User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Sooners, Longhorns trying to stay in Big 12 race

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - It's a college football experience unlike any other.

Advertisement
It starts with a bus ride into the State Fair of Texas, with fans thumping on the sides and cheering or directing insults and unfriendly gestures toward the riders. Then there's the walk down the Cotton Bowl field, the chance to stare down your bitter rival face to face before the game begins.

And no matter what's on the line beyond the Golden Hat trophy at the annual Red River Rivalry, it's always something special - even if the stakes are a little lower than usual.

No. 13 Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) and No. 15 Texas (4-1, 1-1) will arrive in Dallas on Saturday playing catch-up in the conference standings for a change. Instead of a showdown to get in the driver's seat in the Big 12, the rivalry is a crucial win both teams need to keep up with No. 5 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas State.

For the first time since 2007, and the second time since 1997, both teams already have a conference loss behind their names.

``It doesn't have any different feel,'' Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday. ``Not in my eyes.''

It'll be the 14th straight time Stoops has gone up against Texas' Mack Brown, with the two teams combining to win nine of the last 13 conference titles. The loser this time could end up two games back in the league standings.

So, could this be an early October elimination game?

``I wouldn't ever say that,'' Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin said. ``We don't want to get too high. We don't want to get too low.

``You never know what's going to happen in the Big 12 or in college football, period. We're definitely going to try to go out there and get this win, try and give it our all but we don't really think of the negatives yet.''

The potential is certainly there, though. Oklahoma lost on its home field last month against Kansas State, and Texas was beaten at home just last week by West Virginia. Don't forget that the Sooners must travel to face the Mountaineers, and the Longhorns finish the regular season at K-State.

``We can't afford to take any more losses and we can't afford to take any steps backward. We're trying to move forward in everything that we do,'' Oklahoma defensive end R.J. Washington said.

``But it's Texas. It's going to be high-energy. There's going to be an unruly crowd. Things aren't going to go your way, but you've just got to keep pushing. I think the first couple games we've had have helped us get through that. We've gone through some adversity. We've battled back from that.''

The Sooners are coming off of a 41-20 win at previously unbeaten Texas Tech, ending a three-game losing streak in Lubbock. Before that, they had off weeks bracketing the 24-19 loss to Kansas State, and Stoops thought all the down time stunted the team's development.

``Now, hopefully we can get in a rhythm. ... You really make your improvement, I think, when you're on the field playing in game situations, and hopefully we can take some strides and keep improving,'' Stoops said.

The only setback Monday was the news that backup offensive lineman Nila Kasitati was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

The Sooners have won the last two games in the series, including a 55-17 decision last season, after losing four of the previous five. After a weekend when three of the nation's top five teams lost, they're still harboring the grandest of hopes.

``We're trying to get to the national championship,'' Colvin said. ``We're trying to win big games. We definitely want to beat those guys just because it's such a big rivalry, but at the end of the day, we need this win for us.''

``You really never know with college football. ... We've still got a chance,'' he added. ``You never know what'll happen. If odds work out in our favor, then we'll be blessed to have that situation and we'll definitely go out there and play hard.''

For now, though, it's all about beating the Longhorns. Any chances at the Big 12 and national championships depend on it.

``It's anybody's game right now,'' Washington said. ``It could come down to the wire, so every game is as important as every other game. This just happens to be a rivalry game. There's always a little added incentive for that.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Jackson remains Heisman 'chalk'
Edwards: Opening Line Report - Bowls
JMU routs Sam Houston, into FCS semis
Alabama's Kiffin reportedly pursued by FAU
OSU's Fickell is Cincinnati front-runner
QB Fyfe prepped as Huskers' bowl starter
Houston promotes Applewhite to coach
Rhule starting to hire staff at Baylor
OU teammates are rare pair of finalists
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
5-2 Run, 10-5 G-Plays, +1,885 TY
11-5 L16, 34-12 Streak, +1,841 TY
3-0 Saturday, 7-1 L8, 12-3 L15
8-1 Win Streak, 14-5 L19 Totals
4-1 Picks, 13-3 G-Plays, +1,653 TY
18-6 L5 Saturdays, 59% +1,543 TY
14-3 Last 17 G-Play Streak
+2,757 NCAA FB Over/Unders TY
7-3 L10 Picks, 13-4 L17 G-Plays
39-14 L5 Saturdays, 48-24 Streak
19-9 L4 Saturdays, 30-16 L46 Run
8-4 Sat., 19-7 GPlays, +2,353 Totals
28-14 L6 Saturdays, 31-15 Streak
14-6 CFB Record L20 Picks
9-4 L13 CFB Guarantees
4-0 Saturday, 7-1 L8, +1,036 TY
4-2 Saturday, 11-4 G-Plays TY
3-0 Week 14 Record
4-1 L5 Guaranteed Plays
11-4 L15 G-Plays, 17-9 L26 Picks
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks - Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipman
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1885
Joe Williams + 1841
Kyle Hunter + 1653
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 400
Michael Black + 400
Paul Bovi + 300
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Rickenbach 59 %
Pat Hawkins 58 %
Kyle Hunter 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 984
Marc Lawrence + 917
Kyle Hunter + 740
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2757
Micah Roberts + 2353
Kyle Hunter + 2001
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 605
Vince Akins + 605
Scott Rickenbach + 557
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership