2012 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: Center Gabe Ikard (Sr.), fullback Trey Millard (Sr.), running back Damien Williams (Sr.), wide receiver Jalen Saunders, cornerback Aaron Colvin (Sr.), linebacker Corey Nelson (Sr.)

Key losses: Quarterback Landry Jones, left tackle Lane Johnson, wide receivers Kenny Stills and Justin Brown, free safety Tony Jefferson, linebacker Tom Wort, defensive end David King, punter Tress Way

Key additions: Defensive tackle Quincy Russell, defensive ends D.J. Ward and Matt Dimon, punter Jed Barnett, running back Keith Ford

Schedule preview:It's a loaded schedule for 2013, featuring 11 bowl teams from a year ago out of 12 opponents. OU has out-of-conference contests at Louisiana-Monroe—it opens with the Warhawks Aug. 31—as well as Tulsa and Notre Dame. That late September game against the Irish in South Bend is the only road contest of the three. OU plays host to Big 12 foes West Virginia, TCU, Texas Tech and Iowa State, with away battles at Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The annual Red River Rivalry game against Texas, of course, is a neutral site game at the Cotton Bowl.

Probable preseason ranking:The Sooners could very well be the highest ranked Big 12 team when the first polls come out late this summer. They'll be somewhere in the 10 to 15 range, probably around 13 when they are released. OU, Oklahoma State and TCU will split votes for Preseason Big 12 favorite.

Early prediction:With all the turnover, many are expecting a bit of a down year for the Sooners in 2013, but it might not be so bad. Expect at least nine regular season wins, perhaps 10 if the Sooners can win at either Notre Dame or Oklahoma State. Win the latter of those two and OU will win the Big 12 again because it will take care of business against TCU when the Horned Frogs come to town in early October.

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