Oklahoma football fans have to like where their team falls in the latest ESPN FPI rankings.
Fresh off another national title, Nick Saban’s Alabama football team needs to be ready for what could be the best team Lincoln Riley has had as the face of the Oklahoma football program.
ESPN released its latest FPI rankings and has these two college football blue-bloods at the very top of the list. Other elite programs such as the Clemson Tigers, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Georgia Bulldogs all find themselves comfortably inside of the top 10. But what is in intriguing in all this is Oklahoma does feel like a team capable of winning multiple playoff games this year.
Should Alabama be worried about Oklahoma or will the Crimson Tide have bigger fish to fry?
ESPN’s preseason FPI rankings: Can Oklahoma best Alabama in 2021?Alabama Crimson TideOklahoma SoonersClemson TigersIowa State CyclonesOhio State BuckeyesTexas A&M AggiesGeorgia BulldogsMississippi State BulldogsOklahoma State CowboysPenn State Nittany LionsNotre Dame Fighting IrishTexas LonghornsNorth Carolina Tar HeelsFlorida GatorsWisconsin BadgersAuburn TigersOregon DucksLSU TigersTCU Horned FrogsMiami HurricanesTexas Tech Red RaidersOle Miss RebelsIowa HawkeyesWest Virginia MountaineersIndiana Hoosiers
Of the teams making up the top 10 in the latest FPI rankings, seven of them hail from either the Big 12 or the SEC. Alabama could be challenged by the likes of Texas A&M (No. 6), Georgia (No. 7) and shockingly, Mississippi State (No. 8). Oklahoma has two notable adversaries in Big 12 country in Iowa State (No. 4) and Oklahoma State (No. 9). The two conferences have many quality teams.
What makes Oklahoma a serious contender to win it all is Heisman Trophy candidate Spencer Rattler at the quarterback position. After a rough start to his redshirt freshman campaign, Rattler really came on to help the Sooners win the Big 12 championship over Iowa State and totally eviscerate the SEC East champion Florida Gators in a complete laugher of a Cotton Bowl Classic.
However, there is a reason Oklahoma is 0-for-4 in College Football Playoff games to date. To win the Big 12, you must win shootouts. Unfortunately, the type of defense needed to cover the many spread passing attacks in that Power 5 conference are utterly useless against the top of the SEC, Clemson and Ohio State. Until Oklahoma gets better defensively, they’ll be playoff cannon fodder.
Oklahoma could be a worthy playoff team this season, but Alabama is the favorite to win it all.