I have spent the better part of this week terribly confused.
It began on Monday, when I saw Las Vegas gave Oklahoma 7.5 points.
Look, I get it. This is a Texas Longhorns focused website, so this won’t come across as a very objective think piece.
But for those of you choosing to use both sides of your brain today, give this article a second to breathe before you smother it with shouting and fist shaking.
While I still have your attention, let me just note that not only do I think Oklahoma is not the seventh best team in the nation, I think OU sucks.
And I don’t mean that in a fun, Texas-fight-song “Give ‘em Hell! Give ‘em Hell! OU Sucks!” type of way. No, I genuinely think the Oklahoma Sooners suck the same way Texas genuinely sucked when it played Maryland. Kyler Murray is an incredible talent, and he’s the sole reason more people don’t think Oklahoma sucks. God bless you, Kyler, said every Oklahoma fan who uses both sides of their brain.
Many of you probably think you’re going to scare me off this hill by tagging Cold Takes Exposed on Twitter, or by quoting this article and tweeting that I am a moron to each of your 41 followers. But on the contrary, I’m actually going to change your mind about this Oklahoma team everyone, including Vegas, which is usually on top of this sort of thing, seems to just adore.
Let’s begin with one quick note: If you think Oklahoma is the far superior football team, I’m not mad at you, I’m just very disappointed.
Oklahoma has not played a ranked opponent this season. The first five games for OU featured a win over a UCLA team that is still in search of its first victory, and an overtime thriller at home against Army.
Quick recap on the second half of that sentence: Overtime is an additional period added to the end of a football game when both teams are tied at the end of regulation. Army is a service academy that is by no means a slouch opponent, but still should not be tied at the end of regulation, on the road, against a program like Oklahoma.
”Texas lost to Maryland! Again!”
There, I said it for you. Now, let’s move forward with this article.
Oklahoma is not a good football team because it has one of the most atrocious defensive units I have ever seen. Kyler Murray disguises this because he makes the offense so explosive and dangerous. For those of you who have been using both sides of your brain this season, none of this comes as news to you.
For the less fortunate, those of you who still struggle to understand that a square simply can’t fit inside of a circle, and humans, no matter how hard they try, God love ‘em, can’t lick their own elbows, here are some cold, hard facts to counter what I’m sure you think is a burning hot take.
Let’s empty the notebook, and then I’ll continue my sermon.
- No. 7 Oklahoma is ranked 90th in total defense, allowing roughly 405 yards per game. There are 129 Division I football programs.
- No. 7 Oklahoma is ranked 99th in total third down defense. There are 129 Division I football programs.
- No. 19 Texas is 54th in the nation third down offense, converting almost 50 percent of the time.
- No. 7 Oklahoma is 116th in the nation in first downs allowed. There are 129 Division I football programs. The 119 first downs allowed by Oklahoma’s defense is the worst in the Big 12. Kansas is in the Big 12.
- Texas has 111 first downs this season through five weeks.
- No. 7 Oklahoma is ranked 95th in passing yards allowed (252.4 per game). There are 129 Division I football programs.
- Texas is ranked 60th in passing offense (243.4 per game).
- No. 7 Oklahoma is tied for dead last in the nation in red zone defense. Through five games, Oklahoma’s opponents have reached the red zone 16 times. In each of the 16 trips to the red zone, the Sooner’s defense has willfully invited the opponent into their home to steal their belongings, allowing 13 touchdowns and three field goals. Basically, any time an opponent has made it into the red zone against OU, everyone goes home a winner.
As I live and breathe, watching the nation lose itself in a frenzy of admiration for the 2018 Oklahoma Sooners may very well go down as one of the most fascinating things I have ever witnessed. What makes this even more incredible is the fact that instead of looking at the Longhorns back-to-back wins over ranked opponents, the only thing mentioned is the loss to Maryland, the seven-point win over Tulsa, or the gritty, close win over Kansas State on the road.
I don’t know you, person who is reading this article, and we may never meet in person. But I know that if you’re reading this and you don’t, at least by now, understand that Oklahoma is grossly overvalued and Texas is egregiously ignored, then I don’t know what anyone can do to persuade you otherwise.
Saturday is going to be a battle. Saturday will be one of the most electric, intense, and exciting Red River Showdowns we have all been treated to in quite some time. Saturday’s winner will be sitting more comfortably in the Big 12 Conference driver seat.
I wrote yesterday about the hype surrounding this game. I want the hype. I love the hype.
I just don’t think treating Oklahoma like this overwhelming favorite is necessary, nor is it in any indicative of what type of team Oklahoma really is.
And let me make it clear that I don’t think Texas is far better than Oklahoma, a team in which they’ve beat more times than they’ve been beat.
I just think Texas is more evenly matched with Oklahoma than most realize, and that the Longhorns are one of the hottest, ascending teams in college football right now.
Do you honestly think that Texas, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, or FPI, should have just a 26.7 percent chance to win on Saturday?
Math is hard. Predicting college football win probabilities is even harder. But this game shouldn’t be that hard. This is largely unproven and almost upset at home Oklahoma vs. severely underrated and ascending upward Texas. I feel like a 73/27 split is a little ridiculous.
Whatever happens on Saturday will have more to do with one team showing up to its biggest game of the regular season with a little more fire and want-to than the team on the other side of the Cotton Bowl.
But I just couldn’t stand by and watch Texas get rag dolled by the national narrative, which just absolutely loves Oklahoma.
It is my duty, as someone who uses both sides of my brain about 27 percent of the time, to inform you four or five readers that stuck around this long, that this game is not a foregone conclusion that favors Oklahoma.
I hope you appreciate the bravery required to introduce this alternative narrative.
It’s not that I think Oklahoma is a bad team, I just think Oklahoma sucks.