The Rivalry/Shootout/Weekend is just a few days away. We will, of course, be discussing the matchup all week at BON. But at first glance, this is one of the more interesting TX/OU games in recent memory.
Neither team comes in undefeated. Neither team is ranked in the top 5. Neither team controls its own destiny in terms of the national championship. Both teams have dynamic, game changing backs. But maybe most importantly, both teams are led by first year starters at quarterback.
Who will make the game changing throw? Will either quarterback even be asked to make a big play? Will the running game and horizontal passing for either team be enough?
Colt McCoy and Paul Thompson have both exceeded expectations so far this season. As PB showed, McCoy and Thompson have similar number and passing efficiencies above 160, putting both of them among the nation's leaders. Let's take a look at who they have been playing.
According to Sagarin, Oklahoma has played the 30th toughest schedule so far. Texas has played the 70th toughest. OU has played only four games, while Texas has played five.
The Sooners have played UAB, Washington, Oregon, (road), and Middle Tennessee State. The combined record of the Sooners' opponents is 13-6. Oregon is probably the second best team in the Pac 10 and the Huskies are a surprising 4-1.
Texas has of course taken on North Texas, Ohio State, Rice, Iowa State, and Sam Houston State. The combined record of the Horns opponents is just 12-12 (including the 5-0 mark of OSU). Even with the OSU game, I am not stretching too far to say that OU has played a tougher scheduled so far.
OU has played three four-quarter games already this season. Their starters have been tested in close games against UAB, Washington, and Oregon. Texas has played just a single four-quarter game and came out on the losing end.
If the game is tight, as we expect, the experience of playing in tight ball games could matter. Let's hope it doesn't.