Yes, it is Baylor visiting Oklahoma State for the major share of the Big 12 South. I say major because the winner will be one down in beating the other three top contenders. Oklahoma State could lose to Texas and still own a tiebreaker over Baylor and OU, if the Cowboys closed the season beating the Sooners at Boone Pickens.
I'm looking forward to this because the scoreboard should get a workout on Saturday. This game will feature two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Brandon Weeden and the splashy and explosive Robert Griffin III.
The two running backs are outstanding with Kendall Hunter and Jay Finley. The receivers are highlighted by Justin Blackmon for the Cowboys and Kendall Wright for Baylor, but both have great complimentary players at that position. The offenses will be wild, the punters and kickers are the best that the Big 12 has.
So what will the difference be on Saturday? Amazingly, it will be the defenses. Oklahoma State needs to break out of its pattern of one bad tackling game and then a good tackling game. They had good tackling games against Texas Tech and Kansas State with a 33-missed tackles effort in the middle against Nebraska.
Balanced offenses with mobile quarterbacks have been tough for the Cowboys but they don't have to shut Baylor out. If they will just average a couple of stops each quarter then they will be fine.
In advance, I like the OSU defense matchup with the Baylor offense better than the Baylor defense matched up with the OSU offense.
2. Remember the Video Guys
I am indebted to the OSU video guys as director Jeff Naple and his assistant Zack Ramsey help myself, Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb do our jobs in preparing for games.
They, along with their student assistants, do a great job. Just like the young man Declan Sullivan, who lost his life in that wind storm at Notre Dame, the Oklahoma State video crew shoots from mechanical lifts. Naple looks out for his guys and is a leader in his industry. Mike Gundy respects Naple and he can tell the coach on days he doesn't want his guys going up in Oklahoma's wind.
Gundy announced this week that he plans on asking for permanent video filming towers that are built to safely withstand reasonable winds in Oklahoma when the new practice fields are constructed. Of course, the planned indoor practice facility will also be an asset in keeping not only players safe but also support crew like the video crew.
3. Oregon vs. TCU
That is my matchup for this week. Oregon may have the best offense in all of college football and after beating USC I really feel the Duicks are on their way to going unbeaten.
I'm not sure that TCU isn't the best defensive team out there. Those big defensive tackles and some solid backups and those big, physical corners allow them to play really aggressive. I think they will blow out Utah this Saturday. I know, Auburn is out there but I am betting on Alabama to knock off the Cam Newton show.
4. Pilgrim or Not, Plus Early Hoops Thoughts
It appears that Pilgrim is back in the fold, but for how long? This guy can't stand prosperity. He has a great opportunity and I hope he will finally realize it and have both feet in the circle as Travis Ford has suggested.
Based on what I saw on Monday in the first exhibition game, the Cowboys may not need him. Marshall Moses is off to his usual slow start, but Darrell Williams is a guy that gets things done with his 15 points and 15 rebounds performance against OCU. Also, OCU was a great exhibition opponent as it played with a chip on their shoulder. The Stars came to win and got rough with the Cowboys early. Heck, it resembled a Big 12 opener and not an exhibition opener.
The Cowboys shot poorly and played sloppy at times, which was not unexpected as Travis Ford said they had practiced that way when he spoke on media day. Ahhh, a coach that lays out the truth on his team in preseason.
Keiton Page, in his new scaled-down shape, turned it on with 21 points. OSU won by 20, 86-66. I liked it. It needs to get better, but I liked it. I liked it enough that if Pilgrim screws up one more time, I'd suggest Ford send him packing.
5. Best Sidelines in the Business: Swimsuits Not Required
I have three nominations and this comes from a guy that does radio sidelines. My criteria is give me a woman that knows her football, has a passion for what she does on Saturday, and is professional with the coaches, players, and officials. Although this is not a beauty contest, I think all three are very attractive ladies. Here are my top female sideline reportes in college football.
1. Emily Jones: I've known her for a long time and she has really improved and matured. She loves football, knows it well, and does a very good interview.
2. Holly Rowe: She watches game tape and knows what to look for. Rowe is a football junkie and works hard to get extra material others don't get.
3. Jenn Brown; Brown has done modeling, but she is a former Florida Gator softball player. Rob Glass said she was really fast in her playing days. Brown is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.