It's the offseason, so you may or may not remember a few weeks ago when Houston mayor Sylvester Turner got loose and said Houston would beat Oklahoma by two or three touchdowns. It's quite a claim, and yes, he definitely said it during this interview with the University of Houston Magazine.
I will be at the first game against Oklahoma. It should be a sell out at NRG Stadium considering what UH did this past season. For the Cougars to start out the season against a powerhouse like Oklahoma speaks to how far the program has come. We'll win that one easily then move on. In this first game, I think we'll win by 14 or possibly 21 points. Then, we'll look for some stiffer competition.
Turner is obviously a proud alum, and he and other Cougar fans have plenty to be excited about. The team just went 13-1 and beat Florida State decisively in the Peach Bowl, then held on to head coach Tom Herman, one of the brightest young stars in the coaching world. Things are looking up for Houston, and Turner didn't back down from his prediction when contacted by the Tulsa World.
"It is not a subjective assessment," Turner said. "I'm being very objective. They are just that good!"
Now, Oklahoma had a pretty good season themselves last year. The Sooners went 11-2, won the Big 12 and made it into the College Football Playoff, all while overcoming the previously impassable barrier of getting into the Playoff while playing in a conference without a championship game. Amazing stuff, really.
It's still very early for lines, but Oklahoma is an eight-point favorite at 5dimes. The game will be played in Houston at NRG Stadium, but there will surely be plenty of Oklahoma fans who make the trip. I doubt many people think the Sooners will turn this game into a blowout, but probably even fewer people agree with Turner and think Houston wins this game comfortably.
This game has lots to look forward to. Both Baker Mayfield and Greg Ward Jr. are back running the show for both offenses, and both of these teams averaged over 40 points per game last year. It's hard to see Houston winning this game by several touchdowns, but hey, I'd rather live in a world where politicians confidently fire off predictions like this than just bet a case of Famous Local Product X on the big game.