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Oklahoma Sooners could face many different teams in a month

Sooners Illustrated takes a quick look at all of OU's potential opponents

Oklahoma’s regular season might be finished, but it’s far from certain where the Oklahoma Sooners will wind up during postseason play.

With one more week still remaining in the regular season, all but one of Oklahoma’s possible opponents has another game to play. The Sooners seem destined to play in the College Football Playoff, but their seed is still to be decided.

Here’s a quick look at each and every team that Oklahoma might face in postseason play:

College Football Playoff

Clemson Tigers – The undefeated Tigers have rolled through the ACC and into this weekend’s championship game against North Carolina. Led by Heisman-contending quarterback Deshaun Watson and 1,000-yard rusher Wayne Gallman, the Tigers have an offense that Oklahoma fans are very familiar with. Keep an eye on the Tar Heels’ secondary this week. It should be the toughest Watson has faced all season. The defense remains relatively the same as last year. Vic Beasley is gone, but Shaq Lawson, his understudy-turned-replacement, is pretty good.

Alabama Crimson Tide – Home of the perceived favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Alabama’s power running game isn’t going to change the rest of this season. Derrick Henry is second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,458 and has a nation-best 19 rushing touchdowns. The Crimson Tide defense still ranks third in the nation in scoring, first in run defense and second in total defense. But those rankings come playing only one offense that ranked in the top 30 in the nation. That offense? The Ole Miss group that defeated Alabama and a season-worst 43 points allowed by the Crimson Tide.

Michigan State Spartans – Some were fluky, some were close and some were dominant, but the Spartans probably have the best collection of top-25 victories in the nation. It starts and ends with quarterback Connor Cook, who missed Michigan State’s victory against Ohio State with an injury. Cook has turned in an impressive senior season but has the biggest matchup of the weekend against unbeaten Iowa.

Iowa Hawkeyes – Probably the surprise of the nation, the Hawkeyes are undefeated but have been criticized for playing a weak schedule. The Hawkeyes played three teams with a winning record. Being one of only two unbeaten teams in the country, it’s still really proving time for Iowa this weekend.

Stanford Cardinal – A lot has to fall the Cardinal’s way in order for Stanford to make the playoff, including losses by both Clemson and Alabama. Oklahoma has Stanford to thank though for making sure the Sooners got in the playoff when it beat Notre Dame. Led by quarterback Kevin Hogan, who has the most wins of any starting quarterback (34) and ranks in the top four in yards, touchdowns and completion percentage, Stanford is one win from making its third-straight Rose Bowl.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish – If Clemson, Alabama and Stanford all go down, Notre Dame might make the claim at a playoff spot. It’s a long shot, but the Irish round out about the six teams vying for the four playoff spots. The Irish have lost twice this season but both came to a team on this list. 

But on the crazy chance Oklahoma doesn’t wind up in the playoff…

Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma can do no worse than the Sugar Bowl if somehow Stanford impresses so much that it gets the bid ahead of the Sooners, which would be an astronomical possibility.

Alabama – See above.

Florida Gators – All defense and no offense from the Gators, who still have a chance to win the SEC Championship this weekend. Florida won’t make the playoff, but imagine the upheaval if the Gators knock off Alabama and the SEC doesn’t make it.

Ole Miss Rebels – If the Sooners get left out of the playoff, it’ll most likely be the Rebels that they see in New Orleans. The Rebels play a brand of Big 12-lite on offense, something that has caused plenty of issues for teams in the SEC. Against Oklahoma, it won’t have as much of an impact. Just look at TCU’s win against Ole Miss last year in the Peach Bowl – a 42-3 rout.


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