How would SEC Oklahoma football do in a mock 2024 64-team tournament?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma football might or might not be good enough to make a 12-team College Football Playoff in 2024. Had it been that way last season, OU would have been the first team left out -- sounds eerily familiar doesn't it?

For the sake of fantasy, what if next season's playoff were expanded to 64 teams, like in college basketball? You would think the Sooners would be comfortably in that fight, but where would they fall in the pecking order and how would they do representing an all-new conference?

The 2024 season begins an all-new chapter for Oklahoma football. The Sooners move to the Southeastern Conference, the gold standard in college football, after a 104-year affiliation with the Big 12 and all of its predecessor forms.

A 64-team College Football Playoff is not a new concept to the college football staff at ESPN. They've used the timing and interest of fans in March Madness before to create a fictional NCAA football tournament, and they've done so again this year, using ESPN's SP+ projections for the 2024 season as the basis for seeding the teams.

SP+ projections take into account three primary factors: returning production, recent recruiting and recent history. Each factor is weighted for its predictiveness.

In case you might have missed it -- or not had it brought to your attention by a friend or another fan - in a recent article, staff writer Chris Low revealed the bracket and seeding for the 2024 NCAA championship football tournament.

How would Oklahoma do in a 64-team CFP playoff format in 2024?

Oklahoma's 2024 preseason SP+ ranking, according to the ESPN data and analysis unit, is No. 14, but the Sooners are the 11th overall seed in ESPN's 2024 64-team tournament and a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region along with top-four seeds 1) Ohio State, 2) Michigan and 4) LSU. The other No. 3 seeds in the mock tournament, along with OU, are Ole Miss, Florida State and Missouri.

The top-four seeds overall in the tournament are Georgia (South), Georgia (Midwest), Oregon (West) and Texas (East).

The ESPN computers have the No. 3 Sooners defeating No. 14 South Florida in the opening round of the tournament with Jackson Arnold passing for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Oklahoma is matched up with fellow SEC and former Big 12 foe Texas A&M in the second round and defeated the Aggies 38-20. Texas A&M was ahead 20-17 before the Sooner reeled off 21 unanswered points to put the game away.

Sooners advance to the Midwest Region semifinals

Having survived the first two rounds with wins over No. 14 South Florida and No. 6 Texas A&M, respectively, the Sooners advanced to the Sweet 16 as one of the four teams still standing in the Midwest Region, where they were matchup up against No. 2 Michigan. With No. 2 Ohio State matched up against No. 5 Louisville in the other Midwest Region semifinal contest, there was plenty of anticipation of a Ohio State-Michigan all-Big Ten regional final. No. 3 Oklahoma spoiled that thinking, however, upsetting the Wolverines 24-20.

The Sooners' experience on defense showed up and served as a reminder of how important it was to get back your two best defenders (LB Danny Stutsman and S Billy Bowman), according to the ESPN recap of the game. "Each time the Wolverines seemed to be putting together a drive, Stutsman or Bowman was there to make a play."

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Ohio State in Elite Eight

It was down to eight teams, and No. 3 Oklahoma was to battle it out with top-seeded Ohio State for the Midwest Region championship and a spot in the Final Four. The Sooners weren't able to get their running game going, according to the ESPN game recap, and that enabled Buckeye defensive ends Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloua to tee off on Oklahoma guarterback Jackson Arnold and keep him pressured and out of rhythm all day. The result was an Ohio State 13-point victory, 37-24 and a spot for the Buckeyes in the national semifinals or college football's equivalent of basketball's Final Four.

That set up a College Football Playoff final four consisting of three No. 1 seeds (Texas, Ohio State and Georgia) and No. 3 seed Florida State. Texas faced Georgia in one of the two national semifinals and Ohio State and Florida State in the other semifinal. If you want to know how this all played out, you can click here to find out.