The Cowboys are looking to end the Sooners' five-game win streak in the Bedlam series
But as rivalries go, this one is about as one-sided as it gets. OU leads the series with an all-time record of 89-18-7. Since Mike Gundy ascended to head coach at OSU in 2005, the Cowboys have won just twice. The Sooners currently own a five-game winning streak in the rivalry.
This year's matchup has more than just bragging rights on the line. The winner becomes a clear favorite to play in the Big 12 Championship Game in December.
Here's what to watch in this year's edition of Bedlam.
No. 14 Oklahoma State at No. 18 Oklahoma
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Oklahoma -7
When Oklahoma State Has the Ball
The injury situation will play a key role in the success of the OSU offense on Saturday. According to head coach Mike Gundy, those missing in action at practice include the Cowboys' two showstoppers, running back Chuba Hubbard, and receiver Tylan Wallace. Meanwhile, the Pokes have been mixing and matching along their offensive line all season.
The Cowboys played in their last outing like a team that was seriously ailing. Against Kansas State, OSU mustered up 256 yards of total offense on 63 plays, an average of about four yards per snap. If Wallace and Hubbard used last week's open date to heal up, the Cowboys should have more pop when they take the field on Saturday.
Health aside, asking OSU's patchwork OL to hold off Oklahoma's defensive front presents a major problem. The Sooners have quietly developed one of the most disruptive defensive lines in the country, and the unit only got better when defensive end Ronnie Perkins returned to action after sitting out the first five games of the season under an NCAA-mandated suspension. Gundy may need to summon every ounce of his creativity to keep quarterback Spencer Sanders from succumbing to the Sooners' pressure.
When Oklahoma Has the Ball
The Sooners are dealing with some bumps and bruises of their own on offense. A shot to the hip left QB Spencer Rattler hobbling around the field versus Kansas in OU's last contest. Tight end Austin Stogner also sustained a leg injury against the Jayhawks that appeared even more serious, putting his availability for Bedlam in question.
OU needs Rattler playing at 100 percent versus a salty Oklahoma State defense. The OSU secondary is one of the best in the country. If the OU QB is struggling to drive into his throws, expect the Cowboys to try to pounce on passing downs.
On the other hand, the Sooners won't need a big game from Rattler if they continue running the ball as well as they have in the last two games. Since returning to the lineup, Rhamondre Stevenson is churning out an average of eight yards every time he runs the ball. He will get more resistance from the OSU defense than he saw versus OU's last two opponents, Kansas and Texas Tech, but Stevenson can be a big factor in the outcome if he simply forces the Cowboys to respect the ground game.
A month ago, Oklahoma State might have been favored in this game. Recent events suggest the Sooners and Cowboys are heading in opposite directions.
To be fair, Oklahoma has faced the dregs of the Big 12. Even so, the Sooners thrashed their last three opponents by a combined score of 157-51, and they look like they're starting to hit their stride. Meanwhile, the Cowboys appear to be bogging down on offense with their stars on the sidelines.
Tylan Wallace's availability will go a long way towards determining how this game plays out. His presence changes the dynamics of OSU's attack, opening up spots for the Cowboys to stretch the OU defense down the field. Without Wallace on the field, OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch will feel free to tee off on the OSU backfield.
The mismatch between the two teams in the trenches points to an OU victory even if Wallace is at full speed, though.
Prediction: Oklahoma 28, Oklahoma State 20
Podcast: Week 12 Preview and Predictions
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is the founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.