Oklahoma and TCU isn’t a rivalry, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more competitive series in conference play over the past six years. Though the Sooners hold a 4-1 advantage since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012, no game has been decided by more than a touchdown.
This year, both teams sit at the top of the conference standings in mid-November with 5-1 Big 12 records. The winner gets a leg up on the race to the Big 12 Championship Game. The loser is likely out of the College Football Playoff race for good.
Who wins? TCU with veteran coach Gary Patterson, or Oklahoma under first-year coach Lincoln Riley? If the past is any indicator of the future, this one should be tight.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium — Norman, Oklahoma
TV: Fox | Live stream: fubo.TV (try for free)
TCU: Will the defense have enough to stop college football’s best offense? Seriously, Oklahoma rates as the best offense in every category according to S&P+ rankings from Football Outsiders. However, TCU ranks fifth in the nation in yards per play allowed. The Horned Frogs did enough to beat Oklahoma State earlier this season, but this poses an even greater challenge. Then again, if there’s a defensive mind to trust, it’s Patterson. He has the defensive front/secondary combination to get pressure while dropping everyone else into coverage.
Oklahoma: There’s a lot riding on this game for the Sooners as they march toward a potential Big 12 Championship Game appearance and College Football Playoff berth. A resume with wins over Ohio State, Oklahoma State and TCU (potentially twice) would be in serious consideration by the selection committee. There’s also Baker Mayfield’s Heisman Trophy run, in which he suddenly finds himself the leader (4/7 odds, per Bovada.lv). But the most immediate storyline is the defense, which ranks — wait for it — 115th in S&P+ per Football Outsiders. I’m usually a believer that Big 12 offenses skew defensive stats, and Oklahoma State definitely has one of college football’s best offenses, so it’ll be interesting to see how OU’s defense responds this week.
As mentioned above, every game in this series since TCU joined the Big 12 has been decided by single digits. Given that these are two of the best teams in the conference and could very well meet again in the title game next month, it stands to reason this one could follow a similar pattern. The Frogs have also been excellent against the spread on the road save for the loss against Iowa State. But, hey, the Sooners know how that feels right? Pick: TCU +7.5