Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Collision course: Big 12
By Jake Trotter
The Big 12's best offense against the league’s best defense for the conference crown? Six weeks into the season, all signs point to such a game deciding the Big 12 title chase. It won’t be long, either, before they meet on the field to determine which unit is superior.
Game: Oklahoma at Baylor, Nov. 7.
What’s at stake: The Big 12 crown, most likely. Both teams would still have road trips to Oklahoma State later in the year. The Cowboys, however, have struggled in Big 12 play, and haven’t featured the same high-powered offense they utilized in recent years. If both teams can escape Stillwater unscathed -- and each takes care of Texas Tech -- there aren’t many other land mines on the schedule. From there, who knows? An undefeated Baylor or Oklahoma would certainly be in the national title conversation, even if some help were needed.
Roadblocks/derailment opportunities: Both teams should be decent-to-heavy favorites in every game before they meet. The Sooners still have the Red River Rivalry this weekend, then get the surprise of the conference, Texas Tech, in Norman on Oct. 26. Baylor, meanwhile, has its first road test Saturday at Kansas State. Those are really the only games that stand in the way of the Bears and Sooners being 7-0 when they face each other Nov. 7.
How it unfolds: The way the Bears have been scoring, they would be favorites. And at this point, it’s difficult envisioning anyone -- even Oklahoma -- completely slowing them down. The onus would be on the Sooners' offense to keep up. But Oklahoma's offense, which is predicated on the run first, isn’t built to win in shootouts. Considering this game will be in Waco, where the Bears have scored 40 points or more in 16 of 17 games, Baylor would seem to hold the edge going in at the moment.