Oklahoma football: How do SEC-bound Sooners stack up in ESPN's Future Power Rankings for Offenses


High-scoring offense has been a hallmark of Oklahoma football for the better part of the last half-century.

Outstanding quarterback play and excellent balance between the run game and the pass offense has been at the forefront of OU's high-octane offenses under Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley during the past couple of decades, but things are changing in Norman.

The Sooner offense is still explosive and loaded with weapons and playmakers all over the field, but head coach Brent Venables is making dramatic improvements on the defensive side. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see both the Oklahoma offense and defense ranked among college football's top 15 or 20 best within the next couple of years. When, not if, that happens, the Sooners will be a definite title threat in the SEC, just as they've been throughout the 2000s in the Big 12.

This past week ESPN+ published its annual College Football Future Power Rankings for teams at the FBS level. Oklahoma has dropped down a bit from previous years but is still ranked in the top 10 at No. 9. As a reminder, the scope of this ranking projects out over the next three years, beginning with the 2025 season.

As the Sooners prepare for their inaugural season as a new member of the SEC, considered by most every college expert to be the best and deepest conference in college football, they do so with a new offensive coordinator, a new starting quarterback and a remade offensive line that lost all five starters from a year ago.

Normally, those concerns would be more than enough to knock a team down a number of spots in the year-over-year in the ESPN Future Power Rankings. But then, this is Oklahoma, the same program that took the Wishbone and Air Raid offenses to historic levels in different eras and over the past two decades has produced some of the top quarterbacks in the college game. As for the offensive line, it is true that offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is forced to rebuild the offensive front with transfers and some highly regarded freshman recruits, but Bedenbaugh is one of the best in the business and he always has found a way to make good with what he has.

Oklahoma was No. 2 in ESPN's 2020 Future Offense Power Rankings with Jalen Hurts at the QB position and Spencer Rattler in the wings. The Sooners ranked No, 3 in 2021 with Rattler at the controls and No. 1 QB recruit Caleb Williams as backup. After that, OU dropped to No. 6 in 2022 and No. 7 in 2023.

The good news if you are a Sooner football fan is that the Oklahoma offense continues to project out at a top-10 level for the next three years, at least according to the experts and the computers at ESPN. All the while, Venables and his defensive coaches will continue their earnest efforts to build a championship-level defense to go along with it.

If all this comes together. look out for this Oklahoma team in the near future. And that's a scary thought if you're an opponent on the Sooner schedule in the coming years.