There’s a lot on the line in the Oklahoma vs Iowa State pick to wind down the 2020 college football regular season. This Big 12 Championship game will be held in very familiar grounds for the Sooners, who have won the title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the last three seasons.
We should probably throw out the history books ahead of Saturday afternoon’s meeting (12PM ET, ABC) as Iowa State is just 2-15 against OU in Big 12 play. One of those two victories came earlier this season though, a 37-30 win in Ames as +7.5 home underdogs. The #6 Cyclones are still +6 point underdogs in the rematch against #10 Oklahoma.
Oklahoma a Different Team Than Earlier This Season
The fact that Oklahoma (7-2) made it all the way back into the top 10 is somewhat impressive in itself. This is a Sooners squad that did irreparable damage to their title hopes right out of the gates, losing 38-35 at home to Kansas State as -28 favorites in their second game and then falling by a TD to ISU the next week.
Those early season struggles are way in the rear-view however, as OU has rattled off six straight wins coming into the Big 12 Championship game. They’ve covered the number in five of those as well behind a top 10 passing offense and a #4 rush defense which will get tested on Saturday.
One of the biggest advantages Oklahoma has in this meeting is that they’ve been here before, as the Sooners aim for their sixth straight conference crown. ISU on the other hand hasn’t won a conference title since 1912, and even then it was a tie with Nebraska.
Iowa State Knows Their Formula
Yes, Oklahoma has improved – but this is also a Cyclones team playing with a lot of momentum right now. Who knows where Iowa State would be right now if now for a season opening 31-14 loss to UL-Lafayette at home as -13.5 favorites. ISU also has a 24-21 loss at Oklahoma State on their resume, but even at 8-2 they have a very long shot at making the College Football Playoff.
The Cyclones used a heavy dose of Breece Hall to beat OU in the first meeting, as the ISU RB toted the ball 28 times for 139 yards and 2 TD. Hall has been held under 100 yards the last two games (for the first times all season), but still has at least one rushing TD in each tilt on the year. QB Brock Purdy completed just 12 passes vs. the Sooners earlier this year, but they were big ones as he compiled 254 yards.
The big question is how much ISU will be effected by ‘the moment.’ Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler wasn’t at the reins for OU’s title game win last season, but he does have big game experience in throwing 7 TD to 1 INT in rivalry wins over Texas and Oklahoma State. Purdy has seen a lot as a 3-year starter for the Cyclones as well though.
Free Oklahoma vs Iowa State Pick
Everybody outside of the Norman zip code would like to see Iowa State pull off the feel-good story and win their first conference crown since Taft was in office. The public is split 51/49 on Iowa State, and the side could really go either way.
What this game really looks like is a matchup of two red hot teams that will be able to do whatever they want on offense. They combined for 67 points earlier this season, and 83 points in a Sooners win last season. The total seems low at 58.5, but it’s the route to take especially in a game that could easily see OT between two evenly matched squads.
Iowa State 37 – Oklahoma 34
Free Pick: Over 58.5