berth, but that it would probably take some dominoes falling the right way over the course of the season.

One of those lone wolves was USA Today college football writer Erick Smith, who in the preseason projected Oklahoma over Clemson, Michigan, Texas A&M and several other contenders to land in the fourth and final playoff spot, again assuming that the other three spots would go to Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State.

That was his story then, and he’s sticking to it now.

“The bowl projections went with Oklahoma in the preseason,” Smith writes, “and nothing has changed that opinion.

“In fact, the Sooners have only solidified their standing with three dominating efforts to start the Brent Venables era.”

Smith went on to acknowledge that the Sooners have faced the toughest competition thus far, but previous versions of Oklahoma football under Lincoln Riley never showed this much defensive ability.

There is still plenty of the season left to be played, but if the Sooners continue to play the style of complementary football that has served them well so far as they head into the more difficult Big 12 gauntlet, there will be other jumping on the Sooner (Schooner) bandwagon.