Since the Big 12 adopted the round robin conference schedule, only one team has finished the season untarnished in league play.
The Sooners haven’t navigated the regular season undefeated since 2004.
Amidst the turnover on offense, and the rebuild of Oklahoma’s ailing defense, the chances Lincoln Riley’s squad emerges from the regular season unscathed are low.
Throwing out the obvious rivalry games, Texas and Oklahoma State, the Sooners undoing could come from any number of spots on their schedule.
Let’s try and identify the three best candidates for Oklahoma’s trap game this season.
Houston, September 1st in Norman
The Houston Cougars come into an opening weekend matchup returning an experienced offensive line and with a dynamic quarterback, sound familiar?
A few things will be different this time around, making it much harder for the Cougars to repeat their upset of the Sooners in 2016.
Houston will have to make the trip to Norman this year, a hurdle for any squad.
Oklahoma will not have to deal with anyone comparable to the menace Ed Oliver was either. Houston lost two starters from their defensive line. And not just anyone, but their most productive defensive lineman.
Tom Herman won’t be patrolling the sidelines either. The man who will be however, Dana Holgorsen, is very familiar with the Sooners.
Holgorsen offense will be a tough test for Alex Grinch’s defense right from the jump, and if the Sooners aren’t focused on the Cougars, they could be in for another unpleasant surprise to start the season.
Kansas State, October 26th in Manhattan
The Sooners head to the Little Apple potentially looking ahead to the bye week and their huge matchup with Iowa State.
Chris Klieman enters his first season coaching at the top level of the college game, but he is not inexperienced. All he did at North Dakota State was win football games, and Klieman will look for his squad to begin to turn the corner later in the season.
And what an opportunity the Wildcats will have when Oklahoma comes to town. Bill Synder Family Stadium will be crazy and ready for the upset.
Kansas State may also benefit from Oklahoma coming off of emotional games in back to back week. First, facing Texas in the big game in Dallas, and then in a potential matchup against former Sooner Austin Kendall and his Mountaineers.
If the Sooners start slow against Kansas State, they could find themselves in a battle as the Wildcats will try to grind out a big upset win.
Baylor, November 16th in Waco
Oklahoma meets the Baylor Bears in what could be their biggest sandwich spot of the year. Right off a game against Iowa State, the Sooners could be caught looking ahead to a matchup with a resurgent TCU team the next week.
The Bears return perhaps the best quarterback in the conference in Charlie Brewer.
In Norman last season, Brewer torched the Sooner defense for 416 yards in a 66-33 defeat. Matt Rhule will count on an even better season from Brewer in his third campaign with the Bears.
Rhule also returns seven starters on the other side of the ball. At Temple, Rhule was able to hang his hat on tough defense, and expect the Baylor defense to make a big jump this season.
The Bears are primed to build momentum late in the season with an upset of the Sooners in Waco.