NORMAN — Texas Tech rides into Norman sitting high in the saddle.
Atop the Big 12.
Some in Soonerland fear the worst against Kliff Kingsbury and his rejuvenated Red Raiders. Not just a loss but a beatdown. After all, it's happened to better Oklahoma teams than this against Texas Tech.
I can't tell you with certainty what will happen Saturday afternoon — although I have picked the Sooners to win 35-31 — but I can tell you one thing for sure.
Texas Tech is overrated.
No way the Red Raiders are the 10th best team in the country as the BCS rankings espouse. I realize that Texas Tech is undefeated, but at least a dozen of the 15 teams ranked behind them in the top 25 would be undefeated too if they played the same schedule so far.
The Red Raiders have played just one team with a winning record.
The mighty Bobcats are 4-3 with wins against Southern Miss, Prairie View A&M, Wyoming and Georgia State.
Every other team that Texas Tech has played has a losing record, and several are really bad losing records. SMU, 2-4. Stephen F. Austin, 3-4. TCU, 3-4. Kansas, 2-4. Iowa State, 1-5. West Virginia, 3-4.
Easily the best quarterback that Texas Tech has faced is Garrett Gilbert. Yep, the old Texas quarterback who's now at SMU.
He actually did pretty well against Texas Tech. Gilbert was 41 of 62 for 388 yards, and even though SMU eventually lost by double digits, it only trailed 20-16 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Blake Bell, for all his inconsistencies, is a better quarterback than Gilbert, and the Sooner offense, for all its foibles, is much better than SMU's offense. They will be the best quarterback and best offense that Texas Tech has faced this season.
The Sooner defense won't be the best defensive unit that the Red Raiders have gone against. TCU holds that distinction. But aside from the Horned Frogs, the Sooners will challenge the Red Raiders more than any other team so far.