Both teams are bleeding and hurting after tragic losses last saturday. This year's game has lost so much of it's shine, the ratings will probably drop for the first time in three years. This game has usually had national championship implications for the winner, and another year of hearing your rival brag for the loser.
This year, both teams have to be playing for pride. Becuase the winner of this game will probably not be playing for a national championship. Depending on how the rest of the big XII season goes, they may not even be playing for a chance to win the conference.
For the first time in a long time, two one-loss teams will walk out onto the field at the cotton bowl.
The Longhorns will need McCoy to come back and play in last year's form to have hopes of winning this game. Since his injury at K-state last year, Colt has not looked like the same quaterback that led Texas all the way into November with national championship hopes. Hopefully the rest of the offense will step up, and show the country that the first five games were a fluke.
The offensive line needs to give McCoy time to throw, the receiving core needs to make big plays, and the backfield needs to be able to wear down the Oklahoma defense.
The Longhorns defense has looked suspect at times, for the last three years the defense has been dominant and kept teams quiet. This year, you can see that losing so many great players to the NFL has hurt the team.
This is the time when your senior leadership needs to step up and get the young guys ready to play. If this doesn't happen, then the defense will be a laughing stock in the conference. The secondary has been especially weak, playing mostly zone coverage and giving up the 5-10 yard route. This week, they need to step up and try to play man-to-man coverage, and put in a lot of blitz packages and try to rattle the young freshman QB for Oklahoma.
While losing a second year in a row to an up and coming Kansas state team, the Longhorns need to forget this loss and focus on Oklahoma. They can win out and try for a chance to enact revenge again on Kansas State in the Big XII title game in San Antonio.
Oklahoma looked good through the first four games of the season, pretty much blowing everybody they played out of the water—while playing what could be considered a soft schedule. They did beat a Miami team that ended up beating Texas A&M. But Miami is weak this year, so once again, Oklahoma has played a mediocre schedule to this point.
You had to figure that the trend would continue last weekend going into Colorado. But they let a mediocre (at best) Buffaloes team come back and beat them in the 4th quarter.
Colorado proved to the rest of the Big XII that Oklahoma was overrated and could be beat. The freshman quaterback looked just like that—a freshman. You just have to exploit his weaknesses and immaturity. When he gets hurried, he tends to be more careless, leaving open the possibility to make mistakes.
Colorado also proved that on offense, you could wear down the Oklahoma defense, by using their speed agianst them. With some creative playcallin, and a lot of rollout formations by the quarterback, Colorado was able to wear down and outlast the defensive front for Oklahoma.
Sooner fans will claim it was the altitude. But every team that goes into Boulder faces that problem, and most of those teams didn't choke in the 4th quarter. So all in all, my opinion is that Oklahoma was overrated and had played a cup-cake schedule.
As long as the Longhorns can move the ball, and keep the Oklahoma defense on the field, it will be a long day for the Sooners. Colt McCoy will have a breakout game and go back to his old ways before his injury last year. The Longhorns will win a tough battle, and thus keep their hopes of a Big XII championship alive.
Prediction: Texas 35-Oklahoma 24