The Oklahoma Sooners have released their schedule for the 2013 football season. Complete with a strong out-of-conference schedule and a solid conference schedule, the Sooners’ schedule appears to be one of the tougher in the Big 12.
The Sooners’ non-conference schedule consists of games against the UL Monroe Warhawks, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
What makes the non-conference schedule impressive is the game against Notre Dame. This game comes a week after a bye week and the week before conference play starts on a weekly basis.
The Sooners play the West Virginia Mountaineers in only the second week of the season, but seeing as the game is in Norman and the Mountaineers have lost a number of solid players from the 2012 season, this shouldn’t be a problem for the Sooners.
The Sooners’ bye weeks are spaced out very evenly throughout the season in weeks four, ten and 14, which should provide nice breaks to keep players fresh. With a stretch of home conference games in the middle of the season, the Sooners only have to face the Kansas Jayhawks on the road.
If I’m an Oklahoma fan, I would be worrying about the lack of home games late in the year. Three of the Sooners’ final four games are on the road. The only team the Sooners face at home is the Iowa State Cyclones, and let’s be serious; this team isn’t much of a threat to Oklahoma.
Another cause for worry late in the year is the final two games of the season. The Sooners will be facing the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan on week 13 and have a bye week to recover before facing the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater. These are two of the toughest teams in the Big 12 for 2013 and could pose a real threat to BCS standings and bowl berths at the end of the season, especially on the road.
Overall, I’m giving the Sooners a B+ for strength of schedule. I’m dangerously close to pulling out an A-, but I’m sticking with a B+ due to the non-conference schedule. I’m not calling it a weak one by any means, but there are tougher teams out there than UL Monroe and Tulsa.
The non-conference schedule is challenging, but winnable, and the conference schedule poses a tough end of year with a lack of home games against two of the toughest teams in the conference.