There’s no denying after the 2024 SEC schedules were revealed for all 16 teams Wednesday night, Oklahoma’s stood out.
No more hosting the likes of Kansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State. Instead the Sooners have upgraded to powerhouses like Tennessee and Alabama, and both will invade Gaylord Memorial Stadium during the initial campaign. A surging South Carolina team will be no slouch at home either.
Not to mention the road slate is a meat grinder. Oklahoma has to travel to Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Ole Miss. Tiger Stadium, better known as Death Valley is where visiting teams go to die. Jordan Hare Stadium is louder than all of the other venues in the Big 12. And beating Auburn on the Plains in year two of the Hugh Freeze era will be tough.
The only favor the SEC did for Oklahoma is renewed its’ rivalry with Missouri. After all, the two old Big 8 members have played 96 times. However, the two teams haven’t clashed for the Tiger-Sooner Peace Pipe since 2011. Obviously Texas is going to be Oklahoma’s protected rival, and keeping the game during the second Saturday in October makes sense for the annual State Fair.
However, it’s a slap in the face to Oklahoma fans that Texas gets to host Georgia and Florida, plus the revival of the Lone Star Showdown. Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Kentucky will be the easiest wins Texas will find in the almighty SEC. Meanwhile the Crimson Tide, Volunteers, Rebels and Bayou Bengals will likely be top-10 teams when they face the Sooners.
The homecoming of Josh Heupel will be special, but clearly there’s no easy conference games on Oklahoma’s slate in 2024. And that’s a statement in itself. It could be due to the fact that the Sooners have been the Big 12’s most successful program since it formed back in 1996. Obviously the SEC made it a point to throw most of its’ elite teams Oklahoma’s way early on. It’s going to give the Sooners a taste of what life is like in the SEC week in and week out. No doubt physicality and depth will be vital.
Still, Oklahoma is a traditional blueblood and deserves more respect as a new member. The program ranks sixth all-time with 934 wins, has seven claimed National Titles and seven Heisman winners. Every SEC squad that’ll play the Sooners will have the matchup marked on their calendar because of the brand.
Everyone knows the big white O and U letters on the crimson helmet represents tradition and winning. It’s just a head-scratcher to millions of fanatics as to why the Sooners didn’t receive a favorable schedule. Oklahoma still has a ton of value in today’s game.
Regardless, Big 12 fans are loving that Oklahoma is finding out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the field . So the last thing Oklahoma fans want is for their team to end up like Nebraska did in the Big Ten after it left the Big 12.