Both OU's Landry Jones and OSU's Brandon Weeden have been playing their best ball down the stretch. And their statistics are similar. But Weeden has been the most consistent player.
Both teams are loaded at the position, explaining why the â€œdiamondâ€ three-back offense has been such a weapon for both. But as good as OU's DeMarco Murray has been, OSU's Kendall Hunter is a Doak Walker finalist for a reason.
The Biletnikoff Award could come down to whoever plays best between OU's Ryan Broyles and OSU's Justin Blackmon. If one is better than the other, it's by a small margin. OSU's supporting cast of Josh Cooper, Bo Bowling and Michael Harrison (99 catches, 1,088 yards, 7 TDs combined), however, has been more prolific as a unit than Kenny Stills, Trey Franks and James Hanna (79 catches, 948 yards, 9 TDs)
The Sooners are better this year up front and have reduced their penchant for penalties dramatically. But they still haven't quite put it together for a string of games. OSU, meanwhile, might have the best line in the entire Big 12 and can run block just as well as it protects Weeden.
The Cowboys have a quartet of consistent performers in tackles Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson and ends Ugo Chinasa and Jamie Blatnick. But OU end Jeremy Beal, who leads the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss, might be the best defensive player in the entire league. Plus, the Sooners are getting healthier at tackle with the return of Casey Walker, and end Ronnell Lewis is finally honing in on his immense talent.
Both teams have on-field leaders and tackling machines in OSU's Orie Lemon and OU's Travis Lewis. But the return of Austin Box, who's played great football since coming back, gives the Sooners the slight advantage.
The Cowboys have two All-Big 12 caliber defensive backs in safety Markelle Martin and cornerback Andrew McGee. But the Sooners match that with safety Quinton Carter and corner Jamell Fleming and a host of rising stars in the secondary like safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Aaron Colvin.
OSU kicker Dan Bailey is a Lou Groza finalist and punter Quinn Sharp should have been a Ray Guy finalist. Tress Way is a solid punter, and Jimmy Stevens made 3 of 3 field goals at Baylor. But add on that Sharp is turning 67 percent of his kickoffs into touchbacks â€” compared with Way/Patrick O'Hara who have a combined 17 percent touchback rate â€” and this category isn't close.