2011 Schedule Breakdown Series: Day IV

NORMAN, Okla. -- Sooners Illustrated continues on with its complete seven-day schedule breakdown, now ranking the overall schedule from least to most difficult.

12. Vs. Ball State, Oct. 1--The Cardinals come to town for the first ever meeting between the two schools when they meet the first weekend of October. BSU is only 6-18 in its last 24, and that doesn't figure to improve after this one although the program is on the right track.

11. @ Kansas, Oct. 15--OU has won its last two in Lawrence and last six overall in the series. And the Jayhawks have what presumably will be the worst team in the conference. The Sooners shouldn't have any problems here.

10. Vs. Iowa State, Nov. 26--To say the Sooners have dominated the Cyclones all-time would be an understatement. They have a 68-5-2 record against the guys from Ames, but have lost more of those (three) at home than on the road (two). Still, OU owns its home field and won't slip up in a series it's taken 12 straight in.

9. @ Kansas State, Oct. 29--KSU head coach Bill Snyder always seems to get the best out of his teams whether they're expected to be a conference contender or not. This year, however, they're not, and the only thing that makes this game somewhat concerning is the fact that it's on the road.

8. Vs. Texas Tech, Oct. 22--The alternating streak of wins and losses between these two teams that began back in 2004 could come to a somewhat unexpected close as the change in schedule from the new conference forced Tech to return to Norman this year for the second consecutive season. But another streak could and should stay in tact, as the home squad has won every matchup in the series since that year. And OU has only ever lost once to TTU at home.

7. Vs. Tulsa, Sept. 3--The Golden Hurricane haven't challenged the Sooners in their last two meetings, getting blown out by a combined score of 107-21, including a 45-0 shutout back in 2009. But they did play OU within two scores back in 2005 and have been a perennial Conference USA contender lately. Their offense, anchored by quarterback G.J. Kinne, has the potential to put up some numbers, and if the Sooner defense has trouble stopping it, this game could be tough.

6. @ Baylor, Nov. 19--Given history, this spot is perhaps too high for a contest against the Baylor Bears. The Sooners are 20-0 all-time against the Bears, including 9-0 in Waco. But BU will also likely have an offense that can put up some numbers, led by another talented quarterback in Robert Griffin III. Waco is widely known as Oklahoma Memorial Stadium South, but it might not be this year if OU doesn't take care of business early.

5. Vs. Missouri, Sept. 24--The Tigers will be looking to start a streak against the Sooners after winning 36-27 in Columbia last season. The Sooners will be seeking revenge. MU figures to be in the Top 25 in this early year conference game, so it will be an intriguing one to watch. While a potential upset is on the horizon, OU still has the advantage because it's in Norman.

4. Vs. Texas in Dallas, Oct. 8--Don't expect UT head coach Mack Brown to roll out another team with a losing record this time around because that's not likely. And it's also not likely that the Longhorns will roll over against their more talented counterparts. The Red River Rivalry will again be a battle like it normally is.

3. Vs. Texas A&M, Nov. 5--Remember 77-0? Or 65-10? Those are the scores a couple recent times these squads have met at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. But the Aggies, with star running back Cyrus Gray and cornerback Coryell Judie, are much more talented than either of those teams A&M fielded. And this is a very legitimate upset to end OU's home winning streak. It will be a Top 10 or Top 20 matchup, at the very least, but advantage still OU considering the Aggies have only beaten the Sooners twice in 14 overall meetings since 1903.

2. @ Oklahoma State, Dec. 3--If ever there was a time for OU's Bedlam rival to snap its losing streak against the Sooners--it currently stands at eight--this year is the chance. The Cowboys are loaded with talent, including quarterback Brandon Weeden, wide receiver Justin Blackmon and others. They draw the Sooners for the second year in a row at home. And they get an off week to prepare before the matchup. This is a serious challenge for the Sooners.

1. @ Florida State, Sept. 17--It doesn't get any tougher than this: A Top 10, possibly Top Five matchup early in the season on the road. FSU will be out for some revenge, too, after getting drummed 47-17 last year. The Seminoles are loaded with playmakers on both sides of the ball, guys that can matchup with everyone the Sooners put out on the field. So, because of that, this is the toughest game on the Sooner schedule in 2011.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's version of the series.

Previous:

Day I

Day II

Day III

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories