In Texas Hold ‘Em, the flop represents the three cards initially turned over on the table. Those cards, when paired with the two in your hand, will either keep you in the hand or force you out. Similarly, here are three factors that could shape this week's game between Oklahoma and Texas in Dallas.
Protecting your hand, er, quarterback
Nothing worse than the dullard who leans forward and shows the table his cards. C'mon, man. The faux pas can even result in a misdeal. Those cards need protecting. So do OU and UT's quarterbacks. Thus far, the Sooners (third in NCAA, two sacks allowed) and Longhorns (20th, four sacks allowed) have been among the nation's best at keeping their QBs' uniforms clean. But how will those lines fare against superior defensive fronts? Significant increase in challenge.
Catching the card you need most at the last possible second is known as a runner. If you're still in the hand, you're hoping for that card, but you realize the odds are not in your favor of getting it. The odds sure must have been long on runner Dom Whaley when he walked on in 2010. But he's proving to be a winner, week by week. Like Florida State, this week is another big test for the junior. No reason to believe he won't be up for it. Similarly, this will be the stiffest challenge to date for Texas freshman Malcolm Brown.
When you got the cards, you got them. Both teams have a lot of talent, naturally. OU is a 10-point favorite because, on paper, it has more. Texas is developing playmakers, but it has nothing like senior Ryan Broyles and sophomore Kenny Stills at receiver. They're matchup nightmares for opposing defenses, and they always seem to make plays at critical times in games. They'll be two of the best players on the field Saturday.