Wild times in both Big 12 divisions?
OU won the Big 12 South with a 6-2 conference record in 2002. That’s nothing new in the Big 12 Conference, where less-than-gaudy records regularly have won a division.In the South, 6-2 won in 1996 (Texas), 1997 (Texas A&M), 1999 (Texas) and 2002 (OU). In the North, 6-2 won in 2000 (Kansas State), 2003 (Kansas State) and 2006 (Nebraska); 5-3 won in 2005 (Colorado) and 4-4 won in 2004 (Colorado).
But it could happen in both divisions this season.I ranked Colorado as OU’s fourth-toughest game of the conference season, behind Texas, at Texas Tech and a home game against Missouri. In retrospect, the CU game obviously was tougher than Mizzou, not that the Tigers still couldn’t pull an upset.
But if OU beats Texas, there’s no assurance the Sooners will sail through the rest of the season, particularly the way they played in the Rockies. And if Texas beats OU, there’s even less chance. The Longhorns have only two home games the rest of the season, and neither are gimmes: Nebraska and Tech. They’ve already played Kansas State (and lost) at Royal-Memorial Stadium, and in odd-numbered years, they give up a home game against the Sooners to play in Dallas.
Could this be the year one of the other South schools break the Sooner-Longhorn stronghold? Doubtful, but possible. Tech wouldn’t be in bad shape had it won at Oklahoma State nine days ago. If Tech could stay within a game of OU, the Red Raiders could host OU in late November with the title on the line.
But Tech already has a loss and goes to Columbia and Austin. The Raiders could win both places, but it also could lose both. OSU’s victory over Tech energized the Cowboy season, but State still plays a rough road schedule. At A&M, at Nebraska, at OU.
Here’s the plan if you’re a Cowboy fan. Split the next two weeks at College Station and Lincoln, then sweep the Kansas schools when they come to Stillwater. Neither assignment is easy. Between the Kansas schools is Texas at Boone Pickens Stadium. OSU has a horrid history with the Longhorns, but Texas is playing very poorly. If OSU could somehow go 3-2 in those five games, then win at Baylor, it would be 5-2 going to Norman for a Bedlam finale and the division likely would be on the line. Even under that scenario, the Cowboys’ hopes don’t look strong, because the Sooners seem to have re-established their Bedlam dominance at Owen Field.
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