A couple of weeks ago this was shaping up to be the greatest rendition of Bedlam the state had ever seen. Now it is either Badlam or Bedlame.
Not to fear, it could go down as one of the most exciting contests between the two rivals. But thanks to clumsy, knucklehead losses, the gravity will not be at the level we hoped.
Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma (again) Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7pm on ABC. But if you are reading the sports column, you probably already knew that.
The key loss for either team heading into this still semi-relevant game is Ryan Broyles. Had the nation's top pass catcher been on the field, you could not tell the two squads apart aside from the uniforms. Even that distinction is becoming blurred thanks to OSU.
Both teams can chuck the ball around the field. Neither team is interested or committed to running the ball. Both can be exploited on defense and judging by their losses, they were slightly overrated earlier this year.
The slightly overrated comment should be taken in stride. At one point during the year each squad aspired to play in the BCS Title game. Neither university was up to the challenge, hence the overrated moniker. But if we looked at it from the standpoint of OSU probably did not figure to have only 1 loss headed into this game, then it has been a successful campaign.
Let's set aside the immediate disappointment. This might be a damn fine football game. One thing is for certain, this will not look like the LSU-Alabama "Defensive Struggle of the Century."
The two starting quarterbacks combined to throw 22 completions to the opposition heading into Thanksgiving weekend. At times both looked like otherworldly Heisman candidates. At other times they appear overmatched by basic defensive schemes.
Nothing would be finer than breaking down the running back play. A compare and contrast between the backfields would be nice. But let's not waste our time. If the coaching staffs are not interested then neither are we.
Prior to Broyles unfortunate knee injury, you could give the receiving edge to the Sooners. Is Broyles better than Justin Blackmon? It is debatable either way and that is a column for NFL Draft time.
But the receiving depth Coach Stoops troops once held vanished. Now it is tilted towards Weeden's targets.
And judging by play calling, they are going to need the depth. The Pokes have more called passing plays than running plays by far. They have thrown the ball 375 times. This is almost 100 times more than the Sooners.
Have we mentioned these quarterback have 22 interceptions combined?
You can almost make the case for OU giving up on the run. Almost.
Dominique Whaley averaged 5.5 yards per carry. When he went down the running game took a hit on the field and in their psyche. Roy Finch and Brennan Clay do not excite the masses. However, if the Sooners committed to the run, chances are they would have a higher chance of success.
Even an average rushing attack works in college football. For starters, the OSU defensive interior can be worked over. Plus, the play action pass can be a valuable weapon if the run is established.
What is wrong with gaining four yards per carry on the ground? Do you get a first down after three carries with that average? Of course.
The problem is style points. No one likes to see the ground and pound in 2011 college football. Coaches, players, NFL scouts, fans and prairie dogs want to see the prolific passing attack. Screw winning when we can look pretty and get on SportsCenter with a highlight!
Oklahoma State does not get a pass. Fumbles aside, the top three running backs each average more than 5.8 yards per carry. How ridiculous is that figure?
Just think about it like this. If Iowa State held the Cowboys to two yards below their season average, OSU is still undefeated today. That is, of course, if Coach Gundy called a few second half runs.
From the time when OSU took a 24-7 lead on Iowa State, the coaching staff called three runs and 15 passes before the game was tied.
Granted Joseph Randle had already fumbled, but Weeden had already tossed a pick too. In fact, what was the final offensive play for the Cowboys? A Weeden INT.
It all makes for possibly the most exciting Bedlam contest in generations. No need to remind Sooners and Pokes fans how the past eight games have turned out (all Sooners victories).
Sports blowhards (the guys who have to fill 24/7 sports shows) tout identities. They believe a team's identity must be defined early and lived up to in times of adversity.
Do either OU or OSU have identities? What kind of call does Stoops or Gundy make in a tight game late needing to pick up three yards?
It is possible, albeit unlikely, these teams will earn a chance to play for the BCS Championship this season.
There is a lot riding on the outcome this year more than any year in the past decade. For starters, both QBs are under the NFL microscope. Both have fallen behind the top-three quarterbacks on most draft boards.
Bragging rights are always on the line. But this year, it seems a little more important to end the season with this particular feather in their cap.
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