We need to root for OU, but unlike Eyes I won't have any difficulty at all doing so. I can handle a loss. We lost to A&M the last couple years and I got over it pretty quickly. We were dysfunctional and we got it handed to us. No fluke about it. The Tech game was a fluke. I hate flukes. I have a similar brain to Batman -- that is, I hate injustice, and ones done to me drive me insane. I also enjoy rubber suits with nipples.
So who has the upper hand? Oklahoma does. Bob Stoops has done the best job of any coach defending the Tech offense. His losses to Leach have come on the heels of a phantom first down and TD, and an injury to 90% of the team's offense. You beat OU with misdirection and big plays, neither of which Tech's offense is built to do.
But this isn't just any Tech team, either . They have the JWF, or "Jason White Factor". Tech's offense is designed to get the ball out of the QB's hands within 2 seconds. This year it's more like 4. The tradeoff of sending 5 WRs out on a pattern and holding onto the ball that long is that you get sacked 7 times. Just ask Colt Brennan about that.
But time and time again, teams will defend the play but lose contain after awhile, but they haven't been able to get to Harrell to make up for it. dedfischer will tell you that those teams will get past their man then suddenly get tired and quit before getting the sack, because Tech's OL is so physical that they wear they intimidate the DL from behind. We let him think this, the same way you would let your kid think Santa is real.
Anyhow, when a QB is holding the ball past 2-3 seconds, he's playing with house money. You've got a commodity bubble, and that commodity is time. When it pops, it pops hard. So far it hasn't been an issue. Tech has protected Harrell the way HenryJames protects his Beverly Hills 90210 commemorative plates, and I give them, roughly, a 900% chance to protect him well again tomorrow. Call it a hunch.
Beyond that, Michael Crabtree gives them a dimension they've never had before, and won't have when he's gone.
(Quick tangent here. I would just like everyone to remember that the NFL collective bargaining agreement is up after next season, and first issue for the league will be lowering rookie contracts. Boy, those 2009 first rounders sure are lucky! I bring this up for no reason.)
When the play breaks down, Harrell and Crabtree keep drives going. It's one thing to cover him during his route, it's another thing to cover him when he's just running around afterwards. If you can't sack Harrell, it's really just backyard football. This isn't Bob Stoops' forte, exactly. His defenses are disciplined, but if you break them down and make them play, then you have a chance.
The Tech OL and Crabtree are the difference between 8-4 Tech and 10-0 Tech. Just like the difference between 8-4 A&M and 11-1 A&M -- outright cheating. Yeah, I said it.
OU still has Bradford, who is good for 400 yards and 35 points on his own. OU is not a great rushing team, but their OL is strong and physical and will matchup evenly with Tech's similar style. Neither team is about trickery or subversion, so it'll come down to who executes better. I give the nod to OU here because it's really, really hard to out-execute Sam Bradford.
Add in that it's a home game for OU, and not a BCS bowl, and I see a 38-28 type win for the Sooners, who will then most assuredly crap the bed and send Tech to the Big 12 Championship anyway. Now if you'll excuse me I am going to go cling to my guns and my religion.