Oklahoma has gone through a lot of changes this offseason, but the team shouldn’t be written off as a college football playoff contender. In the Cover 3 podcast Danny Kanell of CBS Sports said the Sooners are something of a dark horse contender for the playoffs given how much hype other teams have received.

- Advertisement -

Not only did the Sooners lose a head coach Lincoln Riley at USC, but they also lost quarterback Caleb Williams, wide receiver Mario Williamswide receiver Jadon Hazelwood and others on the NCAA Transfer portal. However, Kanell said there is enough talent to be an offensive coordinator. Jeff Lebby work with.

- Advertisement -

In addition, head coach Brent Venables The Oklahoma defense should be at the top of their game, which hasn’t really been the case lately.

- Advertisement -

“I think Oklahoma can be just as good at attacking as they are at this. Lincoln Riley run with Dillon Gabriel come to town and Jeff Lebby directed this crime,” Kanell said. “What problems did Oklahoma have during Riley’s tenure? It was the defensive side of the ball. He contributes Alex Grinchand they get a little better, but they were by no means a defensive juggernaut. Brent Venables is a defensively minded coach who will try to change the culture and build a stronger Oklahoma team than we’ve seen. The schedule is set up well. I think Oklahoma can get back to where they normally are at the top of the Big 12 and if anything goes wrong they could be on the cusp of another playoff run. I don’t think a lot of people will pick them for the playoffs.”

It’s easy to expect Oklahoma to back down this fall, but unknown coaches recently told Athlon Sports that Venables is a great fit for the program. Venables could have returned the Sooners to a solid team capable of physically punishing their opponents.

“The definition of an OU ball is that no matter what they do schematically, they are mean,” said the coach. “They are harder than the other team. This is what Brent loves to do. His personality is perfect. They just need to play catch and ignore the noise around their old coach.”

Get the fastest results, statistics, news, live videos and more. CLICK HERE to download the CBS Sports mobile app and get the latest on your team today.

Venables will make his debut as Oklahoma’s head coach when the team hosts UTEP in Season 1 on September 3.