Local College Sports

Oklahoma vs. Texas and your Big 12 weekend primer

Oklahoma vs. Texas and your Big 12 weekend primer

A little bit about OU: Well, another season, another season where Oklahoma is a big favorite over Texas. Make it six years in a row and seven times since 2011 where the Sooners are a more-than eight-point favorite. In those games, Oklahoma is 3-2 straight up in the past five years and just 1-7 against the spread over the past 30 times when its favored by more than eight points. That seems to point toward Texas, maybe even being a straight-up winner. Texas has been an underdog every season in this game since 2009.

But there’s something different about the feel of this year’s game. Unlike past seasons, Texas seems to be trending up heading into Saturday’s game. After losing to Maryland in the opener and surviving Texas, coach Tom Herman has the Horns playing well. As far as Oklahoma? Well, the offense is good, the defense is iffy and the schedule hasn’t been the ultimate test of fortitude so far.

And despite the fact the Sooners are a significant favorite once again, you’ll see a lot of people picking Texas, based on what the Horns did in their win against TCU. Don’t fall for it. Oklahoma has the best player on the field (Kyler Murray) and the best offense. The Texas offensive line isn’t great and quarterback Sam Ehlinger isn’t the kind of player who can go win a game by himself, like Murray can. Ehlinger is going to have to make plays this game. He’s going to have to be a lot better than he has and he’s going to be put in the position where he has to go win the game on his own because the Oklahoma offense is not going to have any issues. With that kind of pressure, Ehlinger is going to be forced to make more plays than he’s comfortable with. And it’s not going to happen.

Through five games OU has just one fumble recovery and only two interceptions this season. The Sooners will get one of each Saturday before halftime, will force Ehlinger to try and do too much and that will be the difference in the game. Ignore the recent trends vs. Texas. The Longhorns won’t be able to keep up and the Sooners will cover this one. Give the eight points. Oklahoma 48-28.

A little bit about OSU: The good news is quarterback Taylor Cornelius was effective the passing game in the easy win against Kansas. The bad news is, because Cornelius was good enough to beat Kansas, Oklahoma State and coach Mike Gundy are sorta boxed in now. Now, it’s possible the Cowboys might make a quarterback change, but not likely now, so if you’re not sold on Cornelius and his talents, this isn’t the season for you.

Now, some more good news: Oklahoma State won’t need Cornelius to be a world-beater or some sort of dime store hero to beat Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones are ranked 125th (of 129) in the country in rushing yards per game and 89th in the nation in passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Iowa State is scoring a 1980sish 17.5 points per game. That’s good for 123rd in the country. The point of all this? It’s the kind of combination that keeps Cornelius in as your starter. Oklahoma State won’t need to be great. Give the 11 points. Oklahoma State 33-17.

An Upset: Not a lot to choose from this week. Only four games on the schedule, so gimme K-State catching four points points at Baylor. Kansas State rallied, covered, but didn’t win against Texas. Coach Bill Snyder has seemingly been on edge all season, as well, and let’s face it, K-State isn’t very good. Clearly, Baylor isn’t either, but count on the Bears having a hangover after getting run over by Oklahoma. K-State straight up in this one. Forget the four points. Wildcats 28-27.

Will Kansas Win This Week?: Nope. Or cover. Remember when Kansas won two games in a row this season? Man, those were the Salad Days. Just amazing. The dream is over. Give the 28 points, but if you’re forced to watch this one, you should get paid time-and-a-half. West Virginia 55-14.

Who’s Under the Most Pressure This Week?: Gotta be Tom Herman. It’s early on in his time as coach at Texas, but Texas is playing better than it has has at any time so far. A bad game here in the Cotton Bowl and Herman and the Horns take a giant step back and the talk about how Texas is a fraud. A win? Well, a win changes things quite a bit and vaults Texas to the team to beat in the Big 12.

Last week: 6-0

Overall: 17-7

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