Rivalry week in the Big 12 culminates with the biggest game, the annual Bedlam Series game between Sooner State archrivals No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 6 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The regular-season finale for each represents a chance for both to stake claim to the Big 12 title and make one final closing statement for the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Oklahoma (10-1), which had to hang on to defeat TCU on Saturday, will jump the Cowboys (10-1) this week in the rankings following OSU’s loss to No. 10 Baylor at home.
4 Big 12 teams among the top 10 nationally in total offense, including the top three: Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech
Never miss a local story.
Neither Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops nor Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy has any concern about eventualities.
“The bottom line is we’re trying to win an outright Big 12 championship this week,” Stoops said on Monday’s coaches conference call. “That’s what’s primary on our minds.”
Said Gundy of the CFP: “Somebody else is going to make that decision. I don’t think it matters what I say. They know how I feel about my team.
“I think coaches who politic for leverage are just wasting their time.”
Gundy, however, did do a little stumping for the Big 12 champion, whoever that might be, saying “yes, there are teams in this league that are good enough to compete and win.”
OSU is being tasked with putting behind them a disappointing loss to the Bears in Stillwater, Okla. If the Cowboys win, they’ll need a Baylor loss to win the Big 12 title.
I think coaches who politic for leverage are just wasting their time.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy
Mayfield expected to play
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to play Saturday after passing a battery of concussion tests, the Oklahoman reported Monday.
Mayfield left the TCU game after suffering concussion symptoms at halftime following a head-to-head hit by the Frogs’ Ty Summers, who was ejected for targeting.
Texas Tech hungry on Thanksgiving
One Texas rivalry that has yet to fully flourish is Texas Tech and Texas, a game set for 6:30 Thursday night.
Tech hasn’t defeated the Longhorns since a triumph in 2008 on Graham Harrell’s touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree in the final seconds of a timeless memory.
Texas has won six straight since then.
“Our record has not been great against them, but that’s something we’re trying to change,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “We’re hoping we’ve peaked at the right time, and I think we have.”
The Longhorns need victories in each of their last two games, Tech and Baylor, to reach bowl eligibility.
▪ As it relates to persistent rumors about his imminent departure for Miami, Charlie Strong said he has told players “I’m not going anywhere. … I’m here for the duration.”
▪ Strong said RB Johnathan Gray (foot) is questionable this week.
▪ Oklahoma cornerback and Keller Central grad Zack Sanchez, who had two interceptions against TCU, was selected Big 12 defensive player of the week for the third time this season. He shared the honor with Baylor nose tackle Andrew Billings (two sacks, 2 1/2 tackles for loss). Baylor WR KD Cannon (210 yards, two TDs) was selected offensive player of the week, and Kansas State PR Morgan Burns was selected special teams player of the week after recording his third kickoff return for a touchdown, second in Big 12 history.
▪ Kansas State coach Bill Snyder on Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads, who was fired Saturday after a loss to the Wildcats: “It truly breaks your heart. I’ve always felt he does it the right way and quite certain his players were pained by it as well. He’s a good man.”