The eyes of the Big Twelve will be on South Bend, Indiana this weekend as the #12 Sooners travel to play #22 Notre Dame. Its the only match-up in the conference featuring two Top 25 teams, and just one of four games featuring Big Twelve Schools on another limited, on another weekend of limited action. This game is huge not only for Oklahoma but for the conference as well. The Big Twelve has gotten off to a terrible start to the season with six of ten teams dropping games to out of conference opponents. A win by Oklahoma would also mark the most significant non-conference win for the Big Twelve.
Thursay, Sept. 26th
6:30 - Iowa State at Tulsa: The Big Twelve weekend gets started early with this game. The Cyclones are winless on the year but a Tulsa team that ranks 113th in the nation in scoring defense could be ISU's best opportunity to score a win for a long, long time.
Subplot: This will be the third meeting between the two schools over the last twelve months. Iowa State started the 2012 season with a 38-23 win over Tulsa in Ames and then fell to the Golden Hurricane, 31-17, in the Liberty Bowl. If it were baseball we'd call this weekend's game a rubber match, but regardless, Iowa State has the opportunity to avenge their bowl loss by taking the third game of this series in front of the Tulsa home crowd.
Saturday, Sept 28th
11:00 - #11Oklahoma State at West Virginia: This is the first conference game of the season for OSU and WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen is entering into this one on a bit of a hot seat. The Mountaineers have progressively gotten worse since he game to Morgantown and he's running out of time to show that he can turn things around in 2013.
Subplot: This is the first time Holgorsen and Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy have met on the field, in Holgorsen's backyard, since the two parted ways in Stillwater. There are rumors that they didn't necessarily get along when Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator and it'll be interesting to see how things play out if the game gets out of control.
11:00 - SMU at TCU: Its the nation's 85th ranked offense (TCU) against the 115th ranked defense (SMU). Yeah, buddy! Its just doesn't get more exciting than that.
Subplot: Its hard to believe that the Horned Frogs were ranked to start the season. This is a team that seems to have completely lost its way. Injuries have plagued the offense and with a trip to Norman coming up next weekend there's not much time to get things figured out.
2:30 - #12 Oklahoma at #22 Notre Dame: The Sooners face their toughest test of the season and have the potentially to have all of their weaknesses fully exposed just before the remainder of their conference season begins. A possible difference maker here could be the Irish rushing attack against the Oklahoma linebackers. The Irish are currently ranked 100th with 113 rushing yards per game and OU has 9th ranked rush defense by allowing 100.7 yards per game.
Subplot: With a 1-9 all-time record against Notre Dame, the Sooners seem to be cursed against the Irish. Even OU's legendary 47-game winning streak was sandwiched in between two losses to ND (Oklahoma's only win in the series came during that streak). With no games scheduled in the foreseeable future, this will be the Sooners' final crack at breaking the streak for a long while.
Big Twelve Week Five Power Rankings
1. Baylor (3-0, last week #3)
2. Oklahoma State (3-0, last week #1)
3. Oklahoma (3-0, last week #3)
4. Texas Tech (4-0, last week #4)
5. Texas (2-2, last week #8)
6. Kansas State (2-2, last week #5)
7. TCU (1-2, last week #7)
8. West Virginia (2-2, last week #6)
9. Kansas (2-1, last week #9)
10. Iowa State (1-2, last week #10)