Pair of Sooners marquee matchups among top 10 games to watch in 2021

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The Oklahoma Sooners 2021 football schedule has its fair share of top games for 2021. OU will have its usual rivalry battle with Oklahoma State for Bedlam. Plus, an old rivalry with the Nebraska Cornhuskers is rekindled in Norman in a Week 3 showdown.

According to 247Sports, two games on the Oklahoma schedule are among the top 10 games to watch in college football. The countdown starts at No. 8 with one of the best border wars in the sport.

No. 8: The Red River Rivalry

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

What 247Sports Says…

Texas is a top-10 team heading into the season, according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas, even in a year of transition that will be defined by a new coach (Steve Sarkisian) and quarterback. Would you believe it’s been 13 years since Oklahoma and Texas entered the rivalry game ranked in the top 10? The Sooners will be the favorite to win a seventh straight conference title, but the Longhorns can play spoiler and possibly jump into the conference race with a victory in October.

The Longhorns might not be as talented as the Sooners on paper but running back Bijan Robinson figures to be a superstar. And do not discount the Sarkisian factor. The Longhorns’ offense should not struggle, even with a new quarterback. If that defense improves, Texas should finish with a record worthy of top-15 consideration.

Any time Oklahoma and Texas get together on the football field, it is a must-watch game. The Sooners are enjoying a three-game win streak in the series since the last Texas win at the Cotton Bowl in 2018. Now it will be Steve Sarkisian’s turn to see if he can earn consistent wins in the rivalry series. Texas hasn’t won back-to-back games against Oklahoma since the 2008 and 2009 games. The first task will be getting into the win column in 2021. To do that, he will need a heavy dose of Bijan Robinson and his defense to get to Spencer Rattler early and often.

Next, a top-five matchup in college football

No. 5: Oklahoma vs. Iowa State

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What 247Sports Says…

This will certainly be the most hyped Iowa State team in modern history, and for good reason. Brock Purdy is back at quarterback, and he has All-American tight end Charlie Kolar by his side.

The Sooners finally have a respectable defense after putting up numbers last season that had not be seen in more than a decade. Quarterback Spencer Rattler enters the season as the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.

If these two teams enter this showdown with undefeated records, it could be the biggest late-season showdown in the Big 12 in recent history.

Outside of the Kansas State Wildcats, there might not be a bigger thorn in the side of the Oklahoma Sooners than Matt Campbell and the Iowa State Cyclones. The overall series is dominated by the Sooners, but in the last four years, Iowa State has taken the fight to Oklahoma. It first defeated OU in 2017, 38-31. It came close to a win in 2019 before winning at home in 2020, 37-30. If Iowa State wants to be contenders it will need to beat Oklahoma twice to dethrone the Sooners.

Many teams have tried to accomplish that feat, but the Cyclones have the team and coach to pull it off. This will be the one game many should circle on the 2021 schedule.