With the 2020 college football season wrapping up last night, it’s far too soon to know for sure what the sport will look like in 2021. This time last year, predicting Alabama to beat Ohio State in the national championship game and Oklahoma winning another Big 12 title seemed like a sure bet at worst. No one could have predicted 12 months ago, however, how we would all get to this point.
For Sooner Nation, the Coronavirus pandemic wiped out one of the most appealing road games in years in a visit to the U.S. Army Military Academy and West Point, NY, and also took away a home game against Tennessee. Athletic director Joe Castiglione has said he wants to make up the Army trip, though it'll be tricky to add a road game to the Sooners' future schedules. They're mostly full at this point.
At least the introduction of a COVID vaccine makes it seem likely next fall will look a lot more normal. Add to that the fact that all FBS teams who started playing this season — through careful planning, diligent precautions and patient medical advances — were able to finish, and 2021 looks a lot more probable now than it did six months ago. If the Sooners’ schedule does hold up, they’ll play six home games and six away from Norman.
Tentative 2021 Oklahoma football schedule
Sept. 4: at Tulane
Sept. 11: Western Carolina
Sept. 18: Nebraska
TBA: at Baylor
TBA: Texas (at Dallas)
TBA: Iowa State
TBA: at Oklahoma State
TBA: Texas Tech
TBA: at Kansas
TBA: at Kansas State
TBA: West Virginia
The non-conference schedule famously includes a Sept. 18 visit from Nebraska, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1971 “Game of the Century.” There’s also what looks like a fun road trip to Tulane on Sept. 4 — who doesn’t want to go to New Orleans for a football game?
Although it hasn’t been formally announced by the schools yet, it was reported in May 2019 by FBSchedules.com that the Sooners’ third non-conference game this fall is against Western Carolina. According to FBSchedules.com, the Catamounts — of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) — play OU in Norman on Sept. 11 and will receive $625,000. If the game is played, it’ll be the first meeting between the Sooners and WCU.
OU is planning to officially publicize its schedule in the coming weeks as the school announces its 2021 ticket packages. The Big 12 Conference will announce the dates of its matchups later this year as well. The Sooners will welcome Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and TCU to Norman this year, while hitting the road for games against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor.
Also, the date of the OU-Texas game in Dallas hasn’t been decided yet, but Oct. 9 seems likely. Six times in the last 20 years, the Red River Rivalry was played on the first Saturday in October (2000, ’01, ’06, ’07, ’10 and ’18), and one time it was played on the third Saturday in October (2009).