Oklahoma has two of the nation’s best road wins of the year and one of the nation’s most-surprising home losses. An inconsistent defense has been the most consistent thing about Oklahoma this season.
Oklahoma stumbled around with Tulane, then Baylor and nearly fell apart against Texas. Against Kansas State it took a half for the Sooners to wake up. Against Texas Tech, it took a quarter.
But against Ohio State, Oklahoma was just about perfect. Against Oklahoma State, the Sooners weren’t flawless, but they played an exceptional game to get the win in Stillwater.
Other than that inconsistent defense, the one thing we know about OU this season is it has played its best games against the best teams on the schedule. 1. That ends today.
There’s one prediction, and here are 19 others that will ultimately ruin your day if you’re a fan of the Sooners making the College Football Playoff. Because by the end of Saturday, one that will clear up the national picture, 2. TCU will emerge as the best in the Big 12 and the only chance the Big 12 has of getting a team into football’s final four.
We’re at the part of the season where fans and media alike are trying to pick apart each team, looking for a case for their favorite to make the playoff. Oklahoma’s record has some teeth. It’s defense doesn’t. And Oklahoma’s success relies heavily, and by heavily, I mean, all of it, on Baker Mayfield and the Sooner offense. 3. Mayfield won’t lose the Heisman Trophy against the Frogs Saturday, 4. but he will throw a pair of interceptions. 5. in the first half. The result of those interceptions, cost more than just offensive possessions, they will cost OU time, and that’s something that was of no concern against the Cowboys in Stillwater last week. Against OSU, Mayfield and the Sooners were always gonna get the ball back. TCU won’t be as generous. 6. Quarterback Kenny Hill will lead TCU on at least two 10-play drives in the first half. That’s the kind of thing that will hurt Oklahoma.
The way you beat TCU is to make Kenny Hill think he has to take on the world. You know what I mean. Kinda like the way Russell Westbrook approaches every media session and also every Thunder game. And to do that, you have to put pressure on Hill. Not the kind of pressure from a defensive line or a blitzing corner. No. The kind of pressure that comes from what happens when his team falls behind – particularly if it happens early. 7. It won’t happen. 8. TCU scores the first touchdown of the game. 9 . And the second. When that happens, Hill can settle in. He’s completed nearly 70 percent of his passes this season. 10. He’ll complete 70 percent against the Sooners, too, Hill is at his best when he doesn’t have to think he needs to be at his best. If you’re a Sooner fan you won’t be mad at Mike Stoops for his inconsistent defense, 11. you’ll be wondering when Mayfield will get a chance.
12. Instead of Hill pressing and trying too hard, Mayfield will be the one trying to do too much. The result will be hurried passes and 13. being sacked four or more times. 14. Mayfield will still throw for more than 300 yards. 15. and three touchdowns.
So much talk about the TCU defense. Understandably. It’s the best defense in a conference allergic to defense. But look closer. TCU’s success is built on the backs of four wins against the four worst offensive teams in the conference. OSU and SMU put up points against this team. 16. OU will, too, getting 30-plus points. But this game will be about the TCU offense. Mayfield is a better quarterback than Hill. No one can dispute that, but 17. Hill will be better today.
18. Take the 7 points you’re getting with the Frogs. 19. You don’t need them. 20. TCU wins straight up, 34-30.
Last week: 12-8. Check my math.