After Slow Start, Oklahoma In The Mix For Big 12 Title

Oklahoma Bob Stoops

Courtesy: Getty Images

How many had Oklahoma buried after Week 3?

No doubt there were concerns in Norman after the Sooners lost by 21 at home to Ohio State, dropping their record to 1-2. Keep in mind, Oklahoma was ranked third in the preseason polls. But they started the season with a loss at Houston, a game which seemed like they were beat up front on both sides of the ball.

The crazy thing is despite everything looking bleak at the beginning; the Sooners can still salvage their season and possibly add another Big 12 Conference title to the resume. A spot in the national title picture may be far-fetched, but anything can happen. Both of those losses were in non-conference play against ranked teams and Oklahoma has since won three straight.

“I feel like we’re starting to play a little more consistently, and that’s what we’ve been after,” said Sooners head coach Bob Stoops after Saturday’s 38-17 win over Kansas State. “Still can be better, and we’ll keep pushing for that.”

Right now it’s No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 9 Baylor tied for the top spot in the Big 12 with 3-0 records. Oklahoma’s three wins are against Texas, TCU and the Wildcats. Baylor had close wins against Oklahoma State and Iowa State before crushing Kansas. Baylor’s next two opponents are Texas and TCU. Oklahoma has now won 10 straight Big 12 games. This is when the conference fun begins.

It can be said that this is not the year of the defense in the Big 12, and the Sooners are taking full advantage of that thanks to a couple of standouts from the Lone Star State. Austin native Baker Mayfield continues to put up video game numbers at quarterback with 16 touchdowns through the air and three touchdowns on the ground. His favorite target over the last couple of weeks has been Cameron’s Dede Westbrook. The wide receiver’s stat line looks like this: 158 yards and two touchdowns against TCU, 232 yards and three touchdowns against Texas and 184 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas State. Combine that with the backfield combo of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon and this Sooners offense might rank right up there in the “best in the nation” category.

If both teams make it through this month unscathed, the key date will be November 12 as Baylor makes the trip north of the Red River to face the Sooners. However, there is one dark horse in the mix. No. 12 West Virginia is making some noise as they are just a game behind Oklahoma and Baylor in the Big 12 race. The Mountaineers went into Lubbock and put their feet on the furniture over the weekend, almost completely unplugging Texas Tech’s high-scoring offense in their dominating 48-17 win. West Virginia will get another shot to prove themselves as contenders this Saturday against TCU.

So buckle up, because the rollercoaster ride that is the Big 12 is underway and once again the Sooners are right in the middle of it.

Saturday Games (Oct. 22):

TCU at No. 12 West Virginia – 2:30 p.m.

No. 16 Oklahoma at Texas Tech – 7 p.m.

No. 9 Baylor – Bye Week

Written by C. James


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