SEC schedule gives Sooners open weeks to prepare for Texas and Alabama games

SEC schedule gives Sooners open weeks to prepare for Texas and Alabama games

Wednesday night’s SEC’s schedule release for the 2024 season completed Oklahoma’s football schedule for next fall with a Sept. 21 visit from Tennessee and back-to-back games with Alabama and LSU to close the regular season.

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

| Dec 13, 2023, 6:38pm CST

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

Dec 13, 2023, 6:38pm CST

NORMAN — We’ve known the matchups since June. Now we have the dates.

Oklahoma’s complete football schedule for the 2024 season is here.

The SEC dropped its full 2024 league schedule during a reveal show on ESPN Wednesday night, filling in the blank spaces in the Sooners’ upcoming schedule and laying out the road map for the program’s inaugural run through the conference next fall. 

After nonconference home games with Temple (Aug. 31), Houston (Sept. 7) and Tulane (Sept. 14), OU will embark on a SEC slate headlined by a Sept. 21 visit from Tennessee, an Oct. 12 date with Texas at the Cotton Bowl and back-to-back games with Alabama and LSU to close the 2024 regular season. A date for the Sooners’ Nov. 2 visit from Maine marked another new addition to the 2024 calendar Wednesday night.

This is how OU’s full 2024 schedule breaks down:

    • Aug. 31: Temple 
    • Sept. 7: Houston
    • Sept. 14: Tulane
    • Sept 21: Tennessee
    • Sept. 28: at Auburn
    • Oct. 5: Open date 
    • Oct. 12: Texas (Cotton Bowl)*
    • Oct. 19: South Carolina
    • Oct. 26: at Ole Miss
    • Nov. 2: Maine
    • Nov. 9: at Missouri
    • Nov. 16: Open date
    • Nov. 23: Alabama
    • Nov. 30: at LSU

(*Designated home team on a neutral site)

Here’s what you need to know about it all:

  • OU will formally depart the Big 12 on June 30, 2024, before officially entering the SEC on July 1. The Sooners host their first SEC game on Owen Field when Josh Heupel returns to Norman with Tennessee on Sept. 21.
  • The conference opener with the Volunteers is one of two OU game dates in 2024 that were reported last month by ESPN’s Chris Low. The Sooners’ Nov. 23 visit from Nick Saban and Alabama — the other date Low reported — was officially announced Monday night. An early leak of Ole Miss’ 2024 schedule correctly listed OU’s mid-fall trip to Oxford for Oct. 26.
  • SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has celebrated the prestige of the Red River Rivalry since the league secured this latest round of realignment and the SEC will get its first taste of OU-Texas on Oct. 12. The Sooners are the designated home team for the 2024 edition at the Cotton Bowl. Sankey was on hand for the first half of OU’s 34-30 win over Texas on Oct. 7.
  • If facing Alabama and LSU back-to-back feels like a less-than-kind welcome gift for the Sooners, the SEC got OU back with a pair of favorable open dates. The Sooners will be off on the weekend before their Oct. 12 meeting with Texas and the Nov. 23 visit from Alabama. Brent Venables will surely be happy with those open dates on Oct. 5 and Nov. 16.
  • OU fans will get plenty of Owen Field in September. With the Tennessee date official, the Sooners are set to play four consecutive home games to open the season. 
  • OU will make its first SEC road trip to Auburn and Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 28. The Sooners are 2-0 in a pair of all-time meetings with the Tigers on a pair of Sugar Bowl wins in 1972 and 2017. Between OU’s Sept. 21 meeting with Tennessee and the Oct. 19 visit from South Carolina, the Sooners will go 28 days without a game in Norman.
  • OU will rekindle an old Big Eight/Big 12 flame when it visits Missouri on Nov. 9. The Sooners have faced only four other programs more than the Tigers and own a 67-24-5 record in 96 all-time meetings with Missouri. The teams last played on Sept. 24, 2011, in a 38-28 OU victory on Owen Field. 
  • Maine was a late addition to the Sooners’ nonconference slate with the program’s visit to Norman announced on Aug. 11 to meet SEC requirements. OU’s final out-of-conference game will take place between a trip to Ole Miss in Week 9 and a Week 11 visit to Missouri.
  • The SEC’s eight-game model in 2024 is a one-year placeholder as the league and its schools are yet to agree on a long-term scheduling model beyond next season. 
  • The conference is expected to settle on one of two models for league scheduling: 1) An eight-game conference slate with one permanent rival and seven rotating opponents or 2) a nine-game conference slate with three permanent opponents. In either scenario, Texas would be included as one of OU’s permanent rivals. A vote on a long-term scheduling model is expected to occur in 2024. 

 

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Eli Lederman reports on the University of Oklahoma for Sellout Crowd. He began his professional career covering the University of Missouri with the Columbia Missourian and later worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before two years writing on the Sooners and Cowboys at the Tulsa World. Born and raised in Mamaroneck, New York, Lederman grew up a rabid consumer of the New York sports pages and an avid fan of the New York Mets. He entered sportswriting at 14 years old and later graduated from the University of Missouri. Away from the keyboard, he can usually be found exploring the Oklahoma City food scene or watching/playing fĂştbol (read: soccer). He can be reached at [email protected].

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