After a massive upset, the Sooners are trying to get their season back on track against the last underdog that derailed an OU season.
Two years ago, the Iowa State Cyclones walked off Owen Field with one of their greatest wins in school history, beat Oklahoma just under a month after Baker planted a flag at Ohio Stadium’s 50 yard line. To say Sooner fans were shocked would be….an understatement (Check out my less than clean reaction article here).
Walking out of that stadium gave you the feeling that only a crushing upset can bring. The entire season feels like a loss. All that emotional effort you gave in the long summer months, the recruiting updates, the optimism of the early wins; it all feels empty.
That feeling we felt in early October 2017 is pretty much the same one we felt a few weeks ago watching the Sooners inexplicably fall to Kansas State. Now, as OU looks to move on and get the 2019 season back on track, their next opponent is the one who last delivered an upset blow to the crimson and cream.
This time, the Cyclones won’t be a starry-eyed Cinderella.
Meet the Cyclones
Iowa State has taken their lumps this season. They entered 2019 with high hopes, bolstered by a promising quarterback and a rising star of a head coach. However after three close losses, the Cyclones are in desperate need of a win.
Norman, Oklahoma normally isn’t a great place for a bounce back win. With that being said, Iowa State is actually very equipped to compete on Saturday.
Of all the Big 12 teams OU has faced this season, Iowa State easily is the most sound. In preseason, it was a basic coinflip between Texas and ISU for the “best defense” title. With the Longhorns being massively injured, the choice is obvious.
On offense, the Cyclones are actually just a better version of Kansas State without the large running quarterback. Iowa State paces the game out slow and gets the ball into the hands of their large receivers. TE Charlie Kolar is a legitimate red-zone threat that has been tearing it up with touchdown receptions.
Overall, this is going to be a massive test for a reeling Oklahoma defense.
Who to Watch For:
Brock Purdy, QB #12
Brocktober may have ended, but Brock Purdy is still dangerous. If you don’t remember him from last season, it’s because you didn’t watch an Iowa State game outside of their matchup with OU in Ames. Purdy’s first start came after a turbulent few weeks for quarterback Zeb Noland and he has been impressive ever since.
Iowa State’s offense has seen a dip in production this season with the loss of Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery to the NFL. However, several players have stepped up in their wake…
Breece Hall, RB #28
In typical Iowa State fashion, it didn’t take until mid-October for the star of the Cyclone backfield to emerge. In the past three games alone, Hall has nearly 500 all purpose yards and has been the playmaker ISU desperately needed in September. The Sooners will need to contain him if they want any shot at making this a comfortably win.
Why You Should Be Excited
Remember how we kept saying the OU schedule is backloaded? Well, here we are, in Championship November, with four solid tests to build that potential playoff resume. Do the Sooners need help? Most likely. However, step one is beating a very good Iowa State team on Saturday.
Series History (Oklahoma Leads 75-6-2)
One of the most lopsided series in college football history. The Cyclones haven’t won a game in Ames since 1906 for gods sake. With that being said, Matt Campbell has this program in the best shape since Seneca Wallace was under center; don’t take them lightly.
Congrats to the silent, yet deadly, Boatin’ Blake on hitting the Century Club after a BIG Week 8. With three big ranked matchups this week, the college football season is starting to turn down the final stretch. Can anyone top The Captain?
#13 Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State (tOSU -14) BIG NUDE SATURDAY, FOX
Bobby: I was very much expecting Wisconsin to completely fall apart this season, as is tradition. However, I figured they would wait until this week to do it, not against garbage ass Illinois.
Ohio State has been a damn wagon all season, covering every spread this season outside of a game one backdoor cover from FAU. Wisconsin simply doesn’t have the athletes to keep up with this Ohio State squad.
The Buckeyes are going to roll over Wisconsin in The Horseshoe. Ohio State, -14
Ty: So maybe we jumped the gun on the whole Wisconsin in the playoffs thing. Maybe we put too much stock in four shutouts. Maybe we overestimated the Michigan (who is ass) win. Maybe Wisconsin is doing what they do every year, just building hype for the collapse. But…
Maybe Ohio State is doing the same. Maybe Ohio State is ripe for upset, stranger things have happened. Maybe Ohio State is coasting without Urban, and will crumble at the first real sign of competition. Maybe Ohio State isn’t the top of the B1G.
LMAOOOOOO jk Ohio State is going to run Wisconsin off the field with no effort. Ohio State, -14
Boatin’ Blake: Ohio State, -14
#9 Auburn @ #2 LSU (LSU -12) CBS, 2:30 CT
Bobby: This line was wildly low to start the week and it’s steadily dropped to about -10.5, which is wild. Auburn and Bo Nix have revealed themselves to be trash and Death Valley is going to be bumping.
Auburn will keep this game close enough to sweat through this, but that LSU offense will pull through for the cover. LSU, -12
Bobby: Look, Michigan is not a very good team. However, as this Wolverine squad showed us last week in a gritty road cover, they refuse to give up. I’m not big on Notre Dame this year, who nearly dropped a home game to USC.
The Big House rarely gets night games, but when they do, things tend to go well for Michigan. I think they pull this one out. Michigan, -1.5
Ty: You hate to see it, but Notre Dame wins here. Honestly, I’d be happy if both teams could lose, because they both suck. ND and Michigan for some reason believe that they are bluebloods even though neither of them have won a conference title in decades.
Wow, do I hate both of these teams. I hate ND, for thinking that they deserve a seat at the table, and I hate Michigan because it’s fun to hate on people while they are down. Michigan is such a dumpster fire and they are held together with wins against Rutgers and other bottom feeders.
Again, jot this one down as another nail in the coffin for Jim Harbaugh’s career at Michigan. I hate to say it but Go Irish. Notre Dame, +1.5
Boatin’ Blake: Michigan, -1.5
Texas Tech @ Kansas (TECH -3.5) FS1, 6:00 PM CT
Bobby: With Kansas nearly knocking off Texas last week (I mourn for the memes that could have been), it seems everyone is on board with the ‘Hawks breaking through for another win. However, the team people should be high on is actually the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech has scrapped and fought ever since they got blown off the field in Norman several weeks ago. Jett Duffey has transformed into a quarterback who has positioned the Red Raiders as a team nobody wants to face.
I get the KU hype here, but I just think Tech is a better team right now than people are giving them credit for. Texas Tech, -3.5
Ty: KANSAS WILL WIN FOUR GAMES THIS SEASON. I am digging in here, and going down with the ship. KANSAS WILL WIN.
Good morning Kansas betters.
In less than a day, Jayhawks from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest football game in the history of Kansas.
That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common desire for a KU win.
Perhaps it’s fate that today is October 26th, and you will once again be fighting for literally any win… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from going 2-10.
We are fighting for our right to win four games. To exist. And should we win the day, October (Brocktober) will no longer be known as an Iowa State holiday, but as the day Kansas Football declared in one voice:
We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our third win of the season!” Kansas, STRAIGHT UP
Boatin’ Blake: Kansas, +3.5
Oklahoma State @ #23 Iowa State (ISU -10.5) FS1, 2:30 PM
Bobby: BROCKTOBER CONTINUES TO ROLL. Don’t listen to the doubters, this is 100% a real thing. The Cyclones, mocked in preseason, counted out after losing to Iowa and Baylor, are looking like a legitimate football team.
While I feel uncomfortable with the line being as high as it is, I gotta trust the process here as I have yet to lose a game when picking the Cyclones. Iowa State, -10.5
Ty: Brocktober isn’t real. But OSU is hella ass. Iowa State, -10.5
Boatin’ Blake: Iowa State, -10.5
#15 Texas @ TCU (UT -1.5) FOX, 2:30 CT
Bobby: This line is an absolute gift from God. While I would love to spend this space trashing the Longhorns for almost blowing it at home against Kansas, that would be counter productive.
I understand why people would be skittish about Texas this weekend. TCU is at home for homecoming, debuting new uniforms and entered the season with preseason hype while Texas…almost lost to Kansas last week.
However, it should be noted that TCU has been a mess this season. Their two FBS wins are against Purdue and Kansas. This is not a good football team by any measure. Texas should handle this team comfortably. Lock of the Century. Texas, -1.5
(Worst case scenario, we are all wrong and this is hilarious)
Ty: TCU’s dumb ass “cool” uniforms will look great in the Texas highlight videos. The Frogs are going to look terrible out there, especially against this joke of a Texas team.
I still believe that a strong Texas is the best possible thing for OU, as they actually get national respect. Baylor can do whatever they want, nobody respects them. Hell, the whole reason that we have a Big 12 Championship game is because Baylor and TCU get no national respect.
OUThe Sooners need UT to win out and every game matters (obviously not the title game tho). This pick is entirely personal.
Wait, HOLD UP lmao this is the -1.5 line game! Hell yes! Slap as many bands as you can on this line! WOOOOOO boy here we go. This is a money game right here. Texas, -1.5
Boatin’ Blake: Texas, -1.5
#5 Oklahoma @ Kansas State (OU -21) ABC, 11:00 AM
Bobby: When Kansas State beat Mississippi State in September, this game immediately rocketed up to the game I was most shook by. Manhattan can be a viper pit and K-State looked like the third best team in the Big 12.
Yeah, that was an overreaction.
The Wildcats have a porous defense prone to busting on big plays and a one-dimensional offense. While there has been some upset talk surrounding this game, I think it’s all fluff. This line is only close due to that one SEC road game.
OU has proven that they are not only a Playoff caliber team, but a focused team. I think the Sooners roll big here. Oklahoma, -21
Ty: You already know what I’m going to say. Check the pod for a better breakdown. I have been TERRIBLE at picking OU games this year so who knows what will happen. I think OU covers, but idek man. Oklahoma, -21
After a couple tough weeks for the Weekend Spread boys (including a missing article last week), the boys are back and ready to right the ship. Let’s Go!
#1 Michigan @ #7 Penn State (PSU -9) 6:30, ABC
Bobby: Look, Penn State might be for real. The offense has been on fire and at every turn they continue to keep pressing onward. Will they collapse the second I pick them? Probably. Still, give me the White Out in Happy Valley against a shaky Michigan squad. Penn State, -9
Ty: This is a must win for Jimbo H. Unfortunately, I don’t think that he will. Mark this one down as another nail in the coffin, you hate to see it (Personally I don’t hate to see it).
Penn State is a better team easily, and playing in Happy Valley is worth at least a TD. Nine points is just too easy, give me the Bobcats, or whatever PSU’s mascot is. I really did forget here so I’m just going to roll with it. Penn State, -9
Boatin’ Blake: Michigan, +9
#12 Oregon @ #25 Washington (ORE -3) ABC, 2:30 CT
Bobby: I got killed on the Midseason Review pod for suggesting that Oregon might still sneak into the Playoff. Do I dare double down and risk getting clowned further?
Hell yeah I do. Oregon is a cut above the Pac-12 this season and is about to run the table. I don’t think they will make the playoff (too many SEC teams), but they will be creeping at #5 or #6 by the end of the year. Oregon, -3
Ty: Call it The Soy Bowl, The Battle of the Hipsters, The Starbucks Shootout, The Granola Game, The Football Game of Nerds and Lames, The Ducks vs the Huskies, the alternate uniforms vs the knock off K-States, who cares. It’s just a Pac-12 game. Anyways, that list went on for way too long, I should have stopped at Granola Game.
I think that the Ducks win this one. Also I want it in writing that Bobby did say that Oregon could make the playoffs. NEVER FORGET that shit take. Oregon, -3
Boatin’ Blake: Washington, +3
Kansas State @ TCU (TCU -3.5) 1:30 CT
Bobby: Honestly, these teams aren’t that different. Both are purple, had early season hype after impressive (at the time) Power 5 wins, and both collapsed the second they stepped into conference play.
I hate both of these teams, but at least K-State knows who to play at quarterback. Kansas State, +3.5
Ty: Talk about two teams that cannot be accurately predicted. I lean TCU here, especially as their SMU loss looks better and better each week.
*Pause here to acknowledge my SMU ponies who are undefeated so far*(I’ve always been a lifelong SMU fan)
I think that TCU is the move here, honestly. Kansas State rode a big high and hung their hat on a win at Mississippi State, a team that LOST TO TENNESSEE! TCU is the clear pick here, and I bet that it’s an easy cover. TCU, -3.5
Boatin’Blake: Kansas State, +3.5
Iowa State @ Texas Tech (ISU -7) FS1, 11:00 AM CT
Bobby: BROCKTOBER CONTINUES. With Iowa State’s undefeated October streak well into Season 3, how could you not take the Cyclones? Sure, Texas Tech has soiled two straight covers for me, but I believe in the power of Brocktober. Iowa State, -7
Ty: Oh, how the mighty preseason expectations have fallen. Iowa State, who Bobby thought would play in Dallas this December, has fallen off the deep end. I wouldn’t be surprised if OU shuts out the Cyclones this year. ISU is BIG ass this year, and Matty C. is still a coward.
All of this being said, boy does Tech suck this year. I’m taking those cowards up in Indiana or wherever. Iowa State, -7
P.S. This is not a rivalry.
Boatin’ Blake: Texas Tech, +7
Kansas @ #15 Texas (UT -22) LHN, 6:00 PM
Bobby: The greatest rivalry in the Big 12. As much as I’d love to see Texas completely drop the ball here and not dominate a pretty brutal Kansas team, I think they come out and wipe the floor with the Jayhawks. I’m not a fan of the 22 point spread, but nonetheless. Texas, -22
Ty: Texas has TWO losses and its Week 8 LMAOOOOOO. SMH I can’t relate.
Anyways, UT is looking to bounce back and make a statement here against Kansas. This game is in Austin and Texas will come out hot to stomp the Hawks. There’s always basketball season KU. Cue the weird Tom Herman nipple rub celebration.
Boatin’ Blake: Kansas, +22
#18 Baylor @ Oklahoma State (OSU -3.5) FOX, 3:00 CT
Bobby: When you pick every Big 12 game for three straight years, you learn a few things about how this weird ass conference works. One of the key features of this conference is the fact that any team that looks to be solid strength of schedule fuel for Oklahoma will promptly lose a stupid game and blow their hopes of being ranked by the time they get to OU.
Cue Oklahoma State. While the Cowboys famously cannot beat OU, they have found the next best thing: ruining everything else.
The Pokes have a knack for beating top ranked competition (West Virginia and Texas) and taking their ranking but then completely pooping the bed against awful teams, thus self tanking their own quality to the point that beating them is significantly less impressive.
Meanwhile, Baylor has been actively trying to collapse this entire season, but the universe simply will not allow them to die. This undefeated record is built on a blown 20 point lead at home and an egregious no call in a double overtime.
Vegas appears to have caught on to both the Poke system and Baylor’s Jenga Tower record and rightfully have Oklahoma State favored in this game. The Cowboys have come to take their toll and they shall receive it. Oklahoma State, -3.5
Ty: Baylor is ass bruh, Chubba finna eat. Oklahoma State, -3.5
Boatin’ Blake: Baylor, +3.5
West Virginia @ #5 Oklahoma (OU -33.5) BIG NUDE SATURDAY ON FOX
Bobby: West Virginia isn’t good. At all.
However, 33.5 is just SO MUCH points. Personally, I think OU can cover this thing, but relying on any team to lock down a team in garbage time is just not a great strategy. Safe money is on West Virginia, safer money is on avoiding this game altogether. West Virginia, +33.5
Ty: Tune into The Schooner Pod for a more detailed take on this game. OU will win big, but I don’t see OU running it up beyond 28. The Sooners have been less than ideal against the spread this year, and it is because the lines are absurd. I’ll be taking the Country Roads to the bank. Burn your couches. West Virginia, +33.5
West Virginia has been searching for a rival for years after losing Pitt: we have found the solution.
It’s no secret that college football is a flawed sport. Corruption, corporate greed, obnoxious commercials, toxic fanbases, player safety issues and an incredibly flawed postseason all are troubling issues that need addressing. However, I have discovered something that has truly shocked me to my core.
HOW HAVE WEST VIRGINIA AND APPALACHIAN STATE NEVER PLAYED?
Somehow, the Mountaineers and the Mountaineers have never crossed paths on the gridiron. While I know App State is a new addition to FBS, these teams and fanbases are too similar and too hilarious to not play each other on a yearly basis.
Plus, since losing the annual Backyard Brawl game with Pitt, West Virginia has been searching for a rival aimlessly like a lost puppy, constantly trying to force rivalries with the likes of Texas and Oklahoma. It’s time for them to face reality and find a proper rival.
So we at The Schooner Blog are taking some time to make wrongs right and introducing the world to the greatest rivalry never played: The Moonshine Bowl.
First things first: the name “Moonshine Bowl” is not just a name, it’s an element of the game. Sports drinks and water are outlawed. The only approved substances are moonshine and any form of Mountain Dew. It should be noted that the moonshine must come from the hills and cannot under any circumstances be non-flammable.
Every good rivalry is a neutral site one, so in the tradition of OU-Texas, we will play this halfway between the campuses in Boone, North Carolina and Morgantown, West Virginia. Approximately, the middle is a town called Little Birch. Sure, Little Burch has zero NFL stadiums in it, as well as nothing resembling a sports venue. It does, however, have a clearing in the middle of the hills next to their elementary school and post office, two of their several buildings. We’re going Field of Dreams over here.
Uniforms for the game will take a much more traditional approach. Both West Virginia and Appalachian State must spend the week prior to the game in the hills outside Little Burch trapping and foraging for pelts, which they will then use to fashion their game uniforms. Helmets and pads, while not banned, must be constructed from various pelts and items found in the hills.
Classes for the student-athletes are not canceled by both universities but for the sake of a good ol’ fashion yellabelly pig skin scrum, the players voluntarily skip the week class schedule annually.
College football is about pageantry and this game will have plenty of it. Of course, we can’t just have App State and WVU bring their full bands: this is the Moonshine Bowl. Both schools can bring their bands on the condition that the only instruments allowed are jugs, banjos and other various bluegrass instruments.
For the sake of pure authenticity, starting months before the game all players participating in the match are required to halt the shaving of facial hair to garner a “Jeramiah Johnson” type of look. I’m talking full-on Leonardo DiCaprio revenant type of vibe. If one is to call oneself a mountaineer, one must look the part. The removal of teeth is also encouraged but not enforced.
Overall, the Moonshine Bowl isn’t just something college football deserves; it is something it needs. I implore you, dear readers, to take action and contact West Virginia president Gordon Gee at firstname.lastname@example.org and petition him to get this done.
A familiar face returns to Norman. Will Austin Kendall have revenge? (Spoiler: Probably not)
After a wild Red River, the Sooners return home to Norman with gilded heads and an undefeated record. Now that the Hat is back and OU is midway into another conference title run, the next challenge comes in a familiar foe, with a familiar face, but a very non-familiar style of play.
These aren’t your typical Mountaineers. West Virginia is under renovation after the departure of longtime head coach Dana Holgorson. While O’l Dana was an offensive mastermind, Neal Brown brings more of a grounded, defensive approach.
The transition has been…difficult. On both offense and defense, the scheme and personnel just aren’t there yet.
However, doubt Brown at your own risk: just ask LSU how that worked out when he was at Troy.
Who to Watch For:
Austin Kendall, QB #12
It’s pretty fitting this game would be homecoming. Despite early health concerns, Austin “Basic Defense” Kendall will start in his return to Owen Field.
While Kendall was hyped up as a Lincoln Riley disciple, he hasn’t lived up to the hype in Morgantown. With only a 66% completion percentage and seven picks against just nine touchdowns, Kendall might not be the quarterback we thought he was.
However, in a revenge game you can toss out all the records. Kendall is going to come out pissed. Not only did AK’s spot get taken by Jalen Hurts, but Riley initially blocked Kendall’s transfer request.
Austin Kendall has plenty of motivation. We’ll see if he has the talent to keep it interesting.
Why You Should Be Excited
Revenge games are few and far between in college. Getting to watch Kendall try to exact some revenge should be really fun to watch honestly.
Series History (Oklahoma Leads 9-2)
While this series doesn’t have the biggest history, it certainly makes me pretty happy. West Virginia is the only team in the Big 12 to not have at least one conference win against the others: OU is that one. While I should worry about a jinx, I’ve said the every stat every year and nothing bad has happened yet.
It’s that time of year again. While by now those of you going to the game probably have a game plan on what to do on Friday night, the planning for Saturday morning is arguably more important. This year, Red River is again back to its traditional 11 AM slot, so maximizing your time at the fair is paramount.
The hungover early morning stumble to get to the fair can be quite the hassle. Between the crowds, the heat, acquiring Coupons (more on that) and handling a head splitting hangover while simultaneously trying to pregame is a lot to juggle in just a few short hours.
Thankfully, that’s where we at The Schooner Blog come in. Through years of grizzled Red River experience and hours (okay, maybe a few minutes) of research, we have compiled everything you need to be State Fair ready.
The first and most important thing to know about the Fair is none of the vendors accept cards or cash. What you’ll need instead are Coupons, these weird little tickets sold in massive strips. Each coupon is worth 50 cents, so you’ll want to load up. For example, one standard beer is typically worth 12 Coupons, so don’t worry about overbuying. If anyone is trying to give any extras, you jump on them ASAP. Even if you don’t end up using them, Coupons roll over annually so you can save for next year, if you play your cards right. If you want, you can even go ahead and get some right now and skip the line.
Look, I know DART gets an awful rep for its inability to handle traffic leaving the game. However, if you plan on staying at the Fair after the game no matter what, it is for sure the move.
Even if you are fully in Sad Boi Hours, the fair is the best place to drown your sorrows. It’s even better to celebrate in while letting your travel related worries just melt away.
Eating at the Fair
The Timeless, ‘Must Have’ Classic
While some of the most insane food creations in the world can be found here, let me implore you to skip the temptation of items like the Funnel Cake Bacon Queso burger. The best food item here is the Fletcher’s Corny Dog. Now, the Corny Dog is not to be confused with the generic, average corn dogs found throughout the Fair. This piece of heaven on a stick has been around for 77 years and is, hands down, the greatest food item I can think of.
The lines are absurdly long, but missing out on this experience would leave your OU-Texas weekend incomplete. The main Fletcher’s stand is right under Big Tex, the massive talking cowboy statue that’s impossible to miss, but there are plenty around Fair Park with shorter lines. The legendary @SoonerTracker on Twitter even created this handy map of not only all the places where you can find Fletcher’s, but the best places for beer as well.
Big Tex Choice Award Picks
Each year, new contenders step up to the plate to take home one of the most prestigious titles of them all: the Big Tex Choice Award. While there are only three winners (Best Taste Savory, Best Taste Sweet and Most Creative), most of the finalists are just as good if not better. Here’s a look at what won this year.
(You can map out the locations of these items and many more here!)
Best Taste (Savory): Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone
One of the most important features of any Fair Food item is easily transportability. This fried taco cone is made up of “tender, savory, marinated, slow-cooked barbacoa served in an ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans and cilantro lime rice. It is topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde”. Honestly, this looks fantastic and is something I certainly would get.
Best Taste (Sweet): Big Red Chicken Bread
Honestly, I’m not a big sweets guy. However, this dish appeals to me, not just because of the chicken wing, but BECAUSE THE WING IS WEARING TINY GLASSES. That is the coolest thing ever! According to BigTex.com, this dish features “homemade, light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, Big Red® -flavored frosting, and served with a savory fried chicken wing resting in the middle of the doughnut”. If you want something different, check this out!
Drinking at the Fair
The Cotton Bowl, for presumably the first time is selling beer in the stands. With that being said, if you want to save a bit of cash drinking in the Fair might be the better move.
Beer prices vary, but there is one mythical stand with 6 Coupon beers known as The Beer Barn just inside Cotton Bowl Plaza. You can get Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Corona and most importantly, Shiner Bock.
If you have are a bit of a beer snob like myself, check out the Magnolia Beer Garden. This place has an expansive selection of beer from across Texas and the world. If you want to attempt to look cultured to your girlfriend or group of friends, head over to the Wine Garden, which features over 40 wineries from the State of Texas. There are plenty other beer and wine gardens around the fair (including Yardbirds, where the legendary Corn Dog beer makes its return for 2019) but these are the highlight locations.
If you want to stick to wax cup Coors Light, more power to you. There are attractions for those that don’t want to just drink, but hey, that’s just not me at this point in time. The Texas Star, a 200+ foot ferris wheel that ranks as the third largest in the nation, is a trip that could be pretty cool. However, I’d prefer to spend my time on the ground and drinking.
If you somehow survive a full day at the fair from an 11 AM kickoff to make it to the late night show, Big and Rich with Cowboy Troy are playing, so basically if you are an enormous fan of the College Gameday intro, this is absolutely the show for you. Otherwise…why?
After weeks of bad competition, we are finally here: Red River Week.
Sure, the new Speed D and annual super weapon that is the Oklahoma offense have looked mostly sharp so far this season. However, the Sooners have faced nothing so far like what they will face in the Cotton Bowl this Saturday and probably won’t face a challenge like this again until the postseason.
Meet the Longhorns
Texas started this season with all the major pillars of high expectations: Sugar Bowl win, Playoff hype, potential Heisman, big non-conference home game, cool soundbite that totally could never backfire.
While the Horns have already botched one of the above (LSU), this isn’t a lost season for them. A win at Fair Park would rocket them right back into the Playoff conversation and set the tone for the potential clean slate. Lose here and the ceiling is another NOLA trip.
Texas boasts a strong offense and about as many athletes as you can find in the Big 12. While the Longhorns have had issues staying healthy on defense with guys like Caden Sterns sidelined, this will be the first real challenge for an Oklahoma offensive line that has been shakier than in seasons past.
Who to Watch For:
Sam Ehlinger, QB #11
I mean, duh. While we’ve dogged on him for years, Ol’ Trill Sammy or whatever dumb nickname the Horns PR team is trying to force is a legitimately good player. His throwing accuracy has improved and Tom Herman has been running him much less, which makes him much fresher.
While I’m not sold on him being a legend tier Texas quarterback, make no mistake: dude is good.
Devin Duvernay, WR #6
Aside from the obvious choice of Ehlinger, I think the Horns slot receiver has the biggest chance of giving the OU defense headaches on Saturday.
Not only has Duvernay has been one of the most improved players for Texas this season, slot receivers have excelled against Speed D this season. Plus, with lead wideout Collin Johnson dealing with hamstring issues, expect plenty of targets for Duvernay.
Why You Should Be Excited
When the Big 12 got its dream Championship matchup with the Red River rematch, many wondered if the potential for a larger stage rematch would harm the traditional game in the Cotton Bowl.
I can fully say without a doubt that the hype is as real as ever.
While rational thought would lead one to believe that a conference championship win would render the earlier regular season useless, Texas fans this offseason have proven that rational thought is not utilized south of the Red River.
The amount of bragging about Dicker The Kicker, the Golden Hat and “kRyLeR mUrRaY” has been honestly kinda sad to watch. I’d expect this out of Oklahoma State or Texas A&M, but Texas? I’d expect more out of a supposed blue blood than to brag about a game that wasn’t the most recent matchup.
With that being said, I want that damn hat back, if anything to just take any ounce of supposed bragging rights away from the Longhorns. Of course, then the Horns will have to move on to “MOST RECENT NATTY” or whatever other broken record, watery point that they pull out, but still.
Bring the hat home.
Series History (Oklahoma Leads 12-2 in Big 12 Championships)