The Oklahoma football Sooners currently share eighth place in the Big 12 in the 2022 conference standings and in need of two more win before they can even start to think about participating in a postseason bowl game this season.
Not playing in a bowl game is something that hasn’t even crossed the mind of Sooner players or their fans for the past 23 seasons. You have to go back to 1998 for the last time Oklahoma remained home after the regular season.
OU’s reputation still precedes it, however, because a number of experts and sports media believe this year’s group of Sooners still have it in them to keep their string of postseason appearances intact.
USA Today’s bowl projections after Week 8 have as many as eight Big 12 teams going bowling this season. Only West Virginia and Iowa State, who Oklahoma plays this weekend are left out of the mix. The last time the Big 12 had as many as eight teams participate in a bowl game was in 2012 when nine teams from the conference appeared in the postseason. Only one school, Kansas, did not go bowling that season.
Throughout the first decade of the 2000s, however, when the Big 12 was at full strength with 12 member schools, eight bowl teams out of the Big 12 was more the rule than the norm.
The latest USA Today bowl projections have TCU playing Alabama in one of the College Football Playoff national semifinal games and Oklahoma earning a berth in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, on Dec. 28. USA Today projects the Sooners to play South Carolina, which would be an intriguing matchup against three Sooners: quarterback Spencer Rattler, tight end Austin Stogner and former Sooner assistant coach Shane Beamer, now the head coach at South Carolina.
The Liberty Bowl is No. 5 in the Big 12 bowl pecking order if the conference champion does not go to the College Football Playoff, No. 6 if a conference team does make it into the playoff.