There are a lot of labels thrown around in the Big 12 Conference over the course of the last several years. We have heard “Movember” and “Brocktober”, but really there is only one that has held true to the last five seasons: Championship November.
The Vegas odds never wavered: we know we have talked about it. Oklahoma is still the favorite to win the Big 12 and now that they sit in a prime position with three games to go to make it back to Arlington.
The remaining Big 12 schools know the drill, they’ve seen it time and time again. Oklahoma takes tremendous pride in winning football games in the month of November, because doing so puts you in position to win the conference and compete for a national championship. Since Bob Stoops took over the program in 1999 Oklahoma is 69-13 in this month. That has led to 13 Big 12 championships, four trips to the BCS national championship, four College Football Playoff playoff berths and 14 trips to BCS/NY6 bowl contests. Championship November is not a fad in Norman, it is not something that is going out of style anytime soon either. Lincoln Riley is currently 13-0 in the month of November. In fact Oklahoma has not lost in the month of November since he set foot on campus. Oklahoma State, and this guy named Tyreke Hill were the last to top the Sooners in this month back in 2014. OU has won 21 consecutive games in November.
“I don’t know that a team has ever gone six straight weeks between home games in a regular season,” Riley stated during the week leading up to Kansas. “It’s been a fun stretch, and excited to get to play some November ball, which tends to be our favorite around here.”
It should be a favorite in Norman. In fact, they have been a favorite in each November game they’ve played since Oklahoma’s 2015 trip to Waco where they unseated the unbeaten Baylor Bears led by Art Briles, becoming the first road team to claim victory in McClain stadium that season.
One of the biggest advantages Oklahoma has had in the month of November during this winning streak has been their ability to grind games out on the ground. Since Lincoln Riley began calling plays for the Sooners in 2015, in November, Oklahoma has averaged 271 rushing yards per game, and nearly six yards per rush attempt. Oklahoma also does not mind continually going to the well, as they average 45 rushing attempts per November contest coming into this season. It never hurts to have the stud runners, as well as the consistently elite offensive line play down the stretch.
The Sooners demoralize their opponents, and literally turn these games into heavyweight bouts, testing who is the more physical and dominating force. With the Sooners hitting their stride and running the ball effectively with the last few weeks, the Big 12 is certainly being placed on notice. The path to Arlington continues to get clearer for the five-time defending champions, who are seeking a record sixth-straight title.
The Schooner is rolling right now, and anyone looking to get in its way has a good chance of getting crushed.
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