Game Week: Kansas

The Sooners head to Lawrence to face an old foe from ages ago: Les Miles.

Believe it or not, it’s already October. The only thing standing between the Sooners and their long awaited matchup with Texas in the Cotton Bowl? A trip to Lawrence to face Les Miles and Kansas.

Meet the Jayhawks

While Kansas has been the laughing stock of the Big 12 since Mark Mangino’s firing in 2010, they have shown signs of improvement at times this season, such as their stunning road win at Boston College.

However, it’s important to take the good with the bad when evaluating this Jayhawk team. For every impressive point (a Power 5 road win), there is a glaring negative (blown out by TCU, lost to Coastal Carolina). As such, you have no clue what team you will see each Saturday. They’ll either be decent or astonishingly awful; no middle ground.

The X-Factor here is Les Miles, someone we’ll speak of quite often a bit later this week.

Who to Watch For:

Pooka Williams Jr., RB

While Williams has had a lackluster start to 2019, he’s still the same man who put up 252 yards and two touchdowns on the Sooners last season in Norman.

Williams represents the main reason why Kansas shouldn’t be seen as just a bye week. This game is this team’s Super Bowl. Sure, they aren’t good by any means, but Les Miles is going to have this team fired up for this game. They have the capability to make this an annoying game for Oklahoma if the Sooners don’t show up.

Why You Should Be Excited

Look, I don’t know how many of you really remember Les Miles the way I do. From November 2001-October 2003, this man was responsible for two of my toughest years as a Sooner fan.

While both seasons would be considered pretty good by most standards, they had the inescapable annoyance of Oklahoma State, who went on an extremely rare two game Bedlam win streak, with both wins eliminating OU from national title contention. The success starved Poke fans were absolutely insufferable up until October 2003 when Sooners finally took out Les in embarrassing fashion.

The next two Bedlam games OU won in cathartic fashion with seeing Les get his comeuppance making those wins even better. After the 2004 season, Les left for Baton Rouge to continue on the dynasty that Nick Saban started at LSU. From that point on, the Cowboys have only won Bedlam twice – the same count as Miles.

I don’t care that Kansas is, well, Kansas. I’ve seen what the Mad Hatter can do in these scenarios. The seven year old in me who was teased endlessly for two years wants to see Les get obliterated all the same.

Let ‘er rip.

Series History (OU Leads 76-27-6)

Not a lot to note here, other than the fact that somehow this traditional matchup is closer than Bedlam. That’s hilarious.

Weekend Spread: Week 5

Week 4 Standings

Bobby: 3-3 (23-12) [81-65]

Ty: 3-3 (16-119) [22-22]

Boatin’ Blake: 3-3 (23-12) [82-64]

Last Week

Week 4 was a wash for all parties involved. Everyone finished 3-3 (pushes count as wins, don’t ask why) and had a few excruciating personal losses. In Week 5, can the Weekend Spread crew recover?

#18 Virginia @ #10 Notre Dame (ND -11) NBC, 2:30 CT

Bobby: I don’t trust this UVA team one single bit. The past two weeks, the supposed 2nd best ACC team has struggled against lowly Florida State and Old Dominion. Notre Dame on the other hand, looked solid in a tight game against Georgia between the hedges last week. This one feels easy, but don’t be shocked if the Hoos find a way to soil this. Notre Dame, -11

Ty: UVA is coming off a win here, and Notre Dame is coming off of a loss. Both teams are coming into this week disappointed in their performance last week. Many betters, myself included, are also very disappointed in their performance last week.

Virginia is a disappointing team this year and the Irish are the most overhyped team since that team from “Rudy”. ND is the safer bet here though. Notre Dame, -11

Boatin’ Blake: Notre Dame, -11

#21 USC @ #17 Washington (UW -3) FOX, 2:30 CT

Bobby: Once again, the Pac-12 is an utter disaster. With USC’s upset over Utah last Friday, the slim Playoff hopes of the conference lie in the hands of the Cal Golden Bears, something I never thought I would say.

The Trojans looked sharp last Friday, despite playing their backup quarterback, but how will they play without that weird Friday night home game boost?

According to OU graduate/USC fan Ford Branan, the move is Washington after the injury bug hit the Trojans secondary this week. Can’t argue with that. Washington, -3

Ty: USC, what a team. The Trojans looked great last week against Utah, who should be unranked, but this isn’t Utah. Washington is a fairly legitimate team this year, and I personally refer to them as “Kansas State, but in purple”.

USC on the other hand, is a physical manifestation of SoCal. It gets a lot of hype, and it is fun at times but overwhelmingly disappointing.  Washington is the safe bet here. Washington, -3

Boatin’ Blake: Washington, -3

#5 Ohio State @ Nebraska (tOSU -17) ABC, 6:30 CT

Bobby: This is a primetime game purely for the TV demographics. Nebraska was unfairly overhyped this season and has understandably let their fans down as rebounding from 4-8 into a Big Ten contender is a nearly impossible task.

The Huskers have improved this season, but this Ohio State team is a buzzsaw. While the Buckeyes haven’t played anyone good this season yet, their offensive production would be impressive against tackling dummies. This will be a bloodbath. Ohio State, -17

Ty: Ahh yes B1G vs. Big12 North. Wait, This game got Gameday? How?

Anyways, Nebraska is basically turning into the A&M of Nebraska (I was going to say the A&M of the North/B1G, but that’s already Michigan). tOSU is impressing everyone so far, as they haven’t skipped a beat since losing Urban. 

The Buckeyes will put up points, and it will be a footnote in the downfall of Scott Frost who will probably pull a Kingsbury and fail upwards. Ohio State, -17

Boatin’ Blake: Ohio State, -17

Kansas @ TCU (TCU -15.5) FS1, 11:00 AM CT

Bobby: GIMME THE ‘HAWKS! Look, TCU will probably rebound and get a win here, but a cover? No way. Kansas always seems to keep it close against TCU and even won last season. They will have no fear going into Amon G. Carter on Saturday. The Frogs will win this, but I think the Mad Hatter keeps this game within reach long enough to make TCU fans sweat through their PFGs. Kansas, +15.5

Ty: YOU ALREADY F****** KNOW, KU BY 14 BABY! Kansas is already halfway to their four or more wins. Kansas will probably be bowl eligible honestly.  Throw EVERYTHING on KU. Kansas, +15.5

Boatin’ Blake: TCU, -15.5

Iowa State @ Baylor (ISU -3) ESPN, 2:30 PM

Bobby: This is a massive game for determining who will sit atop the mediocre glut of teams in the Big 12. Iowa State has had a tough few weeks, narrowly avoiding an embarrassing UNI upset in Week 1 and losing to the hated Hawkeyes after a disastrous friendly fire play.

Baylor has spent their season to this point rolling through directional Texas schools like it was 2014, just with less…issues. They are the epitome of an untested team and I have no read on them.

I think these teams are pretty even, so give me the home dog that hasn’t embarrassed themselves yet. Baylor, +3

Ty: In the words of me, “Baylor is ass”. Iowa State, -3

Boatin’ Blake: Baylor, +3

#24 Kansas State @ Oklahoma State (OSU -4) r/CFBStreams ESPN+, 6:30 CT

Bobby: If you want a prime example of why the Big 12 is a disaster, look no further than this game. These are the two teams who are firmly in the second tier of the conference that are within punching distance of the Red River duo; whoever wins has the best shot at breaking into the Big 12 Championship.

Add in the quality of teams, one of the best atmospheres in the conference with a nighttime Boone Pickens Stadium PLUS the fact this the first game played there since Boone passed and you have a made for primetime game. Despite this, the game isn’t even on TV, relegated to ESPN+.

What a disgrace. I know ESPN+ is easy to get, but the disrespect to put this on a streaming service is a joke.

As for the game, I think Chris Kleman’s Wildcats keep this thing going and get another big road win. The Skylar Thompson-Spencer Sanders duel is going to be amazing, but the K-State defense will be the difference maker here. Kansas State, +4

Ty: This will probably be the most interesting game to watch this weekend. Kansas State is getting some hype on both sides of the ball, coasting from the groundwork laid by Bill Snyder who many expect to be a lock for the Michigan job soon.

Oklahoma State is coming off two losses this week. While OSU’s first loss came at Texas, their second L came when that Poke-Gooner tried to say, “we drink cold beer in Stillwater” and someone hit them with “we win championships in Norman”. Jajajaja sick burn, GOTHIM!

K-State is a legitimate team, as evidenced by their win at Mississippi State, as are the Pokes as evidenced by their performance in their loss in Austin. Personally, I’m betting on Gundy being the difference here. Oklahoma State, -4

Boatin’ Blake: Oklahoma State, -4

Texas Tech @ #6 Oklahoma (OU -27) BIG NUDE SATURDAY ON FOX [11:00 AM]

Bobby: As we inch closer to game day, I feel worse and worse about OU covering this. I know the Sooners will light up the scoreboard, but there is something about that Double T that makes 27 look insurmountable.

However, the Red Raiders are not the offensive juggernaut they once were, scoring just 14 against an awful Arizona team two weeks ago. I think Speed D puts on a show and shuts down this backup led Texas Tech offense, with Jalen and crew handling business as usual. Oklahoma, -27

Ty: As usual catch a great preview on the Schooner Pod/Blog. I thought it over, and I just can’t count on OU to win big here. I’m flipping from my pod prediction and I’m going Tech. The Sooner defense is ass bro. If you don’t believe me, just go look at our secondary’s performance.

The Red Raiders have been scoring a lot this season and OU will have one of the weakest defenses that Tech will face all year.  Texas Tech, +27

Boatin’ Blake: Oklahoma, -27

There Will Be Blood: Beer Available For The First Time at Red River

For the first time in history, beer will be available in the seating area of the Cotton Bowl for OU-Texas.

According to the Dallas Morning News, beer sales will expand from the isolated beer garden to 26 full beer carts throughout the stadium.

From a general perspective, this deal makes a lot of sense. Both Oklahoma and Texas sell beer to the general public in their stadiums.

However, this is a move that will turn the atmosphere up to the next level. While I am okay with throwing hot oil on the most intense rivalry in college football, one has to imagine that things might get pretty intense after the traditional wild Friday night followed by the early morning pregame, a few wax cups and now we are keeping things heated through the game?

Overall, I’m all in favor of this. But please make sure you are aware of what you are getting into. This is a game not for the faint of heart, the elderly or young children.

Expect an atmosphere unlike any other on October 12th.