It's something we saw coming back in the summer when previewing the Big 12 Conference, a league that has lost some of its luster with an overhaul following defections and new additions. But the conference might regain some of its sheen Saturday with a bang-bang finish to the 2013 regular season schedule.
With no Big 12 Championship Game on the horizon, a pair of top-25 matchups this weekend might or might not decide things on their own. More importantly, the team with the current advantage in any tiebreaker is Oklahoma State, meaning the Cowboys control their own destiny as far as the automatic BCS Bowl bid goes.
The Cowboys will help kick off the final real Saturday of the regular season, next week's college football betting limited to Army-Navy, when they host this year's Bedlam Series vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. It's a rivalry that has been one-sided all along, and no different in recent years. Long the defeated in this matchup, Oklahoma State is a double-digit favorite (-10.5) for the noon (ET) boot at Boone Pickens Stadium and carried by ABC.
SBR's live college football odds aren't currently listing a total for the game as of Monday morning, so scoreboard bettors will need to check back later to catch that number.
A Clock Is Right At Least Twice A Day
This final Big 12 weekend was on my radar back in August in a look-ahead to potential upsets in the conference, and so far things are going according to schedule. The Cowboys were originally sent out at -3 by one sportsbook this summer, and wouldn't you love to have that line to get down on now?
At that time, I liked Oklahoma State and Baylor -- who hosts Texas just about the time OU/OSU ends -- in these two matchups, but was expecting the Cowboys and Bears to be the lower-ranked home teams when the time came. That's no longer the case.
Mike Gundy has the Cowboys (10-1 straight up, 8-3 against the spread) sixth in the latest BCS Standings, the highest of any Big 12 crew, and they've had an extra week to prepare for this one after nailing Baylor 49-17 on Nov. 23. It has been a case of the OSU defense creating opportunities for the offense which has capitalized on 29 opponent turnovers while giving it away only 13 times, both top-10 rankings nationally.
Bob Stoops brings OU (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) in 17th in the country and out of the conference title picture after losing to both Baylor and Texas. Like Oklahoma State, the Sooners have had two weeks to get ready for this one after holding off Kansas State by a 41-31 count in Week 13, a mild upset as 3 point road 'dogs.
Series History Suggests Sooners In High-Scoring Affair
It's tough to find a college football series more lopsided than Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Sooners have the 83-17-7 since the teams first laced 'em up for a matchup in 1904 when the Cowboys were known as Oklahoma A&M, much of that gap coming in a 46-year span from 1946-91 when OU won 43 while losing just three time. Oklahoma is 11-3 since Stoops arrived in Norman, 7-1 since OSU hired Gundy.
It is also difficult to find a rivalry that has produced as many points in recent years. The winning side has scored 42+ in seven of the last 10 get-togethers, and the 2012 battle in Norman was one for the books as OU rallied to tie the contest in the closing seconds of regulation before pulling off a 51-48 win in overtime.
It's supposed to be a bit nippy Saturday in Stillwater where the afternoon high is currently being forecast at 34º, along with some clouds and a 10-12 mph NE wind. College football bettors are urged to confirm the weather report prior to making their wagers.
I'm not convinced there will be as much scoring in this year's Bedlam battle as we've seen in the past. Both teams have decent enough defenses to at least slow the other's offense, and special teams play could very well decide this one. Oklahoma State is definitely the better all-around team, but I'm taking the Sooners plus the points for my free college football pick. Make sure and check back for the other half of the Big 12 doubleheader tomorrow when we preview the Baylor-Texas showdown.
My pick: Oklahoma +10.5 at Bet365