No. 7 Oklahoma State welcomes No. 10 Oklahoma into hostile territory in Stillwater on Saturday for one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of their bitter rivalry as this year's Bedlam has national championship dreams on the line for both teams. The Sooners escaped Iowa State in Week 12 with a 28-21 victory. However, the Cyclones had a chance to tie the game before Brock Purdy threw a backbreaking interception in the red zone.
Oklahoma State is playing its best football over the past four weeks since suffering its lone loss to the Cyclones. The Cowboys beat Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia and Kansas by a combined 165-23. On Saturday, Oklahoma State smothered the Red Raiders 23-0, holding Texas Tech to just 108 yards of total offense and 2.6 yards per pass attempt.
The winner of this game quickly becomes the conference favorite to earn a trip to the College Football Playoff, provided they can win in the Big 12 Championship Game to finish 12-1. The loser is eliminated, though Oklahoma State will still earn a trip to the title game with a loss.
With Oklahoma jumping two spots into the AP top 10, this ranks as just the third top-10 Bedlam matchup ever. Oklahoma won both previous meetings, including a 58-23 win in 2005 and 24-14 win in 1984. The Cowboys have not beaten the rival Sooners since 2014. This could be the last matchup in Stillwater for several years, as Oklahoma soon leaves for the SEC.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: Need to know
Historic dominance: Oklahoma State is in the most successful era in program history under coach Mike Gundy. But despite seven 10-win seasons and eight AP Top 25 finishes, Oklahoma has continued to have OSU's number. The Sooners hold a 90-18-7 record all-time against the rival Cowboys, including a 14-2 mark against Gundy. The only wins came during OSU's historic 2-1 Fiesta Bowl campaign in 2011, and in 2014 when the Sooners fired their offensive staff to hire Lincoln Riley as offensive coordinator. With Oklahoma State fielding one of its best teams, and Oklahoma fielding a poor one, can the Cowboys turn the tide?
Elite defense: Oklahoma State is known for its high-flying offenses, but defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has put together one of the most dominant units in college football. The Cowboys defense ranks No. 2 in FEI, along with No. 1 in net points per drive, EPA margin and defensive success rate. Translated another way: Oklahoma State's defense swarms when you run and terrorizes when you pass in the same vein as the great defenses at Georgia and Wisconsin. No opponent has cleared 24 points.
Closed QB pipeline: The last three starting quarterbacks to graduate from Oklahoma are now starting in the NFL. But after real optimism around Spencer Rattler and No. 1 QB recruit Caleb Williams, quarterback play has quickly become perhaps the Sooners' most pressing issue. Over his last two games, Williams has combined to complete 17-of-36 passes for just 229 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He added a 74-yard touchdown on a broken play against Iowa State, but the consistency hasn't been there. Oklahoma's 14 points and 260 total yards against Baylor were the lowest points of the Riley era -- either as head coach or offensive coordinator. Just 305 yards against Iowa State ranked near the bottom, too. Oklahoma State has a better defense than either.
How to watch Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 27 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium -- Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State prediction, picks
Oklahoma was a trendy pick to win the national championship entering the season -- including by this author. Unfortunately, there's only so much waiting we can muster before we acknowledge that the proverbial Mr. Godot is not coming. Oklahoma State has been consistently better and more dominant all season long, and it is playing its best football with a chance to reach its first Big 12 Championship Game. The Cowboys won't waste this moment. Prediction: Oklahoma State (-4)
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