It's been just over a year since Lincoln Riley's defection to Southern California. The Oklahoma Sooners have just completed their first regular season under first-year head coach Brent Venables. It wasn't pretty but the Sooners find themselves bowl-eligible after a 6-6 season.
The only thing consistent about this team was their inconsistency.
Week to week we never knew what we would get from them. With only the bowl game remaining, Oklahoma has the ability to showcase itself one more time and get over .500 with a win.
With that said, there are notable storylines to follow as we get closer to the offseason even while the Sooners prepare for the eventual bowl game to come. Take a look at the five storylines we'll be looking at with the regular season behind us.
Recruiting and Early Signing Day
Oklahoma spirit squad members cheer for the crowd before for the Oklahoma football team to arrive for a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.
The lifeblood of every college football program is recruiting. You never stop recruiting because it's a year-round gig.
Early signing period runs from December 21 to December 23. That period looms large for every program in college football.
Teams cannot make contact with high school students until December 1 this year as part of a change in the normal recruiting calendar.
Oklahoma is still in pursuit of multiple names like five-star defensive lineman David Hicks, four-star linebacker Daymion Stanford, five-star safety Peyton Bowen, four-star EDGE Tausili Akana, and a few other recruits as well.
Oklahoma currently holds the seventh-ranked recruiting class in the country and can improve on that over the early signing period and national signing day if they can add to their fantastic 2023 recruiting class with a few more blue chip prospects.
Holding this class together and getting players signed would be a massive first step for this program to move forward as they look to put this 6-6 season behind them.
The Transfer Portal (Who is going?)
Oklahoma's head coach Brent Venables claps during the teamÕs warmup before the Texas Tech Big 12 football game, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, Jones AT&T Stadium.
The newest added component to offseasons for every team is the transfer portal, which gives players the ability to transfer out of places they no longer feel attached to for any number of reasons.
Oklahoma will have its fair share of transfers as multiple guys are no longer on the two deep or haven't cracked the two deep in multiple years. Who is leaving and who is staying is going to be something we monitor all off-season.
The Sooners have already lost Theo Wease and Jordan Mukes to the portal. Who's next?
The Transfer Portal (Who is Coming?)
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back C.J. Coldon (22) against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The transfer portal can take from you but also provide immediate help.
While Oklahoma will lose guys to the portal, they'll add some guys through the portal themselves. They already have in Notre Dame transfer Jacob Lacey and JUCO commit Kendell Dolby.
Last year the Sooners landed guys like C.J. Coldon, Tyler Guyton, McKade Mettauer, Jeffery Johnson, and of course Dillon Gabriel via the portal. All of those players played significant snaps and made notable contributions to this year's team.
The same will likely be said of this next crop of portal add-ons whoever that may be.
With holes likely to come up along the offensive line, defensive back, and wide receiver, expect multiple additions through the transfer portal.
NFL Draft decisions
Oklahoma's Anton Harrison speaks during an NCAA college football media day, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Norman, Oklahoma. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Oklahoma won't have a mass exodus to the NFL like last year simply because they didn't have the talent like they did last year.
However, a few notable names will have some decisions to make. Anton Harrison is the biggest one, as the big offensive tackle will weigh his options with the staff and listen to feedback from the team's liaison with NFL scouts in Drew Hill.
Anton Harrison is a strong NFL prospect but he faces the tough decision of staying one more year to improve his stock to be a sure-fire first-rounder or leaving now and potentially falling out of the first round.
His floor is likely the middle part of the second round if he were to leave this year. Draft Wire's most recent mock draft had him going in the first round.
In addition to Harrison, defensive lineman Jalen Redmond contemplates his decision as well. Redmond hasn't ascended the way we expected him to but other life circumstances may make him consider the leap now.
Lastly, the team's best receiver, who statically had his best season yet, but also suffered from drops at times, has a decision to make.
Does Marvin Mims leave now after recording his most drops in a season for his career, or does he come back next year and try to rip it up one last year to solidify himself as a top 100 pick?
Mims has already decided he will be playing in the bowl game. He was noncommital after that though. And with no word from Harrison or Redmond on their bowl plans, we'll be anticipating those decisions as well. Opting out of the bowl would all but confirm their intentions to go pro.
Oct 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables reacts during the first half against the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
At a school like Oklahoma, 6-6 just isn't going to cut it. Coming off of one of the worst seasons in the last two decades, Oklahoma could very well see some staff changes this off-season.
The defense was horrendous for the better part of the season and quite frankly with one of the best defensive minds of the last decade as your head coach that is inexcusable.
Will there be a change in the defensive coordinator? Will we see new position coaches at different spots? The Sooners don't officially have a wide receivers coach. Does L'Damian Washington get the interim tag taken off or is there a new coach to be found elsewhere? All questions we'll be looking to get answered in the coming weeks.
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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire