Ok Boomer, Oklahoma Extends Brent Venables

Okay (Boomer), Sooner. Brent Venables got a hefty raise this week as Oklahoma and Texas officially prepare to join the SEC on July 1st. The Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a six-year, $51.6 million contract extension for Venables, keeping him in Norman through 2029. This move comes with a hefty price tag, averaging over $8.5 million a year – a significant bump from his initial $43.5 million deal signed in 2021. While Sooner fans might be celebrating, one question lingers: why now? This extension feels like a gamble with Venables still in his third year and the program facing a new conference gauntlet.

Questions Surrounding Brent Venables

The Move to the SEC

With the upcoming move to the SEC, Venerables and Oklahoma will face pressure. Sooners fans are used to excellence and have dominated the Big 12. Their stats speak for themselves: 14 conference championships (the most in the league’s history), a national championship title (2000), and four College Football Playoff appearances. These achievements would leave even the most die-hard Texas fan speechless. Speaking of which, the Sooners have taken care of business against their Red River Rivals. Oklahoma has a 17-8 record against Texas since 2000. The future doesn’t look as straightforward or as rosey as the past for the Sooners.

The Longhorns are all gas and no brakes as they head to the SEC. Venables is 1-1 against the Longhorns and won a thrilling last-second matchup in Red River last year after being blown out in year one. Steve Sarkisian rejuvenated the Longhorns, sending Texas out in style with a Big 12 Championship and College Football Playoff appearance in 2023. Venerables will face more than just Texas in the SEC. Georgia and Alabama have recently dominated both the SEC and College Football. The Sooners will transition from being the hunted to becoming the hunters, navigating a Game of Thrones-style battle to stay relevant and at the top of college football.

Coaching Record

There are still many questions surrounding Venables’s tenure as head coach. He has a 16-10 record in his two seasons in Norman, far below the Sooner standard. However, his first year was a rough start and a shock to the Sooners’ system. The 2022 season was particularly disappointing, marking the first time Oklahoma finished with a losing record since 1998, with an overall 6-7 record and an uncharacteristic 3-6 in the conference. Injuries played a role, but the 49-0 loss to Texas in the Red River game raised many concerns.

2023 was an improvement, with the Sooners finishing with a 10-3 record. However, they still fell short of expectations. Venables redeemed himself in the Red River game by preventing the embarrassment of blowing a late 10-point lead in a thrilling finish. The Sooners drove 75 yards in five plays, scoring in under a minute to defeat the Longhorns. Despite this victory over Texas, the Sooners ended the season third in the league and suffered a loss to Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.

Roster Turnover

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