AUSTIN, Texas — This is the game. Arguably the most anticipated game for both programs: Texas versus Oklahoma. The Red River Showdown.
No. 19 Texas will take the field against the No. 7 Oklahoma as a 7.5-point underdog. ESPN Football Power Index gives the Sooners a 73.4 percent chance of winning the Golden Hat trophy. History is on the side of the Sooners, as well. When both teams are ranked, Texas is 3-9 against Oklahoma.
Texas enters the matchup with a four-game winning streak and Oklahoma is unblemished thus far, 5-0.
Kick off for Texas-Oklahoma is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on Saturday Oct. 6.
UT PICK 'EM STANDINGS
So, after UT survived against Kansas State 19-14, let's take a look at the KVUE UT pick em standings:
Mike Barnes -- 3-0
Bryan Mays -- 3-0
Shawn Clynch -- 2-1
Paul Livengood -- 2-1
Hank Cavagnaro -- 2-1
Tim Ryan -- 2-1
Andrew McKibbin -- 1-1 ***(McKibbin was on vacation for the first pick)***
Jay Wallis -- 1-2
KVUE STAFF PICKS ITS UT-OU WINNER
Now, the KVUE staff members made their picks for the Texas-Oklahoma game. This is what they predicted:
Mike Barnes, KVUE Sports Director:
Texas 34, Oklahoma 24.
Remember the days when Mike Stoops was a great defensive coordinator? Those days are long gone for OU. Texas receivers will have a field day against the Oklahoma secondary and Kyler Murray’s old tendency of not seeing the safety in coverage will hamper the Sooners. UT's defense will snag a couple of big interceptions and Texas will pull off the upset, 34-24.
Shawn Clynch, KVUE Sports Reporter:
Texas 33, Oklahoma 27.
I’ve spent countless hours going back-and-forth on this and debating in my own head.
This game deserves at least four paragraphs due to the history of the Red River Rivalry alone.
But, I’ll toss out a few stats of recent history. Since 2000, OU is 9-3 in games versus UT when both teams are ranked. That doesn’t bode well for the Longhorns.
But, these stats do: the Sooners may have one of the nation’s top five offenses, led by the amazing talented quarterback, Kyler Murray and gifted receivers. But, Mike Stoops’ defense is underwhelming. The Sooners rank 91st in the country in total defense and have done so against average to bad competition.
Texas will be the first ranked team OU has faced this season. So, if Texas wins time of possession on offense and is plus in the turnover margin, limit the number of times Sam Ehlinger is hit, and rush the ball for 125+ yards, the Longhorns win.
The Longhorns bring the Golden Hat Trophy back to Austin. Texas wins, 33-27.
Paul Livengood, KVUE Digital Sports Producer/Digital Desk Editor:
Texas 27, Oklahoma 24.
I thought about this for a long, long time. Usually I have my portion written before I gather the answers from my colleagues to put together this article, but this time I was the last person to write his. This game will go one of two ways: either it turns into a track meet and Oklahoma runs away with it. Or, Texas controls the clock, keeps Kyler Murray and that potent Sooner offense off the field, and squeak out a close win. But which would I think happen? Oklahoma has yet to play a viable opponent until this clashing with Texas. Every team they've played has been unranked: FAU, UCLA, Iowa State, Army, and Baylor. Texas is much more battle tested to this point with wins against three teams who were ranked at the time the Longhorns played them. I somewhat wish UT hadn't laid an egg in the opener against Maryland and both teams would be undefeated, This would be ten times more of an exciting weekend. But enough of the non-football stuff. Texas will control the clock with its run game, keep Kyler Murray off the field (this is the best defense possible in this case), and will have opportunistic big plays against an Oklahoma defense that's susceptible to give up big plays for scores. The Golden Hat is coming back to Austin, folks.
Bryan Mays, KVUE Daybreak Anchor:
Texas 38, Oklahoma 24.
I'm taking UT, 38-24. I think both offenses will have some success, but Texas' speed on defense, especially in the secondary, is better than any team OU has faced thus far. Sam Ehlinger has protected the football the past four ball games and that will continue. Expect a breakout game from freshman running back Keaontay Ingram. The nation will get a chance to see that this Texas team wins the old fashioned way: running the football and playing good defense.
Hank Cavagnaro, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 38, Oklahoma 45.
Now, I’m not able to be as specific as some of our people here (read Tim Ryan’s guesses each week, they’re amazing), but I do think this will be a high scoring game. Both OU and UT have shown that they can be some of the best in the country, but I still think OU has it this year. While I personally think this will be a close one, if UT somehow wins in a blowout, I wouldn’t be totally surprised. But for me, this is a back-and-forth game by both teams with OU just having a little more fire power!
Jay Wallis, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 27, Oklahoma 24.
As a born and raised Texan, I know I am completely biased here. But I think this still remains one of the best rivalries in college football. It has history. It has hatred. It has animosity. And finally, for the first time in what feels like an eternity -- it has weight to it. This is the first time the Longhorns (19) and Sooners (7) are both ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2012. They each have something to play for Saturday afternoon. Whoever wins will control their own destiny and has a chance to make some noise as the season winds down. Oklahoma is trying to cement its resume for a shot in the College Football Playoffs. Texas might not have such high aspirations, but the significance of a possible victory might be even greater. The Longhorn's win against TCU was nice, but that's one quality win. A loss could put this team right back in its place as a middle-tier Big 12 team. But a win? Well, that shoots UT right back into legitimate college football relevancy. A win could give this program the confidence it needs to turn the corner from the malaise they have been in for the past half decade. I think that's going to happen Saturday. I usually back up my predictions with stats, facts and trends -- but not this week. Watching these athletes, listening to this head coach, feeling this reinvigorated school spirit all around town... something has changed. The Longhorns defense is going to come up with a big turnover at a key point in the game, the running backs are going to get just enough on the ground to keep OU's Front Seven on their toes and by the end of this game, Texas will remain undefeated in conference play.
Tim Ryan, KVUE News Director:
Texas 14, Oklahoma 10.
I’ll keep picking the Longhorns until they lose. In this case, OU will lead 10-7 at halftime and both teams will go scoreless until UT gets a touchdown with 1:00 left. OU moves the ball with the last possession, but has to try a hail mary pass that falls incomplete as time expires. You heard it here first.
Andrew McKibbin, KVUE Dayside Executive Producer:
Texas 28, Oklahoma 41.
Records and rankings mean nothing when UT rolls up the road to the Cotton Bowl. The Longhorns -- and similarly the Sooners -- always have a shot to win it. If the Longhorns can keep the Sooners' offense on the sidelines via turnovers and controlling the clock, they can win. But, I don’t think that happens this time around. Oklahoma wins 41-28.
OTHER COLLEGE AND HS PICKS BY CLYNCH AND MAYS
Clynch and Mays also predicted some other college football games as well as the local high school games on their Football Friday show on Facebook. Watch here: