The bye week hangover hit the Sooners hard this week, barely scratching by a 3-3 UCF team. This isn't the first time the Sooners have experienced a bye-week hangover. Back in 2021, the Sooners were undefeated heading into the bye week, and once they stepped on the field again against Baylor, we took a big fat L. You can count this if you want, but in 2020, the Sooners hosted Missouri State and won, then had two weeks to prepare for Kansas State, only to lose.
My wife made a good point after the game. The Sooners need to stop having bye weeks, especially after beating Texas. That kind of positive momentum can carry a team through the season. I get the guys need to rest, so schedule your FCS matchup in the middle of the season and give the backups some time to get on the field in the middle of a season. I know that's not up to the school, but you catch my drift.
I'm shocked that the Sooners are still ranked #6 in the nation after that performance, but a win against #3 Texas helps. For obvious reasons, the AP Poll is setting up the Oklahoma vs. Texas rematch in the Big XII Title Game to be the most significant Big XII Title Game within the last decade. This Texas team is supposed to be the best Texas team we have seen in a long time, and of course, it is the last time the two will play in a Big XII Title Game. If all goes according to plan, the Big XII Title Game will be the unofficial first round of the playoffs. With the two teams ranked #6 and #7, expect that game to be the game of the year.
Despite a not so great performance this weekend, one positive we can away from this weekend is we can officially conclude Lincoln Riley did us a favor by taking off to USC. It is comical that Riley and the Trojans are 2-5 against Top-25 teams since Riley's arrival, and not one of those is against a Top-10 opponent. To compare, Venables and the Sooners are 3-1 against Top-25 teams, with a win against a Top-3 team and their only loss coming in last year's bowl game against Florida State, where half the team opted out.
I almost feel bad for Caleb Williams because Riley is the worst possible coach to play for if you are a great college quarterback with National Championship hopes. The talent is all there, but I've said this since my first season as a Sooners fan (Riley's last season at OU). Lincoln Riley is only as good as the players he recruits. Caleb Williams, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, and Baker Mayfield are all elite quarterbacks who would have been in the running for Heisman regardless of where they played. I would credit a very small percentage of their success to Lincoln Riley's ability to develop them as quarterbacks.
I will credit Riley for his ability to recruit and create excellent football teams, which plays a huge factor in the team's success, but there's a reason his teams have yet to reach the National Title Game. After the failures of this year and next to nothing on Riley's resume, I predict Riley will not have another Top-10 recruiting class again unless there are some major changes. His 2024 recruiting class is the #5 recruiting class in the Big Ten and the #19 recruiting class in the country (24/7 Sports).
I understand this blog post has been largely about how Lincoln Riley sucks, but harping on how bad he sucks will never get old. It feels nice to be back to the same Ole Sooners. You have to have one of those scary games in the middle of the season to wake the boys up. I see this close win as an absolute positive. There is so much on the line this season, and there is a path towards a National Title. Scoff at me all you want for that comment, but it's true, and the standard in Oklahoma is winning National Titles.