Schedule analysis: Oklahoma Sooners

With the season just weeks away, we’ve been reviewing the schedule for each Big 12 team.

We continue the series with Oklahoma:

Nonconference opponents (with 2016 record)

Sept. 2: UTEP (4-8)

Sept. 9: at Ohio State (11-2)

Sept. 16: Tulane (4-8)

Big 12 home games

Oct. 7: Iowa State

Oct. 28: Texas Tech

Nov. 11: TCU

Nov. 25: West Virginia

Big 12 road games

Sept. 23: at Baylor

Oct. 21: at Kansas State

Nov. 4: at Oklahoma State

Nov. 18: at Kansas

Big 12 neutral games

Oct. 14: Texas (Dallas)

Gut-check time: The Sooners were absolutely embarrassed on their home field last season, as Ohio State wiped out Oklahoma with a 21-point victory. The Sooners will have the opportunity to return the favor in Columbus -- and make a huge statement to the playoff selection committee.

Trap game: It's possible that Oklahoma could have a spot in the Big 12 championship locked up going into the final season. But even if that turns out to be the case, the Sooners better not overlook West Virginia. The Mountaineers, with Will Grier at QB, are more than capable of giving the Sooners problems. And a loss the week before the Big 12 championship would be deflating -- and perhaps the difference in a playoff spot.

Snoozer: Sandwiched around Oklahoma's highly anticipated clash with the Buckeyes are two non-conference duds against UTEP and Tulane. Both will be massive underdogs in Norman.

Final analysis: After the non-conference schedule doomed Oklahoma's chance of a playoff spot last season, the Sooners could use the non-conference trip to Ohio State to catapult them into a strong playoff position. But even if Oklahoma loses at Columbus, there will still be opportunity for the Sooners to state their playoff case -- namely in road clashes in Manhattan, Kansas, and Stillwater, Oklahoma.