Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and TCU are all tied atop the Big 12 Conference standings with 4-1 league marks.
Who has the easiest scheduling left?
If you base that assumption on playing one of the top four teams, TCU and Iowa State appear to have the advantage.
Iowa State has yet to play OSU but has already beaten OU and TCU. The Cyclones have Baylor (almost a guaranteed win this year) plus winnable games against West Virginia and Kansas State.
TCU has only OU left from the top four teams. The Horned Frogs must play Baylor but those two teams despise each other and that could be the upset of the year in the Big 12. Plus, TCU could have a real tough game against Texas this week and Tech is another in-state rival that would love to upset TCU.
OU plays OSU this Saturday and TCU next Saturday before finishing with Kansas (which should be easily winnable) and at home against West Virginia.
OSU hosts OU this weekend and then must travel to Iowa State before closing with Kansas State and Kansas.
And either Baylor or Kansas has to get their first win this Saturday because they play each other.
Last season, OU beat OSU 38-20 in the rain in Norman and it affected the Cowboys more than the Sooners.
“We worked with wet footballs all week,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said after last year’s game. “It drives the guys crazy, but mentally it’s important. We probably get them a lot wetter than what they actually are. We have a pail and we just soak them before every snap and make them execute. We don’t allow them to use it as a crutch or an excuse, so when you get in the middle of it, that’s nothing more than you’ve done all week.”
Oklahoma outgained the Cowboys 629 yards to 403 yards of total offense. Former Sooner running back Samaje Perine (now with the Washington Redskins) got 239 yards on 37 carries and OU quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph completed only 11 of 25 pass attempts for 186 yards and All-American receiver James Washington was held to two catches for 50 yards – even though he was targeted eight times.
“We couldn’t get a very good grasp of the ball,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said after last year’s Bedlam game. “It wasn’t a really good day for us to have an opportunity to throw it down the field.”
“We kind of practiced a little bit all week in preparation for it, but there are certain times when you’re going tempo and the ball is a little more wet at the beginning of the drive than it is when you’re not going tempo,” Rudolph said. “But once again, no excuses. We’ve just got to be consistent.”
That win clinched the Big 12 championship for former OU coach Bob Stoops – his 10th conference title.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State so far have played three common opponents – Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech – and the Oklahoma schools have won all those games.
OSU clobbered winless Baylor 59-16 while OU had to hold back a late Baylor rally to win 49-41. The Sooners raced past Texas Tech last Saturday 49-27 while OSU beat the Red Raiders by one touchdown, 41-34.
Both teams struggled against 4-4 Texas, with OU winning the Red River Showdown 29-24 and OSU topping the Longhorns 13-10 in an unusual game dominated by the Cowboy defense.
The high point for OU’s offense was 56 points against both UTEP and Tulane while the lowest output was 29 against Texas. The Sooners’ biggest win was against then-No. 2 Ohio State. The best defensive game was against Tulane (14 points).
OSU has scored 59 points three times, against Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Baylor. The Cowboy defense held South Alabama to seven points. The 59-21 win over Pittsburgh was arguably OSU’s best victory.
OU’s Baker Mayfield is the No. 1 quarterback in the nation and OSU’s Mason Rudolph is No. 2. Mayfield has a total quarterback rating of 90.6 while Rudolph is at 86.3.
Rudolph is No. 1 in passing yardage with 2,866 while Mayfield is No 8 with 2,628 yards. Rudolph has 22 touchdown passes with only five interceptions while Mayfield has 23 touchdown passes with only three interceptions.
Statistically speaking, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State may be the two offenses in the nation.
Oklahoma is No. 1 in the nation in total yards per game (586 average) and No. 2 in the nation in total yardage at 4,689 yards. OU is averaging 42.9 points per game (sixth in the nation)
OSU is No. 3 in total yards per game (569 average) and No. 4 in total yards at 4,554. OSU is No. 4 in the country, averaging 44.5 points per game.
OSU and OU are Nos. 3 and 4 in passing yardage, with 4,554 and 4,689, respectively.
Oklahoma has 1,732 yards rushing (No. 29) while OSU has 1,589.
Defense is another story.
OSU ranks No. 43 in total defense while OU is No. 59. The Cowboys are allowing almost 25 points per game while OU is giving up 25 points.
Oklahoma is No. 87 in pass defense, giving up an average of 239 yards per game. OSU is not much better at No. 78, allowing 186 yards per contest.
Running back Justice Hill of Oklahoma State is rated No. 20 in the country with 836 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
Freshman running back Trey Sermon leads OU with 487 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Sooner Abdul Adams has 467 yards and averages 10.4 yards per carry.
James Washington of OSU is No. 2 in the nation in reception yardage at 1,005 yards, averaging 16.2 yards per catch. Cowboy Marcell Ateman is at No. 30 in the nation with 668 yards, averaging 19.6 yards per reception.
Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews leads the Sooners with 36 receptions ro 599 yards and he averages 16.6 yards per catch. CeeDee Lamb has 540 yards (18 yards per catch average).