Oklahoma football news, notes & notable numbers counting down to 2023 kickoff

Editor’s note:  With under 70 days to go until the 2023 Oklahoma football season kickoff on Sept. 3, we will be periodically counting down and offering up short news and feature tidbits designed to get Sooner fans prepped and ready for the second season of the Brent Venables era at OU.

Sixty-nine days and counting…

Earlier this month, ESPN came out with its 2023 college football preseason Football Power Index, ranking Brent Venables’ Sooners as the 11th best team heading into the coming season.

The staff at CFB-HQ Fan Nation, a sports website that is affiliated with Sports Illustrated, has further evaluated the ESPN preseason FPI and identified teams that are either overrated or underrated based on the FPI ranking.

Texas, at No. 6, and Oklahoma, at No. 11, are the highest-rated Big 12 teams in the 2023 preseason FPI, which CFB-HQ Fan Nation describes as “a little different than the traditional power rankings or the AP poll in that it ranks teams based on averaging how many points each team would beat an average opponent by on a neutral field.”

ESPN’s Power Index projects that Texas will win 10 or more games in 2023 and gives the Longhorns a 54.4 percent chance of winning the Big 12 and a 34.2 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff. The FPI projects OU to win as many as 10 games, with a 24.5 percent chance of winning the Big 12 and 10.7 percent chance of making the playoff.

CFB-HQ, however, doesn’t buy into the FPI projections for either the Sooners or Longhorns, contending that both programs are overrated.

In evaluating Oklahoma’s No. 11 preseason ranking, CFB-HQ staff writer James Parks opines:

“…while additions like edge rushers Dasan McCullough and Trace Ford should help beef up the team’s sloppy defense, the Sooners lost important offensive production to the NFL and can stand some serious improvement at both lines of scrimmage.

“Oklahoma has every chance to prove its doubters wrong, but two months out from kickoff, the evidence isn’t strong enough.”

Clemson (No. 8) is the only other top-25 team besides OU and Texas that CFB-HQ feels is overrated, based on the FPI rankings. No. 3 Georgia, No. 14 Florida State and No. 21 Washington are underrated, according to the sage souls at CFB-HQ.