The Sooners are Born Again. Well, either that or the slow crawl toward death begins Saturday.
That’s about the only way to look at the rest of the season as Oklahoma plays TCU in Fort Worth.
Perhaps back in August you thought the Sooners were overrated. Maybe you thought this Oklahoma team was on the way to the College Football Playoff. There were people taking both of those sides, but rare was the hot take that said Oklahoma would lose to both Houston and Ohio State.
Yet, here we are. Who knows what happens the rest of the way … a Big 12 championship or the cancellation of the program. Maybe somewhere in the middle. For now, here are 25 predictions for what’s going to happen this week:
Nerves, anxiousness, pressure. Not Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon, Mike Stoops and the defense, but you. 1. You’re nervous because it’s a first of two trips in a row to the Dallas Metroplex. That’s a lot to ask whether you’re actually making the drive or just watching on Tv. This week TCU. Next week it’s Texas. And in these two weeks we’re about to find out if this Oklahoma team is Russell Bowl or Rose Bowl worthy.
2. By the end of the first quarter you still won’t know because 3. OU will be behind. 4. And you’ll be worried. Rightfully so. But you should worry about metro area traffic, what you’re going to have for lunch, your 401k. Any of that makes more sense. This game will turn quickly because …
5. TCU’s Kenny Hill will turn it over twice or more in the first half.
6. The OU secondary will get its first interception of the season.
7. The Oklahoma defensive line will force a fumble.
8. And have more than three sacks.
By halftime, 9. OU will have scored 20 or more points, but more importantly, by halftime 10. OU’s new identity will be revealed. It’ll be obvious, too. Coach Bob Stoops has never been afraid to change things. He’s changed coordinators. He’s changed coaches. He’s changed defensive schemes. 11. He’ll change the offense this week.
12. This is Joe Mixon’s team and Stoops will make it so. Starting at 4 p.m. Stoops will take the pressure of a below-average receiving group and a struggling Baker Mayfield by 13. ordering the ball to Mixon repeatedly. The result will be 14. 15 carries for Mixon by halftime, 15. two touchdown runs by Mixon in the first half and 16. at least 150 yards rushing for Mixon, 17. including three or more runs for 20 or more yards.
18. Oh, Mayfield will be better. How could he not be? But he won’t have to be. 19. The defense will be better than it was against Ohio State, too. Then again, this is TCU, not Ohio State and not even Houston, so how could it not be?
20. By Saturday evening you’ll have re-evaluated your squad goals for this team and realized a Big 12 championship isn’t the worst thing. 21. The Sooners will have re-established themselves, too, as the best team in the conference. 22. Bob Stoops will say OU played its best game of the season. 23. He won’t mention Ohio State, Houston or even the win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl from yesteryear.
24. OU rallies from a first-quarter deficit. 25. Give the 3.5 points. Sooners win 38-28 and the 1-0 conference record will have you ready to think Big 12 title and start worrying about Texas.
Last week: 15-10