Oklahoma football: Sooners in the unusual role of underdog against Baylor

The Las Vegas Sports Book earlier this week listed the Bears, undefeated and No. 6 in the BCS standings, as a 12-point favorite for the Nov. 7 meeting in Waco. That would be the biggest road line against the Sooners during Stoops' tenure.
by Ryan Aber Modified: November 2, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: November 1, 2013

— Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard is ready for something different Thursday night at Baylor.

“I'm excited to get down to Waco and play,” Ikard said. “It'll be interesting. Thursday night, never done it. It's all about the new experiences.”

There is plenty of new in this matchup.

Oklahoma has been an underdog to Baylor before, but never since Bob Stoops took over in 1999.

The Las Vegas Sports Book earlier this week listed the Bears, undefeated and No. 6 in the BCS standings, as a 12-point favorite for the Nov. 7 meeting in Waco.

That would be the biggest road line against the Sooners during Stoops' tenure.

Stoops built his big-game reputation by pulling off upsets over his first few seasons in Norman.

Since, though, the Sooners haven't fared well as underdogs. Of course, the Sooners haven't been underdogs much since Stoops' arrival.

Oklahoma has been an underdog according to the final line just 23 times since 1999. Eight of those came in Stoops' first two seasons.

The Sooners are 9-14 in those games, but more than half of those wins came in 1999-2000.

Baylor is putting up historic offensive numbers through seven games. The Bears lead the nation in yards per game (718.4), points per game (63.9), yards per completion (19.6) and team passing efficiency (207.12).

“Baylor, everyone realizes (is) a top-five team in the country the way they're playing,” Stoops said. “All kinds of points. They've got speed everywhere. They're doing an excellent job. Offensively is where most of the talk is, but you look at them defensively and they're in the top part of the league in almost every defensive category. They've done an excellent job.

“It will be a big challenge.”

The Bears' defense is leading the nation in red-zone defense, allowing just eight touchdowns and three field goals in 20 red-zone tries. Baylor also leads the nation with more than nine tackles for loss per game.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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