Postseason Wrap-Up Series: Day VII

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated presents the final edition of this year's postseason recap series with the outlook for next season.

Key returning starters: Quarterback Landry Jones (Sr.), running back Dominique Whaley (Sr.), center Ben Habern (Sr.), middle linebacker Tom Wort (Jr.), field cornerback Demontre Hurst (Sr.)

Key losses: Slot receiver Ryan Broyles, left tackle Donald Stephenson, defensive end Frank Alexander, linebacker Travis Lewis, boundary corner Jamell Fleming

Key additions: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, tight ends Taylor McNamara and Brannon Green, defensive tackle Jordan Wade, cornerback Kass Everett

Schedule preview: It is largely up in the air still, pending West Virginia's potential joining of the conference along with TCU and what the Big 12 officials will do with the scheduling of those two. The most likely scenario figures to simply replace Texas A&M's games with TCU and Missouri's with West Virginia. But that is not quite the case, yet. Big 12 officials could completely redo all the teams schedules, so that option is still open. Even so, it is unlikely the Sooners would be shipped to Stillwater or Waco for a third straight year. OU will have home games against Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State and road contests at Texas Tech, Iowa State, TCU and West Virginia, with the annual neutral contest vs. Texas in Dallas. Should the Mountaineers not get out of their contract with the Big East, all those will be the same with the exception of no game in Morgantown. The Sooners will also host Notre Dame in the non-conference and must schedule two more out of conference games.

Probable preseason ranking: Fringe top five. The Sooners will start between the five and seven mark in the preseason polls. Teams like LSU, Oregon, USC and Alabama will likely begin ahead of them, but OU could crack the top five. Jones' return certainly helps that cause.

Early prediction: The Sooners will once again win the Big 12 Conference, but they will trip up somewhere along the way and not get to the national championship. It could be a loss at West Virginia or a trip-up at TCU. OU probably won't go unscathed, though.

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