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It doesn’t take much analysis to think the Oklahoma Sooners have one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the country. In the Big 12, it was dubbed the easiest by CBS Sports college football analyst Jerry Palm. Palm took a lot at each conference and selected the toughest and easiest non-conference schedules for each.

With little surprise, Palm picked the Sooners as the team from the Big 12 with the easiest nonconference schedule, while their rival, and realignment travel buddy Texas, was selected as the toughest.

Palm cites the Longhorns as the only team playing a full FBS schedule in non-conference play, while the rest of the Big 12 has FCS schools on their schedule.

Because of the size of the league and the full round-robin conference schedule, the Big 12 has the fewest number of nonconference games at 30. Still, only Texas is playing a full schedule of FBS teams, which means the Big 12 is playing the greatest percentage of games against FCS opposition (30%). Texas is one of three schools to have not played a lower-division opponent since Division I-AA was formed in 1978. Notre Dame and USC are the others. – Palm

Palm also notes that Texas’ matchup with the University of Louisiana features the only game with two opponents currently ranked in the top 25. Texas will also play former Southwest conference rivals in the Arkansas Razorbacks and Rice Owls.

While Texas is taking the road less traveled compared to its Big 12 counterparts, Oklahoma has arguably the easiest path to an undefeated non-conference slate.

There’s a dearth of big games on the Big 12 nonconference slate. Besides Iowa-Iowa State, Texas hosting Louisiana is the only game featuring two teams ranked in the preseason polls. That certainly bodes well for Oklahoma, which looks to have an especially easy nonconference path.

Oklahoma’s schedule of Tulane, Western Carolina, and Nebraska features a group of teams that went 10-19 in 2020. Not really a murderer’s row of teams.

If the Sooners don’t start the season 3-0, it would be an incredible upset for a team with national championship aspirations. The question in these games isn’t, “will the Sooners win?”, but “how much will the Sooners win by?”


Ranking the Oklahoma Sooners’ 12 games on the 2021 schedule