I’m surprisingly calm this morning. This will be my last full football edition of the 2021 regular season and I’m feeling a bit reflective.
That will obviously go away come 7:30pm ET Saturday night when the usual angst of Bedlam takes hold.
The current flagship of Big 12 football faces off with a program that could potentially be the flagship of the new Big 12 with Big 12 Bullshit Rematch AND college football playoff implications on the menu. I find it interesting that both OU and Texas need wins this week to guarantee certain outcomes in the season where they announced they are bolting for the SEC, and I think a LOT of Big 12 fans will be rooting for the bad version of those events to transpire for both teams.
As an OSU fan, I could give a shit about the CFP, or as Tim Brando calls it, “The Invitational.” Oklahoma State does NOT control its own destiny in that matter and at the end of the day this could be 2011 all over again, so screw it. The only thing that matters is a Big 12 championship and the Cowboys have already punched their ticket for that game, so Saturday is a bit of a freebie for them. Oklahoma, on the other hand, HAS to win to guarantee a trip to Arlington next week. If not, they will be dependent upon a Yosemite Sam upset of Baylor in Waco on Senior Day for the Bears...
There is plenty of intrigue in the other games, even if there is bad football, so let’s get to it...
Kansas State at Texas (12pm ET Friday on FOX)
For a Longhorns program that has been in a free-fall most of the season, can Senior Day bring a little juice to the table?
KState is already bowl-eligible and is not in the Big 12 title race, so it will be interesting to see what the Wildcats bring to Austin. Skyler Thompson is banged up and may or may not play. For Texas, they have been eliminated from bowl eligibility and need to win in order to guarantee they don't finish LAST in conference play. That's right...if UT loses and Kansas wins, the Longhorns will finish last courtesy of their loss TO KANSAS. I wouldn't touch the line but I like the over for some bizarre reason I can't explain.
The State of Kansas has the opportunity to deliver some early holiday cheer, DON'T LET US DOWN!!!
TCU at Iowa State (4:30pm ET Friday on FS1)
Iowa St -15.0
Without question the most meaningless game in this weekend's conference slate, with only the Lizard People's bowl eligibility on the line. TCU isn't bringing much to the table with all the injuries and I doubt they could fill one team bus with only scholarship players. The Bloody Mustard Whirly Birds are already going bowling and just need to close out Senior Day for a season that started in the Top Ten and quickly descended into inconsistency and mediocrity. Given all the potential variables, I'm staying away from this game altogether, although I might lean Iowa State to cover and the under.
Texas Tech at #8 Baylor (12pm ET on FS1)
I hope you are sitting down cuz I'm about to do something I haven't done in a long time....
ALL OSU FANS SHOULD BE ROOTING FOR A BAYLOR WIN!!
That's right, if the Bears win in Waco that means OU HAS to win Bedlam or it's Baylor that will face OSU in the Big 12 Bullshit Rematch, and I'm pretty confident all OSU fans would rather play Baylor than have to potentially beat OU TWICE. Given that Baylor is ranked higher than OU, that would definitely be advantageous to the Cowboys.
Both teams are bowl-eligible, but the Bears need to win on Senior Day to force Oklahoma's hand, so I'm going with Baylor to cover and the over as I think they run it up to make a statement, but don't hold me to that.
West Virginia at Kansas (7pm ET on FS1)
The Mountain People need a win for bowl eligibility and the Jayhawks need a win for the possibility of NOT finishing last in the Big 12. Pretty high stakes if you ask me.
Senior Day in Lawrence has the makings of something special ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD. That being said, while I AM rooting for Kansas, a motivated opponent has proven a tough task for them, so I'll roll with West Virginia to win, Kansas to cover, and the under.
Bedlam in Stillwater (7:30pm ET on ABC)
I've watched way too many of these to make any predictions. The ONLY thing I walk into this game with is the expectation of losing, but this one has the makings of a classic.
What's at stake? For the Cowboys, not much. Yes, the CFP is a possibility, but soooooo much would have to happen for that to become reality that to consider it as motivation is foolish. OSU is already in the Big 12 Bullshit Rematch, but ruining OU's season isn't the only goal. A more important goal would be NOT having to play the Sooners twice in two weeks, which is what would happen assuming Baylor beats Tech and Oklahoma State wins Saturday night.
For Oklahoma, the stakes are significant. Their brand makes the CFP more feasible, especially if they were to beat the Cowboys in consecutive weeks. But to have their Big 12 title run come to an end courtesy of Oklahoma State has to be an excellent motivator.
The Cowboys absolutely come in with a team capable of winning, as indicated by the fact they are favored and the line went UP after it opened. OU absolutely brings enough talent to have success against OSU's stifling defense. The difference for me will be Oklahoma State's attitude for this game. If they play loose with nothing to lose because, in fact, they have nothing to lose, they will likely pull off a win in one of the biggest Bedlams ever. You couldn't pay me to bet this game.