It’s Bedlam time yet again. One of America’s most famous rivalries is set for another high octane showdown as #5 Oklahoma prepares to visit in-state rival #11 Oklahoma State this Saturday. The playoff hopes of each program hang in the balance as one more loss would all but remove either of the Big 12 powers from contention, while the victor would remain firmly planted in contention.
Scoring should be in abundance when the teams face off for the 112th time. Both the Sooners and the Cowboys head into this year’s rendition of the Bedlam Series ranked in the top three in total offense (1st and 3rd respectively) and the top six in scoring offense (6th and 4th respectively). The passing defenses for the two rivals also rank 80th for the Pokes and 87th for Oklahoma, assuring plenty of scoring opportunities for either side.
Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph will have to outduel one another in a face off that has both Heisman Trophy and Playoff implications. Mayfield has shown once already this year he has the metal to win big on the road, while Rudolph has steadily produced top numbers all season. The two have faced off twice already in their collegiate careers, with Mayfield winning both games. Rudolph does have one win against the Sooners under his belt, a 38-35 OT thriller coming in his freshman season.
With so many comparable strengths between the two rivals, the game will ultimately come down to a combination of two factors. The game will be controlled largely by the defense that is able to play above their talent level and by which of the two quarterbacks makes fewer mistakes. With defenses as sub-par as these two, the last thing either of the quarterbacks can afford to do is turn the ball over and bail out the defense.
All things considered, I have to give the edge here to Mayfield and the Sooners. Boomer Sooner has absolutely dominated the all-time series and has won eight of the last ten meetings. The Sooner defense, despite it’s struggles at times, also held Ohio State to 17 points earlier in the season. If one of these defenses is going to show up at all, Oklahoma’s will be the one to do so. The edge goes to the Sooners, winning in Stillwater 45-27.