Losing to Iowa State is the worst.
So bad, in fact, that even a Texas State Fair corndog won’t make things better. 1. You’ll still have one, force a smile and choke it down, but it won’t help. Not that much, anyway.
Nothing blands-up the 2017 tastebuds quite like a Cyclone loss, but life is a crazy journey sometimes, and that journey now has the Sooners in an unusual spot here at the Cotton Bowl.
And it doesn’t taste that great.
Oklahoma is the better team, Texas is the underdog again, but yet it seems like just the opposite is actually true as we head to the 2:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday. Of course that’s what happens when you survive winless Baylor and lose to Big 12 bottom-feeder Iowa State.
The only thing we know for sure is 2. the Sooner season is over with a loss to Texas and 3. there aren’t enough wax-paper cups and corndogs in the entire fair to change that reality.
So, there’s that, and here are 17 more predictions for Saturday’s game at the Cotton Bowl.
Is there another team in American that’s a worse front-runner that Oklahoma? You know the answer to that question already. Don’t spend any time thinking about it. It doesn’t end well. Make it seven years in a row now the Sooners have lost a game where they’ve been a double-digit favorite. The good news Saturday is OU is just a 7.5-point favorite over the Longhorns. The better news is Oklahoma, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and recent history tells you, the Sooners seem to play better when everyone thinks they’re on the verge of playing worse.
Losers to Texas in 2015, OU rallied to win out and make the playoff. Losers to Houston and then Ohio State last season, the Sooners rallied once more and didn’t lose the rest of the season.
No one knows that more than Mayfield, who is looking for a reason to take over the underdog role, despite the fact the Sooners are favored. 4. Mayfield will be booed. 5. After he takes the field sporting a “Horns-Down” hand gesture. But that’s what Mayfield wants. He didn’t get any of that last week against Iowa State where there was no pressure, no ego to boost and no pass rush in his face.
Texas has a pretty good defense and ultimately that will be good news for Mayfield. As bad as OU needs to be underdog, Mayfield craves it. He’ll taunt and point and 6. lead OU to an opening-drive touchdown.
And as bad as Mayfield needs to be counted out, coach Lincoln Riley needs to rally. His coaching against Iowa State was near the opposite of what it was earlier this season against Ohio State. Too conservative against an overmatched Cyclone team is not the way to win fans or games. And in the Cotton Bowl the only thing you want to be conservative with is the amount of wax-paper cups full of beer you consume.
In addition to the cups of beer, there’s food and fair and rides and the Midway but what you’ll really want to see is …
Mike Stoops revive the defense and CeeDee Lamb play.
And what you’ll actually see is …
7. Riley will be more daring vs. Texas. 8. He’ll go for it on fourth down at least once in the first half and 9. you’ll see at least one trick play, too. 10. But Lamb won’t have a catch and 11. the Stoops’ defense give up a scoring play of at least 65 yards in the first half.
You’ll also see …
12. Three running backs get carries for Oklahoma. 13. More than 100 yards rushing from the Sooners. 14. Jeff Badet become the go-to receiver for the game and establish himself as the Sooners’ top receiver for the rest of the season.
You’ll get to wake up a bit later than usual since kickoff isn’t until 2:30. You’ll get the chance to make more bad decisions at the Fair and you’ll 15. worry a bit more because this Oklahoma team hasn’t improved early September. That’s when Texas, not Oklahoma, was trending downward.
Saturday things change. 16. But not with the defense. Stoops won’t get a break from the fans, 17. despite his defense coming up with at least a pair of turnovers, 18. including an interception from Jordan Thomas. But the fans won’t be concerned with Stoops by Saturday evening because 19. The Oklahoma offense is going to get to 50 points. 20. The Sooners will cover the 7.5-point spread, 52-28.
Last week: 3-17. Check my math here