Big 12 Sports Articles

Five Big Games Left to Determine the 2021 Big 12 Race

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Oklahoma at Iowa State

At 5-0 in the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma is leading the pack as the only undefeated team in the league. The Sooners have had some close contests, as evident by Saturday’s come-from-behind victory over lowly Kansas. 

The No. 4 Sooners, 8-0 overall, are going into the toughest stretch of its schedule in November as they face the three teams with one conference loss—Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State.

OU isn’t the only team with a demanding schedule down the stretch. Let’s take a look at five contests that should determine the two finalists for the Championship Game on December 4 in Arlington.

 

Baylor vs. Texas

Texas could shake things up if the Longhorns can right their ship a week off after two fourth-quarter meltdowns to OU and OSU. UT will have to make things a mess by winning on the road in these next two weeks.

So, that takes us to the first critical game, which is this weekend. Baylor (6-1, 3-1 in the Big 12) also had a bye last weekend, extra time to prepare for the Longhorns invasion to Waco. UT has won five of the last six contests against the Bears.

Iowa State vs. Texas

The Longhorns then have to make the long journey to Ames, Iowa, on November 6, where the No. 22 Cyclones (5-2, 3-1 in Big 12) just upset Oklahoma State last weekend. ISU quarterback Brock Purdy completed 81 percent of his passes for 307 yards and 2 TDs to carve up a solid OSU defense. The Cyclones have beaten Texas in close games the last two years (23-21 in 2019 and 23-20 in 2020).

 

Baylor vs. Oklahoma

The Sooners host Texas Tech this weekend and have a bye on November 6. They then travel to Waco on November 13. OU owns a six-game winning streak over Baylor. The Sooners have won three straight contests in Waco by 10 points or less (44-34 in 2015, 49-41 in 2017, and 34-31 in 2019). The Bears are currently undefeated (4-0) at McLane Stadium.

Oklahoma vs. Iowa State

Oklahoma returns to Norman to host Iowa State on November 20. I-State beat OU, 37-30, last year in Ames. Oklahoma’s final drive to tie the game ended with an interception. The script was flipped when both met again in the Championship Game. The Sooners held a 27-21 lead and got an interception to squelch the Cyclones’ comeback efforts late in the game. I-State has been challenging in its last two trips to Norman—a 38-31 upset in 2017 and a 42-41 loss in 2019.

 

Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma

OU and No. 15 OSU wrap up the regular season in Stillwater on November 27. The Sooners have won six straight in the series and the last three appearances at Boone Pickens Stadium. Since 2014, a 38-35 overtime win by the Pokes in Norman, the series has been close once—a 48-47 win by the Sooners in 2018. In fact, over the last six years, OU has fared better at the Boone with a victory margin of 21 points compared to 15.7 in Norman. 

If the Sooners can continue their November perfection, they will be in Arlington seeking a seventh consecutive Big 12 title. Oklahoma last lost in November in 2014, a 48-14 setback to Baylor. Since then, the Sooners have won 23 straight in November. 

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