Iowa vs. No. 19 Oklahoma
Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Tempe, Ariz.
Remember when the Sooners were the preseason No. 1? That lasted in the coaches’ poll through Week 7. During that portion of the year, who would have thought Oklahoma (9-3) would be spending the postseason alongside a middle-of-the-road Big Ten team?
That’s what happens when a team such as Texas Tech racks you up as its only victory since Oct. 1. The mood changes. Injuries aren’t overcome. You slide down the bowl pole.
Along with the shocking nature of the 44-10 final score of Bedlam (we stupidly went for the Sooner upset), Oklahoma surprisingly allowed Oklahoma State to rush for 278 yards on just 33 carries (8.4 yards per attempt).
That’s an ominous sign for the Sooners, who have to deal with Hawkeye sophomore running back Marcus Coker. He’s rushed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, and bolted for 219 yards in last season’s Insight Bowl, a 27-24 victory over then-No. 12 ranked Missouri.
We’re not sure why our friends in the desert have so little respect for Iowa (7-5) and Kirk Ferentz, who have won their last three bowl games (Insight, Orange and Outback), but we’ll gladly accept the free points.
Opening point spread: Oklahoma by 15 1/2
The pick: Oklahoma 31-26
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