Every year, I try to project a preseason win total for Oklahoma based on how I would set the point spreads before the season starts. I've written about this process in the past. Essentially, I use the line on each game to come up with the likelihood of a straight-up win (translating into a "win share") using Phil Steele's percentages derived from actual results.
A year ago, I pegged OU for 9.7 wins, which was right in line with where the Sooners finished the regular season (10-2). The oddsmakers' consensus total of 10 hit the nail on the head, too.
So far this year, CG Technology has set OU's win total at 9.5, shaded heavily to the over at -145. Let's see how that matches up with my estimate.
*I've got 9.9 wins, so an over/under of 9.5 – with a lean to the over – sounds right. Given the juice on that side, I don't see much of a play.
*Consider the effect of swapping Houston for a different non-conference opponent this season. That's worth about a quarter of a win in the season's overall projection compared with a year ago.
*Like Bill Connelly, I feel that the Big 12 as a whole will take a noticeable step forward this season. Ironically, you don't really see that in the win total, as I make the Sooners a double-digit favorite in every conference game except for two.
*The line that I feel is most likely to be inflated here? Probably TCU. The Horned Frogs have a veteran team that could turn into a tough out.
On the other hand, the spread on K-State could turn out to be a little short. You just don't know what you're getting out of the Wildcats and shadowy coach Bill Snyder. OU has outclassed KSU for two years now, though, and it could be that Snyder's witchcraft doesn't have quite the same kick anymore.