- A quartet of teams – Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas – are all co-favorites at +300 to win the Big 12 in updated conference championship odds
- The Cyclones beat the Sooners 37-30 in Week 5 to vault Iowa State into the mix
- See the updated odds and analysis for which team has the best chance post-Week 5
Four teams – Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas – are now co-favorites at +300 to be crowned Big 12 conference champions.
The newly-ranked No. 24 Cyclones are the biggest surprise to the group. Mat Campbell’s group beat the Sooners 37-30 in Week 5 in what was the program’s first win over OU in Ames since 1960.
Oklahoma State easily dispatched of Kansas, and TCU upset the Longhorns in other action around the conference on Saturday.
2020 Big 12 Conference Championship Odds
Odds taken Oct. 5 at FanDuel
Even without a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, the Sooners had been the prohibitive favorite since late March to capture a sixth-straight conference championship in Conference Championship odds.
After Lincoln Riley’s team suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in 21 years, the landscape of the Power 5 league’s title odds has changed dramatically.
Texas needed a fourth-quarter comeback and overtime just to beat Texas Tech 63-56 in Week 4. Then, senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger said “this university deserves better” after the Longhorns lost at home Saturday to unranked TCU 33-31.
While the conference blue bloods have stumbled out of the gate – potentially costing the conference a spot in the College Football Playoff in this abbreviated 2020 season with very little room for error – a pair of upstarts have emerged.
The Cyclones hung on for their first home win against the Sooners in 60 years. Meanwhile, all the Cowboys did was demolish Kansas 47-7. Both are ranked and hold the top two spots in the conference standings.
Red River Eliminator
This week’s annual showdown between the Sooners and Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl is a virtual elimination game for the losing team.
What’s wrong with the Sooners? For starters, Spencer Rattler isn’t Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray or Jalen Hurts. With all due respect to the freshman quarterback, Oklahoma fans have been spoiled the last three seasons, and the inexperience at the position was glaring Saturday.
In the last 80 years, Texas is 9-1 against Oklahoma when both teams enter the Red River Rivalry unranked.#RedRiverRivalry#TEXvsOU pic.twitter.com/3RADvZn5FS
— Kyle Umlang (@kyleumlang) October 4, 2020
Also, Oklahoma’s defense has been dreadful. The loss to the Cyclones was preceded by a Kansas State rally from a 35-14 deficit on Sept. 26. The Wildcats racked up 400 total yards — including 334 through the air – and scored 31 second-half points.
Meanwhile, with all the lofty expectations put on Tom Herman, the Urban Meyer disciple has seen his teams play down to their opponents since arriving in Austin.
Guess who’s unranked and reeling this week? A win by the 1-2 (0-2 in Big 12) Sooners is a strong possibility over the No. 22 Longhorns .
Historic Win in Ames
Campbell’s crew may have lost to Louisiana 31-14 in their first game, but with back-to-back victories, highlighted by the seven-point win over Oklahoma, Iowa State is riding a huge wave of momentum.
The Cyclones wore down the Sooners running the ball, while quarterback Brock Purdy passed for 254 yards and had a two-yard touchdown run to tie it at 30.
Now, the Cyclones just need to sustain it. They host Texas Tech this week. Running back Breece Hall has emerged as one of the best tailbacks in the country, as the only Power 5 player with three 100-yard rushing games. He ranks third nationally with 132 yards per game and has six touchdowns.
Campbell has gushed about his senior class and building up to this point. Following the game against the Red Raiders, the Cyclones travel to Stillwater on Oct. 24 in a game that will put its winner in the driver’s seat for a conference title.
The forgotten team in this conference – as is often the case with the Sooners recent domination – is Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys.
All OSU did in Week 5 was destroy Les Miles’ Jayhawks 47-7 in Lawrence. Most of the Cowboys starters were able to rest over the final 20 minutes in a game that saw OSU up 31-0 at the half.
Running back Chuba Hubbard had 145 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns while quarterback Shane Illingworth threw for 265 and three scores.
Now, the ‘Boys have a bye prior to a road game against Baylor and that aforementioned showdown with the Cyclones at Boone Pickens Stadium the following week.
This team, now ranked No. 10 nationally, feels like the favorite to emerge out of the quartet of co-favorites.
Two of its three head-to-head games against the other co-favorites are at home. While Bedlam is in Norman this year – and a down Sooners team would love nothing more than to knock off the Cowboys – I think this OSU team claims at least a share of the conference title for the first time since 2011.
Let’s have fun and keep it civil.