Big 12 breakdown: Oklahoma attempts to regroup with annual Red River clash

Longhorns emerge as co-leaders as one of two remaining unbeatens in Big 12 play

Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma likely need to win out, beginning with this week’s game against Texas, to reach the College Football Playoff. (The Associated Press)

GAME OF THE WEEK | NO. 12 OKLAHOMA VS. TEXAS (AT DALLAS) 2:30 P.M SATURDAY, ESPN

 

The Sooners will attempt to rebound from one of the most stunning losses in their history against the Longhorns, who are co-leaders in the Big 12. Previously a strong contender for the CFP, Oklahoma needs to win out to gain playoff consideration. Short term, it must improve defensively. Texas did just that and has been solid on defense since getting shelled in its opener by Maryland. This is the first time first-year head coaches square off in the rivalry since Bud Wilkinson (OU) and Blair Cherry (UT) in 1947.

NO. 24 TEXAS TECH AT WEST VIRGINIA, 11 A.M. SATURDAY, ESPNU

Each of these teams played their previous games at Kansas, so maintain perspective regarding any strengths displayed in those romps. WVU’s young defense looks susceptible, while Texas Tech’s defense is improved, but will be tested by the balance the Mountaineers possess with QB Will Grier and Big 12 rushing leader Justin Crawford. Tech counters with the combo of QB Nic Shimonek and WR Keke Coutee.

BAYLOR AT NO. 14 OKLAHOMA STATE, 2:30 P.M. SATURDAY, FS1

Baylor is the only winless Power Five team in the land. That probably won’t change with a visit to Stillwater. Each team is coming off a bye. The Cowboys used it to heal, particularly within a battered offensive line. QB Mason Rudolph leads Big 12 passers, while Justice Hill ranks second in rushing. The big news this week from BU was it might use a defensive tackle to replace injured punter Drew Galitz.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

1. TCU

Pressure mounts for Frogs as Big 12’s top CFP hopeful.

2. OKLAHOMA STATE

Loss at TCU forgivable if Rudolph, Cowboys can reload.

3. OKLAHOMA

Is Riley the coach who can circle wagons after loss to ISU?

4. TEXAS

Red River win would be biggest statement yet for Herman.

5. IOWA STATE

Stirring win in Norman made Cyclones toast of college football.

6. WEST VIRGINIA

Nine-game losing streak against ranked opponents unsettling.

7. TEXAS TECH

If defense builds on early strides, Red Raiders are dangerous.

8. KANSAS STATE

Questions abound, beginning with capabilities of quarterbacks.

9. BAYLOR

Winless Bears showing improvement under first-year coach.

10. KANSAS

Progress tough to detect in two home defeats to launch Big 12.

NFL Pick'Em
 

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