2012 Best-Worst Case: November, Part 1


Rolling in to the final stretch, the Sooners will have another brutal month ahead of them. A month filled with revenge games, and Oklahoma could potentially be undefeated at this point. October will probably be a strong indication if Oklahoma is for real in 2012, though, November is the real gut-check time. The Sooners go on the road to Ames and Morgantown, and host Sic ‘Em Nation and Bedlam in Norman. So will Oklahoma finish their conference slate strong or will they disappoint once more?

Week Ten: Iowa State

Best Case: Certainly, Oklahoma doesn’t want to fall like Oklahoma State did last season in Ames, Iowa. The last thing OU wants is to lose this late in the year, and end all hope of getting to the title game. However, the Cyclones only return 12 starters, which is good for the Sooners. Road trips in November are never fun, but I’m not really high on the Cyclones this year. ISU will challenge the Sooners a bit in the early going, but I feel Oklahoma can really take control of this game in the second or third quarter and leave the Cyclones in their tracks. The Cyclones don’t have a lot to show on the defensive line or their secondary, so this could be a balanced attack from Oklahoma’s offense. Hopefully, the injury bug doesn’t come to haunt them, though.

Worst Case: Pretty much, last year’s Cyclones-Cowboys game. That is worst case scenario, for Oklahoma to fall this late in the season to a team they should be better than. Iowa State’s run game could cause problems. They have experience with their running backs, and Jared Barnett is a bit of a dual threat quarterback. Like a lot of games, Oklahoma’s offense is going to score, so it’s a matter of the defense willing to make pivotal stops. On the road, all bets are off, and Ames would enjoy another November field rush. As I said, Paul Rhoads has done well with ISU, and maybe that’s a reflection of ditching their cartoon Cyclone logo and ushering in some Southern Cal knock-offs. Whatever it is, Ames is getting better, so I give them a puncher’s chance.

Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Iowa State 17

Week Eleven: Baylor

Best Case: Coming off their greatest football season in Baylor history, the Bears return some solid talent. However, Sic ‘Em Nation got the benefit of playing OU in Waco for the second consecutive year last season, and now they have to travel up to Norman for the first time this decade. Norman, a place where the Sooners and Bears have had some amazing battles, will have an interesting game on hand. Who could forget OU’s epic double overtime victory over the Bears in 2005? Hopefully, this game isn’t as close, though, and Landry doesn’t play like good ole Rhett Bomar. The Bears will field a pretty decent squad, and they could surprise some teams in 2012. However, that’s for another post. Anyway, this late in the season, the Sooners are going to be worn out. No bye weeks since September, and they’ll have a match with West Virginia in Morgantown. Best case, Oklahoma fends off the Bears and avoid any setbacks heading in to a possible College Gameday match-up.

Worst Case: The Baylor offense explodes. People need to realize the Bears aren’t going to lie down in 2012. Nick Florence is a serviceable starting quarterback. They have depth at running back. They return senior Terrance Williams at wide receiver.  Baylor could challenge OU’s defense. Norman could see a shootout if Baylor plays up to par. I’m not going to sleep on Baylor, and neither should you. They could very well bite the Sooners, if Oklahoma is too focused about what will happen the next week.

Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Baylor 28