Oklahoma State couldn't have dialed up a better slot for a week off, with time to regroup not only from its first loss, but an emotionally trying time in the aftermath of a tragedy that still resonates across campus.
The Cowboys needed some time to step away and gather themselves.
And now they have just the thing to get them revved back up: Bedlam.
The stakes remain high, with a Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl berth within grasp. And a BCS title game shot dangles still for OSU, if just barely.
As we chug toward this always anticipated matchup, here are five developing Bedlam story lines for Cowboys fans to consider:
1. Baylor Blueprint. On a national radio show last week, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III said the Bears aimed to attack the middle of the Oklahoma defense – most notably at the tackles and safeties.
The Cowboys and Bears are not identical in their offensive approach – with RG3 and Brandon Weeden different, if ultra successful quarterbacks – yet their spread concepts are similar. And there are always things to be learned and borrowed.
Baylor fired away at the Sooner secondary, with RG3 posting a single-game passing record of 479 yards, with four touchdowns. Bears back Terrance Ganaway ran for two touchdowns – up the gut.
Justin Blackmon is always in play as a secondary scorcher, but a squishy middle could clear the way for big games by Tracy Moore and Josh Cooper.
2. Rush to Judgment. OSU's run game, once a staple, has slowed of late. Iowa State surprisingly put the clamps on the Cowboys, to the tune of 60 yards on 18 attempts. The rushing total was tempered by Kansas State as well.
Have teams, particularly the Cyclones, exposed an approach to defending the Cowboys? Or is it simply the result of Joseph Randle's fumbling woes taking him out of play?
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