There is no Big 12 championship game, so fans have to take the semi encounters they’re given. The first of them will be another chapter in the Bedlam series, as Oklahoma State try to wrap up the conference title which will send them to the Fiesta Bowl, while Oklahoma are here mainly to try and spoil the party.
After already losing to Baylor and Texas, the best the Sooners can hope for is finishing second with a three-way tie, while someone from Texas – Baylor picks up the conference title. The Sooners thought this season was something of return to prominence, but their defense wasn’t as good as they expected, while some issues at quarterback have kept this team for yet another season away from the heights we’ve grown accustomed to.
At Oklahoma State, everyone feels they should have gone undefeated, losing only once this season, on the road to a terrible West Virginia team. Instead of being in the national title discussion, they’re for the second time in three years forced to think about the Fiesta Bowl and nothing else. It’ll also be a chance to beat Okalhoma for a second time in three seasons, something that hasn’t happened in over a decade of Sooner dominance, with the series record being 83–17–7 in Oklahoma’s favor.
What can set the teams apart in this game? Oklahoma hope that Trevor Knight, their Freshman quarterback, will play like he did in the 41-31 road win against Kansas State. Oklahoma are only 103rd in the nation in passing yards, but Knight completed 14-of-20 passes against the Wildcats, also running for 82 yards. Oklahoma State are one of the best teams in the country when it comes to stopping the run, allowing less than 140 yards on the ground per game.
For Oklahoma State, a mistake-prone quarterback like Knight is almost too good to be true. The defense has forced at least three turnovers in six of its past seven games, even though they aren’t that difficult to gain passing yards against. They are slightly better than Oklahoma in total offense, relying more on their passing game, but this game will be decided by the defense that manages to stand its ground and generate more stops, and probably turnovers.
Prediction – Oklahoma aren’t used to being the little sister in this rivalry, but that’s just the situation right now. The Cowboys are #6 in the nation, Oklahoma only #17. By the differences between the performances against Baylor, this one is going to Oklahoma State, who’ll also claim the conference title.