A Look At Iowa State

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.

Ames

Oklahoma sports has taken me amazing places. I’ve seen the Sooners play from coast to coast, from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to Pro Player/LandShark/Sun Life Stadium in Miami. I once watched a basketball game on the floor of a football colosseum. I’ve witnessed Baker plant his flag in The Shoe, three bouts of Bradford vs. McCoy Red River Shootouts and the last OU-Nebraska game in Lincoln (for now).

I have seen great things in these 23 years. Ames ain’t one of them.

The Big 12 has plenty of get small towns. Some of my favorite destinations are places that you would overlook otherwise. I’m not a town snob. On the surface, Ames should be one of them. But like with most things on this trip, it just fell short. Something wasn’t there. It was almost cool.


Due to a late exit time from Norman (12:30 PM for an 8 1/2 hour drive), we rolled into Ames past the golden hour of bar time. I should have known something was up the second we rolled into the heart of Campustown, the Iowa State bar hub. As a group that loves to rile up the opposition, naturally we started blaring “Boomer Sooner” from the Honda Pilot speakers with the windows down.

No reaction, at all. I think someone gave us a friendly wave, but other than it was clear that this was a different type of town. In another other town we would have been booed or jeered (in Lubbock we would have been shot), but these people just didn’t care. It was weird.

One of the most unique parts of the trip was that we didn’t even stay in Ames, although we were almost in town. Technically, I’m not even sure we were in a town; our Air BNB was an RV Camper 15 minutes outside of town in a field by a small regional airport. As such, it made travel decently frustrating. The camper was sneakily nice though.

However, we were immediately crunched for time. The prime bar time was running low, so we got bar ready, met up with Bar Review veteran Ryan Granger who drove in from Chicago, and made our way into the heart of the Iowa State bars.


Iowa State had what appeared to be a really cool bar district from the outside, but turned out to be bizarre from the inside. The first stop was a double concept bar with the top being Paddy’s Pub, a semi attempt at recreating the iconic bar from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the bottom bar, a bizarre cave of a place called Sips which could only be described as the lovechild of Logie’s and the basement of an outdated fraternity house. Sips inexplicably had a bottle service area, despite clearly not being a bottle service type of venue at all.

The next spot was a place I honestly completely forgot the name of, but was a several story bar with a pretty nice patio space on top. While I know that Norman has a weird obsession with heights, in Ames every bar seems to go vertical indoors. This leads to some interesting layouts.

Our final stop of the night was (for some reason) the country bar on campus, called Outlaws. This was the place I realized that Iowa State fans aren’t just nice, they are creepily nice. People would randomly start up conversations with me and not let go. Half of the conversations were just thanking me for coming to Iowa State (???) or discussing the despicable farm politics of Iowa Hawkeye fans (apparently they aren’t friendly towards the small town farmer).

Before we headed out for the night, we needed to make one final stop before setting off for our RV camper: the liquor store. Yes, even though it was 1:45 AM, the liquor stores in the state of Iowa stay open until 2. This is, by far, the best part of Iowa. It was also at this moment things started going downhill. I decided to purchase a handle of Hawkeye Vodka, a legendary cheap vodka brand that can only be bought in Iowa. We went to our Lyft and headed home for a short sleep before the Gameday began.


Ames has a legendary bar known as The Tip Top Lounge. While it is not the most notable looking bar, it is known for opening at 6 AM for cheap chili and beer on gamedays. I arguably drove to Ames to experience this just as much as the game.

We got up at 5:30 AM, still groggy from the night before, ready to roll out to Tip Top. However, as we were nearly ready to head out I realized something was dreadfully wrong; my wallet was missing.

We tore that damn camper apart and found nothing. My heart felt like it sunk deep, deep down. Not only would I be without my ID, but also my OU ID which allowed me into the game. Disaster had struck. We went into town hoping the liquor store might have had my ID from the vodka purchase the night before: it didn’t. We then went to Tip Top hoping the bar wouldn’t have a bouncer as it’s a dive and surely people weren’t up already: it had both.

Almost there.

I failed my entire group on the conquest for chili and beer. To say I was devastated would be an understatement.


On top of the wallet debacle, I had been nursing a pretty gnarly cough (If you read my previous travel blog about Lawrence, you can see why this is a bad omen). I decided to take it easy on the tailgate, not just due to cough and inability to buy alcohol, but because my stomach was so tight in knots about potentially missing the game that I physically could not drink much.

The reports about Ames having a good tailgate culture are true, but really that’s due to the ample space around the stadium. Jack Trice Stadium and the neighboring Hilton Coliseum (a concrete wart masquerading as a basketball arena) are south of the majority of Iowa State’s main campus and are surrounded by nothing but parking. While this is an ideal place to tailgate, the students didn’t seem to be having a wild time or anything. They all just stood around holding beers. While I’m in no position to complain as our tailgate culture is non existent (#FreeLindseyStreet), I was expecting more.

Finally, the moment of truth came: it was time to see if I could finesse my way into getting my ticket. Thankfully, the OU ticket office homies were able to accept a glance at my profile on one.ou.edu, so I got my ticket and we were set.


The atmosphere inside Jack Trice Stadium is not much. It’s just a standard midwest football stadium. It’s Kansas State without a quirky student section, Nebraska without size and tradition, Iowa without sick children to wave at. There’s just nothing of note here. They didn’t even play Cyclone by Baby Bash, which is a disgrace. Apparently their go-to song is “Sweet Caroline” which is the most mind numbingly generic song to be a go-to.

The stadium was also hot as hell. Despite the fact this is the farthest north I’ve ever seen a football game, the place was a damn sauna. The game was a slog, the heat was brutal and I still didn’t have my damn wallet. Thankfully, the Sooners got the W, I stayed for the chant in my 8th Big 12 stadium and left with my list of schools complete. Almost, anyways.


We made it back to the car, still nestled in the heart of the tailgate and chugged water while Cyclone fans filed out. It might have been the cough, the extreme dehydration, the three hours of sleep or the lack of a real lunch outside of some random ham a tailgater gave us, but I felt like absolute death. In the midst of all this, my wallet was found by our Lyft driver who had just woken up. A much needed silver lining. Eventually, we bailed and went to Olde Main Brewing a pretty damn good restaurant, although that might have just been the hunger talking.

Once we returned to the camper, we crashed, hoping for a rally that was looking more and more unlikely. Over the span on my two hour nap, my condition worsened; I wasn’t going anywhere. I had to wave the white flag on my one real night in Ames before it started. Such began one of the longest nights of my life.


Somehow, I survived. I still don’t know how. The next morning, we packed up and headed back to Oklahoma. In many ways, this was Marcus Dupree of trips; so much potential, only to fall flat on its face. It was honestly hardly a trip; on the way home we realized we never got any pictures of ourselves. The one outlier was a group photo of Granger, Bussow and Slater taken at the country bar and randomly put on its Facebook page (I wasn’t in the photo, as I was probably stuck in some lame duck conversation about corn).

As we rolled out in the Pilot among the corn fields, Slater summed the trip up pretty much perfectly: “This was really a once in a lifetime trip, mainly because I’m never coming back here”.

‘Nuff said.

Delay of Recap: Iowa State

Okay, so my trip to Ames didn’t exactly go to plan; I spend most of it being sick and getting sicker in brutal heat. I’m still recovering, but better late than never.

Whelp, it’s only week three and panic mode has already set in for some parts of Sooner Nation.

Did OU lose? Not at all. They won 37-27 in their first road game. However, for the first time the Sooners looked vulnerable. In my opinion, not all that vulnerable, but still.

The biggest issues came on (you guessed it) defense where a few crucial missed tackles led to some inevitable reminders of last season’s glaring flaws. A lot of people blamed the performance of Mike Stoops, as is tradition, however I didn’t really see it as his fault. Players were in positions to make plays and just didn’t.

Offensively, the Sooners were lights out. Hollywood Brown had a record setting first half with 189 receiving yards, a new OU record. The running back corps looked decent in their first game without star Rodney Anderson. Trey Sermon got the bulk of the carries, with Marcelias Sutton providing support. Sermon looked significantly more impressive than Sutton, however Sutton was marred by an injury suffered earlier in the game.

I wouldn’t hit the panic button yet. Iowa State isn’t a bad team and tests happen to young teams. This is a game that you learn from and grow from.

MVP: Kyler Murray, QB

I’m worried that this is pretty much going to be a weekly given. Murray was once again everything the offense needed, leading the team (again) in rushing while throwing 21-29 with 329 yards and three touchdowns.

While I know I should be concerned that our leading rusher is our extremely valuable quarterback, Murray’s ability to run changes the game. “Oh nobody’s open? I’ll just get a quick five myself”. It’s a brilliant if not exhausting strategy.

LVP: Kahlil Haughton, S

At the game, I honestly was certain my LVP was Parnell Motley. However, after reviewing the film (and a significant nudge from my Schooner Pod co-host, Jamison) I realized that Haughton failed to get in position to support Motley’s playmaking attempts. Motley was a step behind several big plays on Hakeem Butler, but without the support from Haughton those some of those big plays became Iowa State touchdowns.

Next Game: Army back home in Norman.

The Weekend Spread: Week 3

Bobby: 5-3 (9-7)

Jamison: 4-4 (9-7)

Blake: 5-3 (9-7)

Two weeks down and the boys are tied at 9-7. While Jamison got a shocking Kansas win, he surrendered his lead on Bobby and Blake by picking Kansas State. Blake got a big win riding with Texas A&M, while Bobby split the gap by picking Iowa. Week 3 has some pivotal games for the Big 12, so this is the time to build separation for the splits.

(Lines taken from the beginning of the week)

#12 LSU @ #7 Auburn (Aub. -9.5)

Bobby: Both of these teams are going to be beasts in the SEC West. In plenty of ways, they are mirrors of themselves; both have the nickname of Tigers, have tough nosed defenses and quarterback play that is much higher quality than most SEC teams.

Judging by the line, Vegas still isn’t giving LSU any respect. If Joe Burrow can continue to play like he did against Miami and match the play of Jarett Stidham, this will be a great ballgame. I have Coach O and the boys covering at Jordan O’Hare, but the win could easily go to either side. LSU, +9.5

Jamison: Auburn was my preseason SEC champion and #2 seed in the playoff. I think this game will be entertaining, but Auburn will be notably better than the well hyped Tigers. LSU does deserve the hype, after whopping Miami and catfishing their turnover chain, but they aren’t on Auburn’s level. I expect Auburn to win by 10 and narrowly cover. Auburn, -9.5

Blake: First off, Happy Birthday to Mike the Tiger. The famous LSU mascot turned uhhhhh I don’t know how many years old tbh as I could not find his birth year online. However, searching Mike the Tiger stories also led me down a wild rabbit hole that yielded some wild results. Did you know that over the past 15 years, LSU has paid more than 4 million dollars during that time span to renovate his living space. I looked up the average price of a home in the US and it is only 200,000!!!! Mike the Tiger is living in a sanctuary that is nicer than any house most people could afford in their lifetime. Also, a wild life activist group has started a petition that has over 35,000 signatures on it to free Mike the Tiger into the wild, but WHY WOULD LSU EVER DO THAT WHEN THEY HAVE PUT IN $5 MILLION DOLLARS TO KEEP A TIGER IN A CAGE. LSU by a million on Saturday. LSU, +9.5

Duke @ Baylor (Baylor -6.5)

Bobby: I’m still not buying much stock on Baylor. They have looked improved, yet unimpressive through their first two games. Their defense has been porous against bad to mediocre teams, giving up 27 and 20 points to Abiline Christian and UTSA respectively.

Duke on the other hand has looked pretty good at covering the spread so far this season. I’d take Duke straight up if it actually gave me more points. Duke, +6.5

Jamison: Yes, I know, I was high on Baylor to cover the spread this year. I thought they would be disrespected, but Vegas seems to be giving them ridiculous lines right now. They are currently 0-1-1 vs. the spread. I am not happy. I am not abandoning ship, but I think Duke +6.5 is a safe pick. I may go as far as Duke COULD win this game (not going to predict that, I see Baylor edging them by 3 in a high scoring affair). Duke just handled Northwestern last week, a team who I was impressed with from week one. This will be a FUN game to watch. Tune in to FS1 @2:30 after the OU game. Duke, +6.5

Blake: This game will be a nice tasty treat for the afternoon slate of games. This game is tastier than a Magnolia Bakery cupcake (basic girls, HGTV enthusiasts, and Fixer Upper diehards will know exactly what I am talking about).  I feel obligated to bet on every team that I am somehow associated (which is exactly what you do not do as it leads to double the heart break most often) but you know I am licking my lips at this one.

Most people are gonna be pounding away at Duke with the points, but the faithful readers of the Schooner Blog are going to throw all caution to the wind and throw the farm on Baylor. This Baylor team is ehhhhhh which is why I am so shocked they are a touchdown favorite, but sometimes the best bets are the ones that make the least sense. I am hoping Baylor wins this one because when I go out to celebrate TCU’s victory that night, I want Waco to be lit. Baylor, -6.5

Houston @ Texas Tech (TT -2)

Bobby: Texas Tech let me down in a big day week one, getting thumped by Ole Miss. Now, they have the Houston Cougars coming to Lubbock and there is no way I pick this team again. While Ed Oliver is a beast, the Houston offense has been torching teams. I trust this Red Raider team as much as I trust unprotected sex in Lubbock. Houston, +2

Jamison: Durdy’s LOCK of the week. Houston just killed Arizona 45-18, the Arizona team with preseason Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate. I know Sumlin is underutilizing him and doing a horrible coaching job, but Ed Oliver and Houston have been looking great. I have been very low on Texas Tech this year, and was confirmed after the Ole Miss game of their shortcomings. Look for Houston to handily win this one. Houston, +2

Blake: Houston is the Amber Rose of college football. Houston has become the revolving door for any up-incoming head coach; just like every rapper has dated Amber Rose at some point. I am a man of consistency so I’m going with Tech here. Texas Tech, -2

Rutgers @ Kansas (KU -2.5)

Bobby: Well, well, well. Just when the Jayhawks looked dead, they rose from the dead and smacked Central Michigan on the road, snapping a 46 game road streak. To put that in perspective, the last time KU won a road game, I was playing fullback in middle school and James Harden was months from playing his first game with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, they are not only favored in this next game, but they are favored against a Power 5 opponent in the hapless Scarlet Knights. This one is a hard call, but I gotta stick with my schtick. Sorry Jamison; the wins stop here. Rutgers, +2.5

Jamison:

jayhawks

*Lebron yell* KANSAS! THIS IS FOR YOU! KU DEFIES ALL ODDS, STARING AT A WINLESS SEASON AND HITS .500! THE JAYHAWKS WILL CONTINUE THE HOTTTTT STREAK AND BEAT RUTGERS THIS WEEKEND.

Kansas last week snapped their 46 game losing streak and crushed Central Michigan. Rutgers just lost last week by 49. Momentum is key. I said Kansas will win 2 games this season, this has to be it. Kansas, -2.5

Blake: When Bobby sent me the games this week, I immediately had to look this game up to see if it was not a joke. To my surprise these teams are actually playing. The two perennial worst teams of their respective conference face off in what is probably their season as both of these teams will not have a chance to win a game after this Saturday. This is the game I want to ignore, but I know I will place a regrettable last second bet on this so give me Rutgers with the points. Rutgers, +2.5

#17 Boise State @ #24 Oklahoma State (OSU -3)

Bobby: This one is going to be fun. Boise State looks to be the cream of the Group of Five crop this season and a road win against the Pokes would solidify them as the team to watch for a New Year’s Six bid. The Broncos outscored two decent teams, UConn and Troy, 118-27 in their opening two games. This is an offensive power.

Oklahoma State also has brought some offensive heat this season, but first year starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius has looked very shaky against competition barely better than some Texas High School teams. This one is a toss up, but I’m going with the Broncos to pull off the big win in Boone Pickens Stadium. Boise State, +3

Jamison: I am extremely torn on this matchup. I picked OSU to not do well this year, and they have definitely played the part. I would just feel more comfortable if the line was +3.5. This game is a very close 50/50 for me.

Boise State’s run offense has looked dominant, and they have a very experienced offensive line. OSU only wins if they give Justice Hill 20+ carries, and JD King 10+. I just do not think they do that. Gundy still has some weird obsession with Corndog, after he just threw 2 INT’s against South Alabama. Now, versus a somewhat legit school, Corndog can not make those mistakes. This game is solely dependent on Gundy. Boise State, +3

Blake: I’m calling this the “Battle of the Ex-Girlfriends”. Two teams that were a part of my life and now mean nothing to me. Growing up as an OU fan, I hated OSU(which makes sense) but the Boise State one has some nuance to it. Around the 7th grade, I stopped being an OU fan for a variety of reasons and became a TCU fan. At that time TCU and Boise were the two biggest non-power 5 in college football and met twice in BCS bowl games. Additionally years later, than became bigger rivals when Boise joined the Mountain West. That rivalry is now dead after TCU beat them on a 2 point conversion at the Smurf Village and now mean nothing to my life. Boise State will win this one and will show that OSU are frauds. Boise State, +3

#4 Ohio State v. #15 TCU (tOSU -12)

Bobby: This is a tough one. I think TCU has a good squad, I really do. However, I just don’t think they have the firepower to pull it off. They also won’t really have a home field advantage as Ohio State has an enormous alumni base that will travel to Arlington. I think Ohio State pulls away towards the end for the cover. Ohio State, -12

Jamison: Ohio State wins by 10. TCU will get a backdoor cover with Turpin and Reagor springing off a couple big plays. TCU is my #2 team in the Big 12 this year, but I did not expect much from them in this game when making that prediction. Expect their better play during conference play. TCU, +12

Blake: I know I like to joke around a lot, but I am going to be very serious for a second because this game means a lot to me. Let take you back to 2014, I was a freshman in college and I got to witness one of the best seasons of TCU football there ever will be. Between Trevone Boykin, Josh Doctson, and typical Gary Patterson defense, this team was probably the most talented team in TCU history. I got to experience of the highs of this season, beating OU and rushing the field while Bobby watched from the nosebleeds, and the lows, watching TCU blow a 4th quarter lead to Baylor and lose 61-58. But one thing I did know for sure is that when it came down to the CFP selection show the last week of the regular season, TCU should have been in that spot instead of Ohio State.

At that time and still to do this day I absolutely despise the selection committee. The college football world had been crying for years for a more equitable system and the CFP committee promised that this new system would bring fairness and justice to the mistakes the BCS had made in the past. However, the committee system is even more corrupt than BCS. TCU and Baylor were both snubbed out of a playoff spot that year because we are both small private schools that have small fan bases, while Ohio State is one of the largest schools in the nation. Their decision was based on MONEY and VIEWERSHIP, not on JUSTICE or FAIRNESS that they promised. They system promised to put the four best teams in the nation against each other and TCU was one of them. TCU and Ohio State both a single loss that year. TCU’s only loss came to Baylor on the road and we only lost by 3 points. Ohio State lost by 14 points at home against a .500 Virginia Tech team. When the resumes are so similar, these small details matter but the CFP just made the money decision and denied TCU or Baylor their one shot at making the CFP.

I will never forgive the selection committee for their transgressions because at the end of the day they are two-facing the college football world. They will tell the fans that every team has a fair shot at making it, but if you are a team that they believe can’t sell enough tickets or will bring in big viewerships they will throw you to the curb in a heart beat.

And this story right here is the reason why TCU is going to beat Ohio State on Saturday night. Although none of the players on the respective teams were in college at the time all of this happened, it is fresh in the minds of everybody in Fort Worth that this is our vengeance game to show that we really do belong on the big stage. Although on paper Ohio State outmatches TCU in every way, we have one advantage on them and that is Gary Patterson. Gary has taken a school from one of the worst teams in the Mountain West to one of the perennial contenders in the Big 12. TCU has never had the best recruits, but Gary always finds a way to get the best out of his players and out perform expectations. Our fearless leader is going to lead us into battle on Saturday night and after the game, the Crowleyman is going to be rushing the field* just like he did five years ago when the Frogs pulled an upset of a lifetime. Go Frogs. TCU, +12

*I will not be at the game so I will have to rush McLane Stadium or a local high school but I will do it none the less

#22 USC @ Texas (UT -3.5)

Bobby: Jesus, Texas. How worse can it get for you? Tulsa was a perfect team to right the ship against and you manage to only win by a touchdown? It’s absurd.

I’m not big on USC, like at all. However, I think the Trojans can at least win against this Texas team. I won’t let the ‘Horns burn me again. USC, +3.5

Jamison: Why in Sam Hill have I been picking Texas to cover the past 2 weeks? I am absolutely embarrassed. To avoid embarrassment for a 3rd week in a row, I am picking the mediocre, boring ass USC squad this week +3.5. This pick is completely emotional. I do not care if Texas covers, good for them, I just do not want to be on the side of picking them if they do not cover. USC, +3.5.

BlakeHaven’t I seen this game before? Oh yes, I see it EVERY SINGLE TIME I turn on the Longhorn Network. Everybody talks about how ESPN is declining and I know the exact reason why. IT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE PAYING UT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SHOW RERUNS OF A GAME THAT HAPPENED MORE THAN A DECADE AGO!! I wish I didn’t have to choose this game, but I do. Texas, -3.5

#5 Oklahoma @ Iowa State (OU -18.5)

Bobby: Simply put, Iowa State is outmatched. I know the Cyclones have a staunch defense, but I don’t think they’ll be much of a match for this OU team.

The Cyclone offense, especially if QB Kyle Kempt is injured, is very one dimensioned. They don’t have a go to receiver like Allen Lazard or a wild card like Joel Lanning. Simply put, they are just not quite there.

I think Kyler and the OU offense will take a while to warm up, but when they do, it’s curtains. Oklahoma, -18.5

Jamison: Durdy’s second LOCK of the week. Everybody say thank you to Vegas for doubting use after Rodney got hurt. I know he is huge for us, but -18.5 is an insult to an OU offense against a team that just scored 3 points last week. What did the five fingers say to the face? That’s what OU does to Iowa State this year. Even if it was not a revenge game, we’d cover. Oklahoma, -18.5

Blake: High winds are very much in right now and I think this is the big man upstairs way of telling me to go with Iowa State in this one. I don’t think a full blown cyclone will form in Iowa this week, but the tornado sirens will definitely be going off and will give the Sooners a scare. Nobody outside the state of Oklahoma is talking about Rodney Anderson being out and I think it is a huge loss for OU to have him on the sidelines. OU might lose a few trees in their yard from the winds, but their house will still be standing. Iowa State, +18.5

The Schooner Pod: Week 3

Bobby and Jamison talk Rodney Anderson’s injury (:58), OU’s big win over UCLA (4:50), look ahead to Iowa State (18:44), preview the big games around college football (25:15) and get heated about the Failing Texas Longhorns (39:40). Sad!

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Game Week: Iowa State

It’s time for revenge.

Sure, it didn’t keep OU out of the playoff last season and several big pieces are gone (see Mayfield, Baker), but you have to think that the Sooners will have a little extra fire after last season’s baffling loss to Iowa State at home.

This time, the Sooners travel to Ames to open the 2018 Big 12 slate against an Iowa State team that is returning several key pieces.

Game Info:

Kickoff: 11 PM CT

Watch: ABC

Listen: 107.7 The Franchise (OKC), 97.5 KMOD (Tulsa)

ISU

Meet the Cyclones

After having it’s season opener cancelled due to lightning, Iowa State kicked off its season against arch rival Iowa last Saturday. The result was very befitting of what you would imagine a battle between two Iowa squads; a slog of a game resulting in a 13-3 Iowa win.

While Iowa State returns several players from their impressive 2017 campaign in Kyle Kempt and David Montgomery, they are also missing some key parts. Ironman QB/LB Joel Lanning, who torched the Sooners last season on both sides of the ball last year, left due to graduation. As did Allen Lazard, the star wide receiver who caught last season’s game winning touchdown. This is a different Cyclone team, but a very capable one under head coach Matt Campbell.

Who to Watch For:

#32 David Montgomery RB

Even though Montgomery had a rather pedestrian game against Oklahoma last season, he is the backbone of the Iowa State offense. The Junior tailback is a hard downhill runner who is one of the toughest to tackle in the Big 12.

Last season, Montgomery carried the Cyclone offense with a total of 1146 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Expect to see him get the bulk of the Iowa State carries.

Why You Should Be Excited

It’s a revenge game. If you share my level of pettiness, you definitely are already excited for this one. Iowa State isn’t a rival or a power. But they sure pissed us off last October and need to pay (my recap last season was an expletive laden rant that was closer to a transcription of an angry Sports Animal caller than football analysis).

In addition to avenging last season’s loss, this is also the Big 12 opener. I love the dogfight style schedule of the Big 12 and this is just a perfect opener to start; not too hard but not unimportant in the least.

Lazard

Series History (OU Leads 74-6-2)

Nope, that is not a typo. This is one of the most lopsided series in college football history.  Iowa State football has long been mired in failure, especially against the Sooners.

As we all know, that changed last fall when the Cyclones shocked the Sooners in Norman, 38-31. Some blame the alternate uniforms, some blame the striped stadium, many blame Mike Stoops. However, the issue was flat out complacency.

After taking a 24-10 lead deep into the second quarter, it looked like OU was starting to play to not lose instead of playing to win. The lack of offensive aggression bogged down the place, allowing for Iowa State to get hot. The Sooners got in scoring position late in the 4th quarter, but a crucial Baker Mayfield fumble put OU in real danger of losing. The Cyclones put on a miracle drive ending in an Allen Lazard touchdown. The usually clutch OU offense sputtered on the final drive, with Mayfield running out of magic.

Iowa State would go on a run, cracking the top 25 and taking down another top 10 victim in TCU before falling apart towards the end of the season. The Sooners wouldn’t lose until the Rose Bowl, where they similarly took the pedal off the gas in the second half, to similar results.

This Iowa State team isn’t great, but if recent history tells us anything, it’s that they are dangerous.

Around the Big 12: Week 6

Last Week: 2-1

Overall: 19-7

Coming off a mundane week in the Big 12 last week, we get two solid games here in Week 6. This week’s schedule is aided by the return of OU, Baylor taking a bye week before all the players quit five games in, Texas Tech’s high-powered offense on display against poor Kansas and College Gameday coming back to a Big 12 city for the first time since November 2015.

Texas Tech @ Kansas (Tech -17.5)

Poor Kansas. They did well keeping it close last week with West Virginia (Between KU and Big 12 offenses, 22 points is relatively close) and now what do they get? A confident Texas Tech fresh off a near upset against Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders might come out sluggish after such a narrow loss, but i’m not seeing a loss for them this week. Tech 53-28

#23 West Virginia @ #8 TCU (TCU -13.0)

Gary Patterson is at it again! TCU showed that they are back at the top of the Big 12 this season after a big win in Stillwater two weeks ago. They return from their bye week finding themselves in a rare national spotlight game against West Virginia. So much for easing back into the schedule. The quarterback battle will be as good as it will be annoying, with the TV announcers reminding you every five minutes that both Will Grier and Kenny Hill are transfers. Ultimately, I give the edge to TCU, who has the better defense and, in my opinion, the much better quarterback. TCU 49-34

Kansas State @ Texas (UT -4.0)

Have you seen a more “middle of the pack” game than Texas-Kansas State? The 2016 Texas State Champion K-State Wildcats head down to Austin to try to get a big win to show that Vanderbilt game was a fluke. Meanwhile, Tom Herman’s Longhorns need every win they can get before running into a four week stretch including OU, Oklahoma State and TCU. This one is a toss up, but I see the Longhorns edging out a win at home. Texas 28-27

Iowa State @ #3 Oklahoma (OU -28.0)

The Sooners return home from a mediocre showing two weeks ago to face a team defined as “mediocre” in the English Dictionary. I honestly should give Iowa State more credit, but after watching that offense look so incredibly sloppy I just don’t see this one going well for the Cyclones. Add the fact that Baker and that offense are fresh and rested and you get a game where the biggest question of the day is whether or not OU covers. I bet they do. OU 56-20

(Bonus picks have been canceled as the games suck worse than my ability to pick them)