Oklahoma vs. Kansas State in Week 13

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:06 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 2:06 PM GMT

The Kansas State Wildcats fire up to host the Oklahoma Sooners for a thrilling Saturday matchup! Find out where we've decided to place our cash for our free college football picks!

It's understandable for the focus to be on teams in the hunt for conference titles this time of year, but that doesn't make some of the matchups between schools out of those races any less important.

That's certainly the case for the noon (ET) kickoff Saturday in Manhattan where the Kansas State Wildcats entertain the Oklahoma Sooners.  FOX Sports will carry the clash between longtime foes, and NCAA betting boards are listing the 'Cats as 3.5 point home favorites.  Totals have yet to appear on SBR's live college football odds.

The Sooners and Wildcats are meeting for the 94th time, much of the rivalry taking place in the old Big 6/Big 8 days.  Oklahoma has dominated throughout history with a 71-18-4 record, and has won many of those games in huge fashion.  The Sooners ran off a string of 32 consecutive wins in the series (1937-68), pitched four straight shutouts from 1948-51 (172-0) and own an 8-2 mark the last 10.

It was K-State, however, that won last year's meeting with a 24-19 upset in Norman as underdogs of more than two touchdowns.  A win this year would mark the first time the 'Cats beat OU in consecutive tilts since winning 5-straight from 1993-97.

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Both Sooners & Wildcats Are Going Bowling

That much we know.  Neither team is in the hunt for a Big 12 ticket to a BCS Bowl, but both are headed to the postseason and this matchup could very well determine which one gets the fatter payout when those invites are eventually sent out.

The Sooners (8-2 straight up, 5-5 against the spread) still have designs on a 10-win season which would guarantee a pretty healthy check made payable to them, after the conference takes its cut, of course.  But reaching the 10-win plateau means winning two tough road games, this week's trek to Manhattan followed by a short drive to Stillwater 14 days later to meet the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Kansas State (6-4 SU & ATS) has a rivalry game as well on deck with a Nov. 30 Sunflower Showdown against the Kansas Jayhawks.  Finishing 8-4, and being a school that travels well for bowl games, will look a lot better to the folks with the cash than a 7-5 mark.

Will Defensive Struggle Prevail?

The Sooners and Wildcats compare pretty evenly statistically on offense, each featuring strong running games, iffy aerial attacks and mediocre overall tallies in total yardage and scoring.  The Sooners just padded some of their rushing stats by galloping for 405 yards last week vs. Iowa State, freshman QB Trevor Knight accounting for better than a quarter of that with a career-best 123 yards on the ground in the 48-10 triumph.

Kansas State is coming off a pull-it-out-of-your-ass win vs. Texas Christian, a game the Wildcats won through the air or via field goal more than a usually productive ground game that had been improving since the loss at Texas back in September.  Defense has been a part of the 4-game win streak (3-1 ATS).  Don't forget that K-State's stop unit limited Baylor to season-lows in total offense and scoring.

Mother Nature & Final Thoughts

Fans headed to Bill Snyder Stadium are going to need to bundle up and perhaps include a small flask of antifreeze in their boots.  The current forecast for Manhattan calls for the thermometer to barely scratch above the freezing mark on Saturday, and a north wind in the 15-18 mph range should add an extra bite to those temps.

College football bettors are urged to confirm that forecast before placing their wagers.

My gut feeling is for the two defenses to have the upper hand in this one, so I'll be keeping a close eye on SBR's live odds to catch a total once it is released.  As for the side, I like Oklahoma getting points, especially given the history in this series.  The Sooners get my free college football pick on Saturday.

College Football Pick: Oklahoma +3.5

Season record: 23-9 (+13.2)

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