OU Football: Matchup in Morgantown still meaningful?


Sep 24, 2011; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) scrambles out of the pocket during the fourth quarter against the LSU Tigers at Mountaineer Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

A few months ago, this was the week everyone had circled. It was dubbed the defacto Big 12 title game before the season was even started, but a total Mountaineer collapse has devalued this game significantly.

To think this match-up could have possessed national title implications. Now here we are, and West Virginia’s sole purpose left is to play spoiler to Oklahoma.

Now of course, this game is not completely meaningless. WVU’s current record is certainly shocking. However, Saturday is just as big a game as any.

OU has not been the same team since their loss to Notre Dame and West Virginia has definitely not been the same since Texas Tech throttled them in Lubbock.

These two teams still have much to prove, however, their end-goals are not so similar.

Oklahoma desperately needs to win this weekend, and their next two, if they want to keep their BCS bowl hopes alive. As for West Virginia, they can salvage their season by knocking off the 12th-ranked Sooners and earning bowl eligibility.

Even if the line favors Oklahoma by eleven, this one is anybody’s game. Most speculate Oklahoma can win, but the Sooners are not in a position to become complacent.

West Virginia has been terrorized week-after-week. They have to be the hungriest team in the conference, yearning to gain some respect. And Oklahoma is just the team to give it to them.

I mean, if you want to gain respect, then Oklahoma definitely is the nation’s top supplier.

Look at Oklahoma. 2006, they opened the pandora box known as Boise State. 2008, they validated everything Tim Tebow did for the Gators. 2011, they gave Baylor and Oklahoma State the attention those two teams longed for as once bottom-dwellers of the league.

Now 2012, OU paved the way not just for Kansas State, but for Notre Dame’s comeback campaign. So wouldn’t West Virginia make it three times the charm?

Oklahoma has to do everything to avoid a loss to the Mountaineers this weekend. They have managed to beat everyone in the Big 12, minus Kansas State, and have been perfect on the road.

Let’s pray their past road struggles don’t make a cameo Saturday night when the Sooners and Mountaineers battle on national television with thousands of WVU fans dressed in gold and hungry to end West Virginia’s losing streak.