If you said the Oklahoma Sooners would be in a precarious spot regarding their football program last year, you would've been laughed out of the building. They had everything: a playoff-caliber coach, five-star recruits galore, and sitting pretty atop their conference.
However, that all changed when Lincoln Riley bolted for Hollywood, taking his defensive coordinator Alex Grinch with him. His recruits followed suit as well, with Caleb Williams and Raleek Brown joining him in Los Angeles. Now, the Sooners have a barren cupboard of a team, with the school heading to the SEC in 2025.
Already, it's not looking too pretty. They were upset by the Kansas State Wildcats a couple of weeks ago, 41-34. Then, they were blown out by TCU by a score of 55-24. On top of that, they lost quarterback Dillon Gabriel due to a concussion injury. The Sooners have watched their postseason hopes evaporate in a puff of smoke, leaving them to fight for a bowl spot.
But all is not lost. They do have quarterback Jackson Arnold coming in from Denton, Texas in next year's class. They also have Joe Castiglione as their athletic director, who's developed a reputation as one of the best in the business. These could prove to be saving graces for the beleaguered program, who's still searching for an identity in a post-Riley world.
These could also prove to not be enough. The transfer portal has run rampant in the college sports world, turning the league into a free agency leg. It'll be hard for the Sooners to keep up in the SEC, especially if head coach Brent Venables doesn't get his team together once they join the conference.