2021 Greatness Comes Standard with the OU Sooners.

University of Oklahoma Building
Author: Lee Brennan
Category: Sports
Date Published: September 11, 2021

What will OU do with it in 2021?

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa Soon­ers kick off the 2021 sea­son under the lead­er­ship of fifth-year Head Coach Lin­coln Riley. In addi­tion to cap­tur­ing con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship in all his sea­sons as Head Coach, Riley has also pro­duced two Heis­man Tro­phy win­ners and boasts a 45–8 record over­all for a .849 win­ning per­cent­age, the third most among cur­rent col­lege foot­ball coach­es. It has been a tremen­dous start for the young coach. 

Inter­est­ing­ly, even with his his­tor­i­cal­ly strong start, there has been an alba­tross hang­ing around the col­lec­tive neck of this thor­ough­ly accom­plished team. The accom­plish­ments over the last few years have been tremen­dous but, among the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa faith­ful, expec­ta­tions are high. Name­ly, Soon­er Nation has a strong itch to add to that nation­al cham­pi­onship total, and they look poised to do just that.

University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma Logo OU
Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa Logo

While they are ripe for a cham­pi­onship now, you could say that Riley got things start­ed when he hired Alex Grinch to become the team’s defen­sive coor­di­na­tor in 2019. Pri­or to Grinch’s arrival, the Soon­ers’ holes on defense were com­plete­ly jux­ta­posed to their high-pow­ered offense and is a pri­ma­ry rea­son the Soon­ers were unable to bring a Nation­al Cham­pi­onship home dur­ing their four play­off appearances. 

As he gets start­ed in his third sea­son with the Soon­ers, Grinch has com­plete­ly changed the nar­ra­tive of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa defense. Both in con­fer­ence and nation­al­ly, they have improved in every major cat­e­go­ry. Pro­vid­ing they make it to the play­offs, it is unlike­ly the oth­er teams in the run­ning for the nation­al cham­pi­onship will have the light load of pre­vi­ous years in con­tend­ing with the OU defense. When you con­sid­er how pro­lif­ic the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa is on the offen­sive side of the field, it is easy to see why antic­i­pa­tions are high for the 2021 season.

In a recent inter­view with Sports Illus­trat­ed, Riley said, “Like, of course, we have high expec­ta­tions. This is Okla­homa, what do you expect?” in ref­er­ence to con­tend­ing for the nation­al cham­pi­onship. He went on to say, “Part of our expec­ta­tion is to be able to block out any out­side noise and remain focused on us being our best. I don’t care what team what year, win, loss, what­ev­er. When we’ve played at a high lev­el and con­trolled the things we can con­trol, we’ve won just about all of them. I can’t think of one that I feel like we just had no shot.”

His con­fi­dence isn’t sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing he has Heis­man front run­ner Spencer Rat­tler lead­ing this year’s team at quar­ter­back, and the Soon­er’s are start­ing off the year ranked num­ber two nation­al­ly behind Alaba­ma, last year’s nation­al cham­pi­onship team. There is no longer a lin­ger­ing hang­over on the defen­sive side of the ball from years past, and the Soon­ers are a very mature and extreme­ly poised team. This sea­son’s Nation­al Cham­pi­onship game will be played on Jan­u­ary 10, 2022, in Indi­anapo­lis, Indi­ana. Get ready because of our expec­ta­tion; once that day is done, that title is com­ing back to Oklahoma.

University of Oklahoma Building
Uni­ver­si­ty of Oklahoma

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Lee Brennan

Lee Brennan

Lee Brennan has worked across a broad spectrum in his career ranging from journalism, culinary arts, ministry, and living the life of an entrepreneur. Currently residing in Tulsa, OK, where he is raising his beloved daughter and enjoying life with his friends and family, Lee is driven by a love for people and a passion for telling great stories.


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