OU Football: Breaking Down Sooners’ Second-Half Schedule


The Sooners are 6-1 and one game into the second half of their 2015 schedule. Even with Oklahoma at 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big 12, three other teams in the conference have better records than the 2015 OU football team, and over the next five weekends, the Sooners will go up against all three.

The Big 12 may be the only Power Five conference that does not hold a conference championship game in football, but in the month of November this season, the Big 12 will go one better by holding what amounts to a four-team playoff that will ultimately determine the Big 12 champion.

With consecutive games against Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State to finish off the 2015 regular season, Bob Stoops’ Sooners certainly will have something to say about which team crosses the finish line first, with the league trophy in hand and a potential spot in the College Football Playoff for this season.

But Oklahoma still has some business to tend to before the middle of next month, when the Sooners begin the critical three-game gauntlet against current top-10 opponents that will ultimately seal their fate for the current season.

Here is a brief breakdown of the remaining 2015 schedule for OU and our prediction on how things will turn out for the Sooners:

This weekend – at Kansas Jayhawks

Nov 22, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) runs with the ball during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks and breaks the all-time ncaa single game rushing record at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Samaje Perine broke a one-week-old NCAA record with 427 rushing yards in last year’s game with the Jayhawks. It was like he was wearing a blue practice jersey, making him off limits for tackling, because the then-freshman running back for the Sooners was running free for most of the game. After totaling over 200 yards on the ground last weekend vs. Texas Tech, you better believe Perine and the Sooners are licking their chops over the prospects this weekend when OU visits KU for a rematch.

The Sooners have not lost to the Jayhawks in 19 seasons, and there isn’t much chance for that to happen this Saturday. The outcome of this game could be worse than the damage done by the Sooners at Kansas State two weeks ago, but I don’t think it will be quite as bad, because OU likely won’t take the Kansas game as seriously. OU 55, Kansas 10

November 7 – Iowa State Cyclones

The one break Iowa State might get in this game is that the following week the Sooners will go up against Baylor, so there is likely to be some looking ahead and game planning that will take some of the heat off of the Cyclones. OU won 59-14 last year at Iowa State, and to the Cyclones’ misfortune, the Sooner offense is even more potent this season. I don’t see this being much of a contest, although ISU showed good life last weekend at Baylor. OU 49, Iowa State 17

November 14 – at Baylor Bears

After getting trampled 48-14 in front of an OU home crowd last season, the Sooners will be looking for much better performance this season against a very good Baylor squad. Before Baylor starting quarterback Seth Russell went down last weekend with a broken bone in his neck that will keep him out the rest of the season, I believe the Bears may have been the best team in college football. That is a huge loss for Baylor, but with all of the offensive weapons the Bears still possess, they remain one of the best teams in the country.

Nov 8, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Keith Ford (21) runs with the ball during the first half against the Baylor Bears at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I’d feel better about the Sooners chances in this one if the game were in Norman – but then last year that didn’t seem to matter all that much. Different quarterbacks at the controls on both sides this time around. This will be a very tough test for the Oklahoma defense – too much, in my opinion – but it should be a much closer game than a year ago. Baylor 42, OU 34

November 21 – TCU Horned Frogs

Oklahoma had ample chances to upend TCU last season, but came up short (losing 37-33 at TCU). It will have been almost two years since the Sooners’ last true signature win over an elite ranked opponent (Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl). There is a good chance the Horned Frogs will come to Norman undefeated and ranked in the top five in the country. And that is exactly where Oklahoma wants them when the time comes.

With probable Big 12 Player of the Year Trevone Boykin at quarterback, the Horned Frogs are more than capable of putting up plenty of points. But this is not your typical Gary Patterson defense, and given what the Horned Frogs have given up to their opponents this season, it is doubtful they will be able to stop the Sooners. This matchup could be like the TCU-Texas Tech game earlier this season – which ended in  55-52 Horned Frog victory – except that the Oklahoma defense is much better than Texas Tech’s. Sorry, TCU. It’s payback time! OU 45, TCU 34

November 28 – at Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State stunned the Sooners last season in Norman, scoring a game-tying touchdown on a 92-yard punt return with less than a minute remaining in regulation, and then going on to beat their Bedlam Series in-state rivals in overtime. This year’s contest is in Stillwater, which hasn’t been much of a home-field advantage for the Cowboys in recent years when the Sooners come calling.

More from OU Football

Oklahoma has won 7 of the last 10 games played between the two teams at Oklahoma State. OU is still hurting from the loss to its in-state rival in the season finale last season. The Cowboys also remember how OU prevented them from winning a Big 12 championship two seasons ago when the Sooners stunned then-No. 6 OSU with a 33-24 victory the last time the game was in Stillwater. And many would say, that’s what rivalry games are made of. Bob Stoops is 12-4 against Oklahoma State. He will be 13-4 after this season. OU 38, Oklahoma State 28

If this scenario were to play out for the Sooners the remainder of this football season, Oklahoma would finish with a season record of 10-2 and 7-2 in the Big 12. The Sooners would finish no worse than in a tie for first or, most likely, second and would be in line for a berth in the Sugar Bowl against the SEC conference champion (if the SEC winner is not one of the College Playoff teams) or the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

If “ifs and buts were candy and nuts…,” right?

We’ll just have to watch, wait and wish!