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Home / Articles / Jeff's 2023-24 Big 12 Football Spotlight Team

Jeff's 2023-24 Big 12 Football Spotlight Team


By: Jeff Hochman
Date: Jul 13, 2023
   
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Oklahoma Sooners Over 9.5 (-110)

Oklahoma Sooners Under 9.5 (-110)

Oklahoma Sooners to Win Conference (+325)

Oklahoma Sooners to Win CFB Championship (+6600)



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In his debut season as head coach, Brent Venables faced a tough start as the Oklahoma Sooners ended with a 6-6 record and lost to Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl. The Sooners struggled in the Big 12, finishing with a dismal 3-6 record, their worst since 1997 when they had a 2-6 mark. The 2023 season for the Sooners is set to begin on September 2nd with a game against Arkansas State in Norman, OK. The team will then play another home game against South Carolina on September 9th. Their first Big 12 game of the season will be against the Bearcats at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on September 23rd. Please refer to the back end of this article to see my selections.


The offensive line will likely be a strong unit for the Sooners this year, with solid depth and Walter Rouse joining as the left tackle. Last season, Oklahoma had the seventh-best offensive line in the country, showcasing their exceptional skills in protecting the quarterback and creating holes for their running backs. Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Oklahoma has a solid foundation that promises great things. The team has an impressive offensive line, and they can count on Dillon Gabriel, one of the top quarterbacks in the highly competitive Big 12 conference. Gabriel's decision to return for another year is fantastic news for the Sooners, as it provides stability and proven leadership to their offense.


Gabriel's outstanding accomplishments are due to his exceptional work ethic and playmaking abilities, which sets him apart from other quarterbacks in the conference. He consistently delivers impressive results both on and off the field. Compared to his competitors in the Big 12, who are struggling to maintain their previous performance levels, Gabriel's star continues to rise, solidifying his position as one of the top QBs in the conference. In his first season with Oklahoma, the QB threw for 3,168 yards and 25 touchdowns. Additionally, he ran for 315 yards and scored six more touchdowns. Dillon Gabriel, who transferred from Central Florida, was honored as the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.


Oklahoma's defense struggled last season, allowing an average of 30 points per game, which ranked them No. 99 in the country. Their overall defense was ranked No. 122, better than only nine other teams. They suffered a devastating 49-0 loss to Texas in the Red River Rivalry, the worst defeat in the school’s history. Additionally, opponents scored 40 or more points on the Sooners five times. Not good! Last season, the Special Teams could have done better. However, there is a chance for improvement by adding new talent from the transfer portal. Despite the team's No. 52 ranking from last season, I have high hopes for the future of the defensive line. The addition of talented recruits can bring about significant growth on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.


Looking at the Big 12 expansion, the schedule is less challenging for the Sooners as they won't have to face Kansas State and Texas Tech, who defeated them last year. The team has a promising outlook for the 2023 season with a strong recruiting class and seven returning starters on offense and defense, indicating a potential significant rebound. Just a reminder, the Sooners experienced defeat in five games last season, all of which were decided by a single possession. A progression to the Mean will likely occur.


Led by the exceptional Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma dominated the Big 12 Championship in 2020 with a remarkable record of 9-2. They emerged victorious in the Cotton Bowl against Florida as well. The team is fully committed to proving that their previous season's lack of success was just a fluke. Their unwavering focus is on the upcoming 2023 season, and they are determined to secure a spot in the Big 12 Conference Title game. Anything less than that would be considered unacceptable.


My Selections: Oklahoma Sooners Over 9.5 (-110) & Oklahoma to Win Conference (+325)


Get fully documented College Football Selections from Jeff Hochman of JH-Sportsline with an impressive 68% win rate and earnings of $11345 in his last 58 games at The Sports Monitor of OK. Take advantage of early bird packages that are now available.


Twitter: @JHSPORTSLINE
 


Click here to view all of Jeff Hochman's premium picks.





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