Bedlam football: Time to pick a winner
I’ve been analyzing the Bedlam game for several weeks now. OU had the edge early, but I’ve given OSU the edge in recent weeks. So now it’s time to pick a winner and go with it.
* OSU has the better team. The Cowboys have played better this season. They’ve lost one fewer game against remarkably similar schedules. These teams have nine common opponents. There can’t be many times in college football history that teams have met having nine common opponents. For fun, let’s review:
Tulsa. OU won 47-14 in Norman, OSU won 61-34 at Tulsa. Edge: OSU, slight. Cowboys won on the road, in a game that started after midnight.
Texas A&M. OSU won 30-29 at College Station, OU won 41-25 at Norman. Edge: OSU, slight. Again, winning on the road, and in a tough situation. Down 20-3 at halftime, against a team ranked in the top 10. By the time the Sooners got the Aggies, A&M knew it was a fraud. It didn’t know that in September.
Missouri. OSU won 45-24 at Columbia. OU won 38-28 at Norman. Edge: OSU. Still another road victory. And more impressively. The Tigers made the Sooners squirm a little.
Kansas. OSU won 70-28 at Stillwater. OU won 47-17 at Lawrence. Edge: Even. The Sooners won on the road but didn’t play well in the first half against a thoroughly outmatched team.
Texas. OU won 55-17 in Dallas. OSU won 38-26 at Austin. Edge: OU, slight. Both were excellent victories, but OU’s dominance is worth a bonus.
Texas Tech. OSU won 66-6 at Lubbock. OU lost 41-38 at Norman. Edge: OSU. As big as you can make it.
Baylor. OSU won 59-24 at Stillwater. OU lost 45-38 at Waco. Edge: OSU. Think about this. The two teams that beat OU were behind OSU 66-6 and 49-3.
Kansas State. OU won 58-17 at Manhattan. OSU won 52-45 at Stillwater. Edge: OU. Sooners played sensationally against the Wildcats. The Cowboys held on for dear life.
Iowa State. OU won 26-6 at Norman. OSU lost 37-31 in double overtime at Ames. Edge: OU. Both Bedlam rivals played under adverse conditions; the weather for OU, the tragedy for OSU.
Amazing. Nine common foes. I give OSU the edge in five, OU the edge in three and one tie. Two of OSU’s advantages are slight, one of OU’s is. So the Cowboys have played better. The gap is narrowed a little by the remaining two games. Louisiana-Lafayette (OSU) and Ball State (OU) are a wash. OSU beat Arizona 37-14 in Stillwater, while OU won 23-13 at Florida State. So I give the Sooners an edge there, just because that was a great victory. So let’s call it 5-4-2 Cowboys.
* OSU is healthier. Everybody is banged up to some degree this time of year, but the Cowboys have Justin Blackmon and the Sooners don’t have Ryan Broyles. The Cowboys have Joseph Randle and the Sooners don’t have Dom Whaley. The Cowboys have Richetti Jones and the Sooners don’t have Ronnell Lewis. That makes a difference.
* OSU is at home. I know the Cowboys have been road demons the last two years, but still. You always want to be at home.
But still, I’m wary of writing off the Sooners. Bob Stoops’ teams always play well when backed into a corner. Theyare 9-2 in Bedlam, with eight straight wins. They are 7-1 in Big 12 title games, with five straight wins. This is a combination of both, a Bedlam Big 12 title game.
Last year, with the South Division title on the line, I picked the Cowboys. The Sooners scratched out a victory. I came away declaring I wouldn’t pick OSU again, until it won one of these Bedlams.
I’m going to stand behind my vow. Sooners 42-41.
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