Oklahoma football: The Athletic ranks OU in top 10 for having most potential moving forward

You may have noticed that the teams at the top level of the college football rankings don’t change that much from year to year. That list generally includes Oklahoma football, which is one reason the Sooners have been so good for so long.

The Sooners suffered through a rare losing year in Brent Venables first season at the helm, but a number of experts, including members of the college football staff at The Athletic, know you can’t keep a tradition-rich program with a long history of success like OU down for long.

Quality recruiting is a fairly good indicator of future success, but it isn’t the complete answer. The head coach and assistant coaches also factor prominently into the equation as does the location, history and facilities, as pointed out in a recent article posted on The Athletic website.

Eight members of The Athletic college football staff submitted individual rankings of the 69 teams that will make up the Power Five Conference teams beginning with the 2023 season based on recruiting potential and the ability to attract and procure top talent.

When all the rankings were tallied, Oklahoma came in 10th. The highest ranking for the Sooners on the eight ballots was 7th; the lowest was 12th.

Here is what The Athletic staff had to says about OU’s potential moving forward:

“At Oklahoma, the championship tradition sells itself. When you take the proven results — two decades of excellence, elite offenses, NFL Draft picks — and you add SEC status, it’s not hard to get blue-chip recruits to buy in and build top-five recruiting classes.”

Texas (No. 5) is the only Big 12 school ranked higher than the Sooners. Georgia (1), Alabama (2), LSU (4) and Texas A&M (7) are the SEC schools that finished ahead of OU in the ranking.

Despite a 6-7 record this past season. Venables and his staff signed a 2023 class ranked No. 4 nationally by both 247Sports and ESPN. Oklahoma’s last five recruiting classes prior to this year have ranked 8th, 10th, 13th, 6th and 9th nationally according to 247Sports.

Following is how the soon-to-be 14 Big 12 teams ranked, according to The Athletic, based on recruiting potential:

5. Texas

10. Oklahoma

20. TCU

33. Baylor

41. Texas Tech

42. Oklahoma State

43. UCF

45. Houston

48. Cincinnati

50. Kansas State

54. West Virginia

55. BYU

56. Iowa State

68. Kansas