spencer-rattler-oklahoma.jpg
USATSI

This week's College Football Playoff Rankings appear to have left the door cracked open just enough that the winner of the Big 12 Championship Game -- expected to possibly be either No. 9 Iowa State or No. 11 Oklahoma -- might still have an outside shot if all hell breaks loose over the next two weeks. In the meantime, though, the Sooners need to take care of their own business. That starts on Saturday at home against a more inspired Baylor team than the one that barely got off the ground at the start of the season. 

Oklahoma is still a big favorite and with good reason. Even though the West Virginia game was postponed until Dec. 12 because of COVID-19 issues on the Sooners' end, few teams in the country have played better over the past two months. Obviously, the return of running back Rhamondre Stevenson and defensive end Ronnie Perkins have been instrumental in Full Strength Oklahoma slashing opponents weekly. But this team is also just playing better, too. Quarterback Spencer Rattler has cut down on his mistakes while continuing to show off his arm talent. The offensive line has molded. Marvin Mims and Theo Wease have stepped up at receiver. And the defense is finally coming together under coordinator Alex Grinch. 

The Sooners have dominated these showdowns historically, winning 27 of 30 games all time. However, the Bears played them as tight as anyone last year, losing both games by a combined six points. Can Baylor keep things rolling again on Saturday or will Oklahoma move closer to a return to the Big 12 Championship Game? Let's take a closer look at the matchups and storylines to watch before making some expert picks below.

Storylines

Oklahoma: There's not much more that can be said about this team that hasn't already been. Ever since the Texas game, Oklahoma has just been different. Again, there are several reasons for that, but this is the death machine that the Sooners have been known for under coach Lincoln Riley. They've won their past four games by an average of 33 points. As a two-loss team, style points are going to matter for the remainder of the road ahead. Dispatching Baylor early would be another step for them as they march towards Arlington for the Big 12 Championship Game. 

Baylor: 2020 has been a Year Zero for first time coach Dave Aranda, but the Bears have quietly improved over the past month. The slow starts that plagued them early in the year have been fixed. As such, they're not scoring a majority of their points in garbage time. But whereas in 2019 Baylor lived a charmed life and won most of its close games, it's lost most of them this year. It's extremely unlikely Baylor beats Oklahoma, but a good measuring stick of just how much better this team is in Week 14 vs. Week 5 will be whether it can at least hang for a bit. 

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Dec. 5 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium -- Norman, Oklahoma
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Baylor at Oklahoma prediction, picks

Latest Odds: Oklahoma Sooners -22.5

Baylor has been more competitive, but its second win of the season came against a K-State team that is a shell of itself. The Bears are still 2-5 at the end of the day. Oklahoma is rolling, it's a home game and this group would have to sleep walk through 60 minutes for Baylor to cover, let alone win outright. The Sooners take care of business again. Pick: Oklahoma -22.5

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 14? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.