Game Preview: Oklahoma vs Texas Tech
Last week I wrote that the Iowa State game was a must-win.
When Texas Tech lost that game, the entire season expectations changed. Not so much the win/loss expectation, which I had a 7-5 before the season, but the expectation of where this team is in its maturation and evolution.
The Texas Tech Kingsbury Era is behind schedule.
How does that relate to the game today? Texas Tech doesn't have anything to play for today. They are playing for the future. Oklahoma is in a must-win situation. The Sooners are backed into a corner, especially with Oklahoma State winning against West Virginia and going 7-1. The Sooners now need to match the record of their in-state rival before playing them next week in the Bedlam Game, which was pegged in the preseason as a preview of the Big 12 championship game.
The Bedlam Game is now likely a play-in game to who plays TCU in the Championship game -- if TCU can take care of the Iowa State Cyclones today in Ames.
The silver lining here is that Oklahoma is in a prime position for a trap game.
If Nic Shimonek can put it all together today and the running game can be what it's been, all while the defense plays like they've been playing, the Red Raiders can totally outplay the Sooners, who aren't as good as they were last season.
Baylor, Texas and Kansas State all played OU close. Iowa State beat them.
It's not a huge step out to say that Texas Tech can win today in Norman.
All that being said, Baker Mayfield is still at the helm in Oklahoma and the consummate "underdawg" still has a chip on his shoulder.
If Texas Tech can get Baker Mayfield off balance, or if he's still hurt from the Texas game, the Red Raiders have a chance.
I think Kliff Kinsgbury has a bounce-back performance here, but it won't be quite enough.
The good news is that the line is so big that it's easy to pick Texas Tech and the points at +20. I'm also taking the over that's set at 75. This game can easily be 42-38 with Oklahoma winning, but Texas Tech winning against the spread, which has to count for something.