Spring football is over. The transfer portal is closed. The calendar reads June. You know what that means? College football is almost here. It has now been five months since Michigan took down Washington in the national championship game in Houston, and we have made it through the hardest part of the offseason. We are well past the halfway point, and now, there's nothing but excitement to get us to the finish line. We are less than three months away from the start of the college football season, and Oklahoma football is ready. Sooners fans can't wait to see their team take the field for the first time.

The 2024 college football season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons in a long time, and it's because of all the changes that are coming to the game in 2024. Let's start with the expanded College Football Playoff.

It's going to be interesting to see how the first year of the new 12-team College Football Playoff goes. The four-team playoff era is over, and having eight more teams make it is going to make a huge difference.

First of all, college football fans can breathe a little bit easier during the regular season. There's no worse feeling as a fan than seeing your team lose a huge game in the first weeks of the season before conference play even starts. In the four-team playoff era, that's as demoralizing as it gets. You know that one more loss is the nail in the coffin, and even with one loss (or in Florida State's case, zero), there is no guarantee that you will make it. Now, power five teams that go 10-2 should be pretty safe, and even some 9-3 teams will likely be able to make it.

The other big change is more football and a longer season. The College Football Playoff committee recently released the schedule for the 2024 playoff, and it is going to be an exciting month. Instead of three total playoff games played in the span of a week, we will get to see 11 games spread out over the span of a month. That is going to be a lot of fun.

Another huge change to the college football world this year will be with the new conferences. The Pac-12 is gone as everyone except for Oregon State and Washington State found a new home. USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are now in the Big Ten, Cal and Stanford moved to the ACC, and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are in the Big 12.

The Big 12 did lose two teams, however, as Oklahoma and Texas are making the move over to the SEC.

All in all, big changes are coming to college football, and it should make for an exciting season. Things are going to look different, and not everyone is a fan of the new changes, but there is going to more football and more good matchups. That's a plus.

Year one in the SEC is crucial for Oklahoma football

Before we talk about a potential breakout player for the Sooners, let's take a look at what Oklahoma football has been through recently and where they stand as they head into a crucial 2024 season that will see them in a conference, the SEC.

Brent Venables took over the Sooners after Lincoln Riley left for the USC job, and year one didn't go so well for Venables. Oklahoma ended up finishing that season with a 6-6 regular season record, and their game against rival Texas was one of the worst in the school history. The Longhorns didn't have that good of a season that year either, but they took down the Sooners 49-0. It was an awful game, and it was an all-around disappointing season for Oklahoma. However, it was only the first season for Venables. New coaches need a little bit of time to settle in at a new school, and that was the case here. Venables and the Sooners had a much better season in 2023.

The bounce back this past year for Oklahoma football was impressive. The Sooners started the season ranked #20 in the country, and they looked good to start the year as they easily cruised to a 5-0 record ahead of their huge game with Texas. Oklahoma had climbed all the way up to #12 in the polls, but they were underdogs in that game. It didn't matter, though, as the Sooners made a statement in the Red River showdown with a 34-30 win over the third ranked Longhorns. After that win, the College Football Playoff looked like a real possibility for the Sooners.

After the Texas game, the rest of the schedule was looking great for the Sooners. They played just one ranked team, and it was #22 Oklahoma State, their other rival. Oklahoma jumped up to #6 in the rankings, and they looked like they were going to have a good chance to run the table, and most people assumed that they would at least make it to the Big 12 title game for a likely rematch with Texas. Unfortunately, the upsets began.

Oklahoma ended up losing two tough ones in the back half of the season as they fell on the road to Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Sooners had a lot of potential, but they ended up finishing 10-2 and missing the Big 12 title game. They made it to the Alamo Bowl in the postseason, but they lost by two touchdowns to Arizona in that one. The season got off to a good start, but the ending was disappointing.

Now, the Sooners are making the move to the SEC, and year one is a crucial one. Here is one player that could have a big season for Oklahoma football.

Andrel Anthony, WR

Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Andrel Anthony (5) fights for yardage during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl
© Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Andrel Anthony has looked poised for a big season since his freshman campaign at Michigan, but he hasn't really been about to break out yet. He had a great year as a freshman and showed off a lot of talent as he hauled in 12 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns. In one game against Michigan State, he had six receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

After that season, a lot of people thought his breakout year would be in 2022. Unfortunately, it was a quiet year for him. The Wolverines had a run-heavy offense, and Andrel Anthony caught just seven passes for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Last season was certainly the best one that Andrel Anthony has had, but it wasn't a breakout year. He caught 27 passes for 429 yards and one touchdown. It was a good season, but after the way he looked during his freshman year, people expected great things from him.

This year is a great opportunity for Andrel Anthony to emerge as a top wide receiver for the Oklahoma football team. He is going going to be one of their go-to guys, and the offense should be relatively pass-heavy as the Sooners typically go that route. Anthony should get a lot of action, and he has shown that he has the talent to be explosive. The recipe is there for a big season.