In recent years, a matchup between Oklahoma and Baylor would be considered a headliner. This time around, it might be considered a mismatch.
The third-ranked Sooners are expected to steamroll the winless Bears, plain and simple. Oklahoma already has a signature win early on in the season, walking into Columbus, Ohio and put their feet on the furniture, handling then-No. 2 Ohio State two weeks ago with the 31-16 win.
On the flip side, Baylor has struggled and that’s putting it mildly. In a span of two years, the Bears have gone from a Big 12 championship contender to a team still trying to find itself at 0-3. The sexual assault scandals that plagued the program during that span have certainly played a significant part in the recent decline.
NEW COACHES: Bob Stoops stepped down as the head coach of the Sooners during the summer, handing the reins over to Lincoln Riley. Oklahoma hasn’t skipped a beat during the transition and expected to be in the national title picture.
It’s a different story for Baylor.
After the departure of Art Briles as a result of the off-the-field issues, Baylor brought in Matt Rhule from Temple to take over and clean things up. It’s a process, as they are finding out this season in Waco. A thin roster going into Big 12 play doesn’t look promising and the flaws could be exposed on Saturday against the Sooners.
SOONERS OFFENSE: Baylor will have their hands full with Oklahoma’s offense and it could get real ugly real quick. The Sooners have won their first three games by an average margin of 35 points and have plenty of weapons on that side of the ball.
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Baylor has been outscored 99-75 and gave up 1,390 yards in total offense in their losses to Liberty, Duke and UTSA. The scoreboard may be lit up like in years past, except this time it could be one-sided with the Sooners putting the majority of the points on the board.
RUSHING ATTACK: Both teams have struggled in stopping the running game. Oklahoma ranks No. 79 nationally in yards allowed per rush at 4.08. Baylor isn’t too far behind, ranking No. 87 at 4.35 yards per attempt.
The Sooners continue to tinker with their lineup at running back. Abdul Adams leads the team with 166 yards on 21 carries. Trey Sermon has 135 yards on 31 carries. Marcelias Sutton and Rodney Anderson have also seen time in the Sooners backfield.
LAST TIME IN WACO: Two years ago, Baylor was ranked No. 6 and unbeaten at 8-0. The Sooners erased any hope of the Bears had in making a case to be included in the College Football Playoffs, leaving McClane Stadium with a 44-34 win and staking their own claim to a CFP spot.
HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH: The award could come down to a tug-a-war between Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Right now, Mayfield is considered the favorite to win the award by Bovada at 7/4. In fact, the chances of a quarterback taking home the Heisman look pretty good with USC’s Sam Darnold and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph also in the mix.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Oklahoma would have to make too many mistakes in order for Baylor to have a chance this time around. The Bears will have the home field advantage but the Sooners have already proven that doesn’t really matter when they arrive in town.
Kick-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at McClane Stadium in Waco.