There will be more rivalry games over the next few weeks as the 2020 season works toward its conclusion, and one of them with more serious implications is the Bedlam game between No. 14 Oklahoma State and No. 18 Oklahoma. On the table is a more clear-eyed view towards the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 19. Oklahoma State can make a lot of headway with a win; the Pokes' final three games after the Sooners are against Texas Tech, TCU, and Baylor, which have a combined record of 7-14. Oklahoma, meanwhile, can reassert itself into the front of the race with a victory.
This is a particularly strong matchup on both sides of the ball. Oklahoma enters the game ranked sixth nationally with 46.1 points per game. The Sooners have turned a corner over the past four games after an unexpected 1-2 start. Oklahoma State has a top-10 defense, per SP+, and ranks tied for 14th nationally at 17.8 points per game allowed.
The Cowboys have just two wins over the Sooners in the Mike Gundy era, but there's no time like the present to get things turned around, especially with so much at stake. Can Oklahoma State get over the hump and steady its place in the Big 12 standings or will Oklahoma once again stop the Cowboys in their tracks? Let's take a closer look at the matchups and storylines to follow before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread.
Oklahoma: The Sooners lost to some decent teams to start Big 12 play. Iowa State and Kansas State were certainly good enough to knock off the Sooners at a time when they're still getting themselves together. Ever since beating Texas, Oklahoma has been a more cohesive group. A few get-right opponents in a row didn't hurt, nor did getting running back Rhamondre Stevenson and defensive end Ronnie Perkins back from suspension. But this team is playing better on both sides of the ball. Role players like H-back Jeremiah Hall are stepping up. Now they've had a week to get a little healthier. A win over Oklahoma State and the Sooners are a hot team.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are technically the underdog. That's usually been the case here. But this particular Bedlam game still feels like a window for Mike Gundy's group. They have the defense, which ranks in the top 10 of SP+. Either Chuba Hubbard or LD Brown has had a big day running the ball. Receiver Tylan Wallace has showed up in a bunch of games, the Texas loss most of all. It hasn't always been pretty, but this team has enough pieces to find different ways to win. If they can find a way against Oklahoma, the road to the Big 12 Championship Game gets much clearer. This is a huge game for Oklahoma State.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 21 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium -- Norman, Oklahoma
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State prediction, picks
Oklahoma State has shown it can win in a variety of ways, but most typically leans on its defense. Will that hold up against a red-hot Sooners offense? The Sooners are now the Big 12 leader in points per game by six points. The Cowboys have players at every level and the matchup between them and guys like Hall or receiver Marvin Mims should be great. That defense has been more than enough to keep Oklahoma State in every game. I think that holds up again, at the very least to cover the spread. Pick: Oklahoma State +7
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