Here We Go Again

Campus Clash- Big 12 Championship 

(7) Baylor Bears at (6) Oklahoma Sooners 

Baylor: What a story they’ve been. There always seems to be a team or two that comes out of nowhere. Last season, that was the Texas Longhorns and Florida Gators. This season, it’s been the Minnesota Golden Gophers and these Baylor Bears. When you enter a year in the Big 12, it’s the Oklahoma Sooners then it’s everybody else. You never know who’s going to be their biggest threat in the conference. Texas took a step back in 2019. The best team not named the Sooners has been the Baylor Bears. First, it starts with coaching. After the scandals that surrounded this program under Art Briles, who knew which direction this team would go in. Matt Rhule was hired in 2016. Each year he’s been in Waco, they’ve improved. His first season, they were 1-11. the following year, 6-6. This year, 11-1. What an improvement. To be successful in this conference, you must be able to score points. Baylor has been one of the best offensive teams in the country. I was able to sit down to watch quarterback Charlie Brewer play. I like what I saw. He’s confident in each pass he throws. He’s also developed a great chemistry with number one receiver, Denzel Mims. On Saturday against Kansas, Baylor put up 61 points in a scrimmage against the Jayhawks. Usually, they attack team with a prolific passing attack. That wasn’t the case on Saturday. Baylor ran the football consistently to the tune of 264 yards rushing. They will kick off Championship Saturday against a team they just saw a few weeks back in Waco.

Oklahoma: They just amaze with the consistency they display. I watched a few of their games this season. When you think they’ll fall off, they don’t! You can make a case for several teams’ offenses being the best in the country. If you do, please make sure the Oklahoma Sooners are at least within the conversation. What Lincoln Riley has done with this team is incredible. He tweaked the offensive scheme for sure. Once again, they led the conference in points per game averaging 44. You watch their offense; you automatically think of Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb who became one of the best quarterback/receiver tandems in the country. On Saturday night during the Bedlam game, running back Kennedy Brooks had to reintroduce himself to the world of college football. He carried the ball 22 times, rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown. Believe it or not, their offense is more dangerous when they have their running game going. Defenses are so used to preparing for their passing attack. Let me say this. Saturday night in Stillwater was their most complete win of the year. I loved how they were able to slow the tempo of the game down by running the football. If you watch Oklahoma Sooners football, you can immediately pencil them in to score over 28 points per contest. They put up 34 with ease. What I took away from the rivalry game was the performance of their defense. That side of the football has been the biggest question mark of the entire team. Just think about it: If they were as consistent defensively as they are offensively, this is the best team in the country hands down. It feels like Deja vu all over again. Another successful regular season which leads to another invitation to the Big 12 championship game.

Baylor Player to Watch: JaMycal Hasty– He brings an added dimension to the Baylor offense. Hasty is an all-around running back that can block and impact the game both running along with catching it. It’s safe to say he’s Brewer’s security blanket because when everything is covered down the field, he checks it to number six who handles the rest. He’s an elusive runner in space. Let him find his lane and he’ll do the rest.

Oklahoma Player to Watch: Lee Perry– This is the most athletic receiver the Oklahoma Sooners have. At 6’2, he’s able to do a plethora of things on the field. He’s that “hybrid” football player that lines up wide, in the slot or even inside as a tight end. He does his best work over the middle of the field. I’ve always liked his contributions to the offense because he’s able to do the little things that lead to the Sooners moving up the field.

Final Analysis: When I saw the Championship Saturday schedule, this was the first battle that caught my eye. These two just met back on November 16th. Baylor looked as though they were going to run away with the game. They were up by 25 points. Oklahoma knew if they wanted to get back into this game, this would fall on the hands-on Jalen Hurts. He basically had to carry the team on his shoulders. If Oklahoma doesn’t lose to Kansas State earlier in the year, the comeback win against Baylor is Jalen’s “Heisman moment”. Baylor needs to control the clock. Keep that offense of Lincoln Riley’s on the sidelines. I truly believe the winner of this game will need to stop the others run. If you want a shootout, this is the game for you.

Prediction: Oklahoma 40 Baylor 37

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