One of the biggest games in the Big 12 for the past couple of years has been Oklahoma against TCU. The Sooners and Frogs along with Baylor have been the conference’s powers for a while. But with Baylor now potentially a huge mess with the firing of Coach Art Briles, the winner of the Oklahoma-TCU game on Oct. 1 in Fort Worth should be the team to beat for the Big 12 title and potential spot in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma has shortest college football lines among Big 12 teams to win the national title at +1400. TCU is +4000.
Sneak Peek at the NCAA Football Betting Odds on Oklahoma vs. TCU
Of course Oklahoma won last year’s Big 12 title and did reach the College Football Playoff behind Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield. He led OU to an 11-1 regular-season record, but the Sooners were no match for top-ranked Clemson on the Orange Bowl national semifinal, losing 37-17. OU was actually a slight favorite in that game even though Clemson was No. 1 and unbeaten. The Sooners did lead 17-16 at halftime but it was all Clemson after intermission.
Mayfield, who threw for 311 yards but was picked off twice, wobbled off the field in the closing minutes after taking a shot to the head. Top running back Perine went out for a while with a leg injury. No. 2 running back Joe Mixon appeared to be knocked unconscious and never returned. OU had just 121 yards over the final two quarters. Entering the playoff, Oklahoma seemed to be the country’s hottest team, coming off resounding November road victories over Baylor and Oklahoma State.
With 13 starters back, including Mayfield, Perine and Mixon, Oklahoma has plenty to build off going into 2016. Replacing top receiver Sterling Shepard and rebuilding the line are the biggest concern on offense for coordinator Lincoln Riley.
TCU finished second in the Big 12 to OU and finished 11-2 after a thrilling 47-41 triple-overtime win over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. Starting in place of star QB Trevone Boykin, who was suspended after a bar fight, backup Bram Kohlhausen led the Horned Frogs back from 31 points down. Kohlhausen passed for 351 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, running in for the winner in the third overtime. The comeback tied the record for the largest deficit overtime to win a bowl game.
The Frogs lost Boykin and record-breaking receiver Josh Doctson off last year’s team. Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill is locked into a tight battle with Foster Sawyer for the starting quarterback job, and the winner of this competition will inherit a talented group of skill players. KaVontae Turpin, Jaelan Austin and Jarrison Stewart combined for 76 catches, 1,051 yards and 11 touchdowns as freshmen. Veteran slot receiver Ty Slanina will be back from a broken collarbone that sidelined him in Week 4.
Oklahoma beat visiting TCU 30-29 on Nov. 21 last season. Steven Parker batted away Kohlhausen’s 2-point conversion attempt with less than a minute left. After trailing 30-13 in the fourth quarter, TCU had a chance to tie the game after Kohlhausen’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Porter with 51 seconds remaining. Instead, the Horned Frogs went for the win by attempting the 2-point conversion but were turned away by Parker. Perine ran for 188 yards and a touchdown and Mayfield completed 9 of 20 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma before leaving with a head injury after the first half.
Expert Betting Prediction
Obviously it’s a bit early to project an October game, but all things being equal, OU should be a slight favorite here and I’d lean the Sooners on college football lines. It’s simple: they have the better quarterback.