Brent Venables’ first season in Norman didn’t go exactly as planned.
In the first season of its post-Lincoln Riley era, Oklahoma fared 6-7 with a loss in the Cheez-It Bowl to Florida State. That’s a far cry from the rich tradition of being a perennial College Football Playoff cotnender under Riley’s watch. And while there was a lot of turnover from a roster standpoint, which is commonplace in today’s game, especially after a coaching change, the Sooners were still expected to be a top team in the country.
They weren’t able to meet those expectations that were set. And now, for one reason or another, their head coach has set expectations that he didn’t necessarily need to. Venables will enter his second season at helm in Oklahoma and he’s already put his Sooners under the microscope with his recent remarks.
“If we just get better on defense we’re going to win 10-plus games and have a chance to hang a banner up at the end of the year,” Venables said, via Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman.
It’s hard for Oklahoma’s defense to be any worse than it was in 2022. The Sooners ranked 121st in the nation in total defense. Only nine schools had a worse defense in the FBS. On the season, Oklahoma allowed a total of 5,993 yards, which equatees to 5.75 yards per play and 461 yards per game.
While Oklahoma can only go up from there, it’s a curious move to place expectations. And those in the college football world expressed their concerns with Venables’ comments on social media:
Not sure it’s the best idea to start unnecessarily raising expectations.
Yeah, the schedule is easy and they should be better, but no need for added pressure. https://t.co/vmU8uJ26Iw
— Ten12 Network is now Network (@Ten12Network) June 15, 2023
Surely this won’t be brought up next season https://t.co/n2Apb8uHQb
— Breakfast Dans (@thegreatets) June 15, 2023
“If we’re better at, like, oh, 50% of the game, we will be good.”
— Boneyardigans (@UConnFanDotCom) June 15, 2023
Why would you say this lol https://t.co/3Eb7UuLxSh
— Cyrus Smith (@CoolCyWrites) June 15, 2023
I don’t understand why he would say this https://t.co/3QgJTZhNcc
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) June 15, 2023
…big 12 banner? https://t.co/LkOOkKmXX8
— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) June 15, 2023
A Pop-Tarts Bowl banner? https://t.co/i5xZNWR015
— Gamblin' Gauchos 🎙️ (@GamblinGauchos) June 15, 2023
That is a mighty large check Brent Venables just wrote. https://t.co/20rTeKaaic
— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) June 15, 2023
Talking SZN has arrived early. https://t.co/D3Hhrglg3J
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) June 15, 2023
[Ryan Aber on Twitter]