The Oklahoma Sooners find themselves in the middle of a much-needed bye week after opening the season with nine straight game.
9-0 and on a bye. It’s a good place to be. Despite where they stand in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the Oklahoma Sooners have a great chance to make a push for the College Football Playoff with the remainder of their schedule.
They’ll have to beat Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State who will each be tough outs, but the Sooners are trending in the right direction. However, with the congestion at the top, they could use a little help to make the path a little more clear.
Since there isn’t a Sooners game to watch on Saturday, here’s a rooting guide to get you through your Saturday.
Kansas State at Kansas
When it comes to Big 12 teams that aren’t in the title picture, the best thing you could probably hope for is a tight ball game. For the Oklahoma Sooners, you’d like to see Kansas make a game out of this one or even pull off the upset.
Kansas hasn’t won a Big 12 game since 2019 and it looks like it may not in 2021. A win over the Wildcats who have been playing good football in recent weeks would not only help the Jayhawks, but make the Sooners’ sluggish first half in Lawrence look not as bad.
#11 Oklahoma State at West Virginia
It feels weird to say this, but we’re all Pokes fans this weekend and every weekend until Bedlam. The Oklahoma Sooners need the Cowboys to be a top 10 team in the College Football Playoff rankings by the time the two sides lock up in late November.
The playoff committee has already made it clear how they feel about the Sooners’ resume to this point. An Oklahoma State team with two or more losses on their resume wouldn’t bode well for the Sooners’ chances to overtake some of the teams in front of them.
#12 Baylor at TCU
Much like Oklahoma State, the Oklahoma Sooners want Baylor to win this week and it would be nice if they did so in convincing fashion. The Sooners will travel to Waco next week and that game will mean more for the Oklahoma Sooners playoff push if the Bears still have just the one loss on their ledger.
Texas at Iowa State
Another game of interest in the Big 12 is Iowa State playing host to Texas. Texas is coming off a disappointing loss to the Baylor Bears where the Longhorns watched another double-digit lead slip away in the second half.
Iowa State is coming off a disappointing seven-point loss to West Virginia. The Cyclones will be fired up and out for blood this week, looking to beat a Longhorns squad that’s had a ton of controversy this week
Oklahoma will play the Cyclones two weeks from tomorrow and would like for Iowa State to be back in the top 25 by the time the two sides lock up.
Tulsa at #6 Cincinnati
A game with a little bit of local rooting interest is the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes traveling to Ohio to take on the undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati is No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite their undefeated record.
Tulsa at 3-5 shouldn’t pose much of a threat to the Bearcats who will be looking to take their frustrations with the College Football Playoff committee out on the Hurricanes. While it’s not likely Tulsa pulls of the upset, beating Cincinnati would certainly help the Sooners climb the playoff rankings during their bye week.
LSU at #2 Alabama
Can LSU, in the midst of their 4-4 season in which their head coach has been mired in controversy, pull off an upset for the ages when they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the No. 2 team in the College Football Playoff rankings?
Probably not, but it would certainly help the Sooners.
LSU is one of those teams that I always have a hard time rooting for. Even in this instance, I may not be able to work myself up to say “Geaux Tigahs” for the sake of the Crimson and Cream.
Missouri at #1 Georgia
Another lopsided SEC matchup pits the Georgia Bulldogs against the 4-4 Missouri Tigers. Missouri isn’t going to be able to mount much of an offensive attack against the Bulldogs stingy defense. But wouldn’t it be something if they found a way to pull off the upset.
Though an upset likely wouldn’t knock them below the Sooners, see Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M, it would hurt the SEC’s chances of getting two teams into the College Football Playoff, thus helping the Sooners.
Nebraska at #5 Ohio State
Can Nebraska put up a similar fight against Ohio State that they did against the Oklahoma Sooners? Knowing the Sooners’ luck, probably not. However, if they can find a way to keep it close, it would look a lot better for Oklahoma who is getting knocked by the committee for playing too many close games.
Nebraska doesn’t need to win, though that would help take the Buckeyes out of the running for the playoff, simply keeping it a one-score game would do wonders for Oklahoma’s resume.
#4 Oregon at Washington
Is Oregon for real? Their win over Ohio State on the opening weekend of the season would make one think so. At the same time, an overtime loss to unranked Stanford might argue otherwise.
If the Oregon Ducks run the table in the Pac-12 it would stand to reason that they’d be in the College Football Playoff.
With all of the congestion at the top, it would be good for the Sooners to have the Ducks drop a game this weekend or at some over the remainder of the season would help.