Following Clemson’s dramatic win over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Alabama a little over a week ago to capture the 2016 national crown in college football, attention immediately turned to 2017. Good news for Sooner fans, the Las Vegas sports books project Oklahoma football to be among the national title contenders next season.
Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners run out for the start of the 2015 CFP Semifinal against the Clemson Tigers at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Some among the Sooner faithful may not consider it a good omen to have Oklahoma ranked among the top five in the way-too-early college football projections for next fall, particularly when one of the other teams in the top five is Ohio State, whom the Sooners must play on the road in their second game next season
Three years ago, when Oklahoma went to Notre Dame (in 2013) in the rematch of a home-and-home series, the Sooners came away with a two-touchdown win after suffering a 17-point home defeat to the Fighting Irish the year before. OU fans are hoping that same scenario repeats itself in the fall of 2017.
The Las Vegas sports book Sportsline.com likes Alabama to win the College Football Playoff next season. Sportsline pegs the Crimson Tide’s chances of winning the national championship next season at 3-1 odds. If this were to come to fruition, it would be head coach Nick Saban’s fourth national title at Alabama in the past seven seasons.
The handicappers at Sportsline like Florida State’s chances next. The Seminoles are at 7-1 odds of becoming the last man standing a year from now.
Nov 19, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops walks the field prior to their game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma, Ohio State and USC are all at 8-1 odds to win the national championship next season, according to Sportsline.
Sportsline’s Josh Nagel had this to say about Oklahoma, looking ahead to the 2017 college football season:
“Oklahoma will lose one of the best college football duos in recent memory in the bruising Samaje Perine, who leaves the program as the all-time leading rusher, and the speedy Joe Mixon. Both are headed to the pros.
“But two-time Heisman finalist Baker Mayfield will return for his final season of eligibility, although he will lose standout receiver Dede Westbrook to the NFL Draft. Even so, the Sooners are expected to have one of the top recruiting classes in the country.”
Sportsline’s way-too-early preseason top five has Alabama at No. 1 followed by Ohio State, Florida State, Oklahoma and USC.
Here is the Sportsline top 10 for 2017, based on the odds of winning the national championship: