Big 12 remains there for the taking for all but Cyclones … even the Sooners
Had Brent Venables spoken with media on Tuesday, as is his ritual, he would have been asked, perhaps three or four different ways, how Oklahoma intends to use its lone bye week.
Yet, in a departure from previous Sooner bye weeks, Venables is taking the program off its media schedule precisely because it’s a bye week, leaving us to wonder what he’s doing with it until he can explain it after the fact, as the Sooners ready to face Iowa State a week from Saturday in Ames, a team that's managed to put out the Big 12’s best defense without winning a conference game.
So, while it’s anybody’s guess how the bye week might specifically be used — from cramming as though finals week to frantically pick up system and schemes, to the opposite in the name of giving young athletes’ heads rests — what can be discerned is its utter cruciality, because the conference race remains as open as the Great Plains in which most of its schools are located.
Momentarily, TCU and Kansas State remain unbeaten three games into league play. Texas and Oklahoma State carry a single loss, though the Longhorns’ three wins are one more than the Pokes’ two.
Kansas, West Virginia, Baylor and Texas Tech all carry two losses, though it’s the Jayhawks in front of the others with two wins rather than one. Only to be followed by OU and Iowa State bringing up the rear..
And still, the Cyclones remain the only roster with what appears to be no chance to play for a conference crown.
For a squad that’s lost three of four to begin the loop, it couldn’t be laid out any better for the Sooners.
Of the league’s top five teams, OU’s played four of them. But for its Bedlam rival, it’s done with the heavyweights.
What’s left are those winless Cyclones, Baylor at home, West Virginia away, OSU at home and Texas Tech away. OU could well be favored in all but Bedlam, or even in that one, too.
Now ,take a look at where the top of the league can still take losses.
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