A critical early Saturday matchup in the Big-12 is on tap in Norman. Baylor and Oklahoma are down and out in the hunt for the college football playoff, but are alive in chasing down the Big-12 Championship. There is also the possibility of playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl. If either win out and win the conference, that is all but a guarantee. Oklahoma are in the driver seat in this regard, as they come into this one as 18-point favorites over Baylor. With all of the off-field distractions and coaching change at Baylor, it’s amazing that the Bears are even in the discussion of winning the Big-12 and going to a bigger bowl game. The real hurt at Baylor will come in the coming years when the Art Briles’ recruits completely dry up. There were already highly touted recruits who transferred to other schools after the rape allegations started coming to the surface.
The moral of the story with Baylor is that they better make something out of this season and the next. Because after that, I could see them reverting back to their pre-RGIII days. Baylor wasn’t exactly the best football school before Robert Griffin put them on the map of Texas. Briles started to get the recruits to roll in, but he’s been fired, and we’ll see how everything goes from here. Penn State has survived the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but with all of the competition in recruiting in Texas, I’m not so sure they’re going to be able to get out of it as good as Penn State has had it.
The Sooners had the opportunity to make it back to the playoff, where they lost to Clemson last year, but blew that right out of the hop. Houston beat them in Week 1, dashing their hopes in early September. They went from making it all the way to January last season, to getting dinged in the first week of the schedule. Oklahoma got the deathblow against Ohio State a few weeks later at home, which ended their season with regards to going to the playoff again. Oklahoma can win a consolation prize by winning the Big-12 and reaching a New Year’s Six Bowl. Don’t count out Baylor though, who will stay alive with a win in Norman on Saturday afternoon.
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Oklahoma -18(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Baylor vs. Oklahoma Pick:
Baylor had a clear path to the top of the Big-12, but in the last two weeks that’s gone all down the toilet. They lost a close one to the Longhorns, a 35-34 loss, which carried over into a 62-22 loss to TCU. You always hear about a team making sure they don’t allow one loss to turn into a second. It’s exactly what happened to Baylor, as they allowed the hard Texas loss to manifest itself in the following week against TCU. The Bears will have a chance at a big win against Oklahoma to erase those miserable losses. Maybe it’s for the best that they have Oklahoma on the schedule right away, instead of having a creampuff to beat up on which would mean diddly squat in the rankings.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Sooners had some extra time to prepare for this one. They played in a Thursday night contest against Iowa State, the end result was a 24-14 win for Oklahoma. The Sooners certainly slept through that game, and had their eyes on this Saturday. They didn’t seem too excited travelling to Iowa to play the Cyclones, a spot we were fortunate to cash in on. Oklahoma are 3rd in the country, averaging 44.1 points per game, so the 24 points against Iowa State didn’t impact them much in that respect. Mayfield is 7th in the country, passing for an average of 342.3 yards a game.
The Baylor defense have actually hung in there, but they continue to get worse as the season progresses. They have allowed 25 points per game, but in their last two games they’ve given up 34 and 62 points. The Bears are 101th against the run, and the Sooners are getting Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine back on Saturday. That doesn’t bode well for Baylor at all. I do expect Baylor quarterback, Seth Russell, to have a big game against the Oklahoma secondary, though. The Sooners rank 121st defending the pass. Seth Russell has hit on 19 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this season. I expect Oklahoma to put up their points, but Baylor should get their fair share a well. I like this game to go OVER the number.
PICK: OVER 79 POINTS (-110)