Seven points: Oklahoma ready to hunt for Bears
Oklahoma has found its groove. Baylor seems to be off it game. Will the streaking Sooners keep rolling against the Bears?
1. Always remember: When you see our veterans at the Sooners game Saturday please tell them thanks for their service and commitment to our country. Without these brave men and women, the OU-Baylor game would only be a concept.
2. Last week means nothing: It's strongly suggested that all involved parties forget the wheels coming off the Baylor bus last week in Waco in its loss to TCU. BU can't be that bad with their talented roster even though the Bears have become more dysfunctional than the Kardashians. The Sooners getting off to a fast, productive start should help hibernate the Bears but if BU is allowed to hang around, anything can happen.
3. OU defense: This unit may never be compared to the 1974 Sooners lead by the Selmon's and Jimbo Elrod or the 1985 team lead by Brian Bosworth and Tony Casillas but they are improving and they play hard. BU has multiple offensive weapons that must be accounted for as the Bears offense isn't AWOL even though last week they went into the witness protection program. Expect OU's pass defense to be tested again which can't be a shocker. BU's QB-Receiver group is talented and dangerous. Plus, the Bears are averaging almost 300 yards rushing per game.
4. Joe and Samaje: Both Mixon and Perine should play and continue to build on the Sooners' ability to run the football effectively, which sets up Dede Westbook, Mark Andrews, and others in the passing game. Perrine is likely to be a “part-timer” but instincts say Mixon is set to have a big day running and receiving. OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh and his big, BBQ eaters up front can't be lauded enough for the work that they have consistently been doing.
5. Healthy baking: QB Baker Mayfield is having another award-winning year and if OU can run the Big 12 table how can the Sooner signal caller not be in the hunt for a variety of individual CFB honors? Mayfield will likely end up leaving OU, hopefully after the 2017 season, as one of the most popular Sooners of all time. Appreciate the captain while he's here. (Mayfield reminds me of a young and charismatic Brett Favre when the HOFer was a rookie with the Falcons.)
6. November 2014: Baylor came to OU for another 11 a.m. kickoff in 2014 and proceeded to woodshed the Sooners, 48-14 ,in, arguably, the most sobering loss in Norman during the Bob Stoops era. Hopefully all involved parties will remember that miserable day and seek a measure of retribution by way of a no questions asked Big 12 Conference win.
7. Home-field advantage: Will the student section fill up before kickoff for this 11:07 am start? Will it come motivated to verbally support the school? Is it really that challenging to get in one's seat before kickoff for these morning starts?
OU has two, huge home, league games remaining that will require all the noise and passion that can be produced by the Sooner Nation. The matter of establishing a dominate home field advantage should not be an issue but for some reason it seemingly is.
OU has not lost since Sept. 17 and is winners of six straight games as the Sooners shoot for another Big 12 title under HBC Bob Stoops. The Sooners must beat Baylor, WVU in Morgantown and win Bedlam at home, which is a gridiron version of the Survivor Series. If the OU defense allows Baylor to get off to a fast start, which will give the maligned Bears hope, then this “must-win” contest could get dicey. A ton of points will likely be scored as the teams can generate restaurant-quality offense so all it comes back to what team's defense will outperform the other at crunch time.
Prediction: Oklahoma 52 Baylor 28
Jim Ross @JRsBBQ
Jim Ross is a life long Oklahoma football fan who lives in Norman with his wife Jan. JR is a two time New York Times Best Selling author, a member of three, wrestling Halls of Fame, host of acclaimed, The Ross Report Podcast on www.podcastone.com and iTunes, boxing commentator for CBS Sports Network, pro wrestling broadcaster for AXSTV, and co-creator of JR's condiments which include BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Jalapeno Honey Mustard and All Purpose Seasoning/Rub which can be purchased online via www.wweshop.com.