The renewal of an old rivalry and the rekindling of a traditional rivalry highlight a four-game, three day holiday week schedule for the Big 12 Conference.
With its traditional Thanksgiving rival playing in a new conference, Texas will be at home Thanksgiving night to face TCU. Those two schools were long-time rivals in the old Southwest Conference. The Horned Frogs, new to the Big 12 this season, haven't hooked up with the Longhorns since 2007.
There is been no interruption in Bedlam, the one-size-fits-all name for any game between Oklahoma State and 13th-ranked Oklahoma. The No. 21 Cowboys (7-3, 5-2), defending Big 12 champions, will visit Oklahoma (8-2, 6-1) for the first time since 2009. Both teams need a victory to stay in the running for the top spot in the final standings and both come off of victories where each scored 50-plus points.
Oklahoma State offensive coordinator made it clear that, for the Cowboys, Bedlam is a big deal.
"The bottom line is we live in the Sooner state, and that alone [ticks] you off quite a bit," Monken said. "They are the team down the road that's traditionally put itself in position to win championships. That [ticks] you off, because you want to be that team. And the reality is you have to listen to it year-round how great it is down there."
There is a possibility of a four-team tie for first place. Kansas State, which has the week off after losing at Baylor Saturday, remains in first place with a 7-1 record. Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are still in the running to earn a share of the title.
The 15th-ranked Longhorns need to beat TCU and then win at Kansas State on Dec. 1. Both UT (8-2, 5-2) and the Horned Frogs (6-4, 3-4) were idle last Saturday. TCU's last victory over Texas came in 1992 but the Frogs are 3-1 in Big 12 road games this season and since 2009 are 23-3 in road/neutral site games.
"All of our focus will be on TCU," Longhorns coach Mack Brown said Monday. "This is a very important game for us and key game for us to finish strong."
This week's schedule
All times Central
TCU at Texas
Need to know: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Darrell K Royal/Memorial Stadium, ESPN.
Records: TCU 6-4, 3-4); Texas 8-2, 5-2.
Scouting TCU: The Horned Frogs, who close the season at home against Oklahoma on Dec. 1, can have a say in who wins the Big 12 title. TCU has given up 38.3 points per game while losing three of its last four. The Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 in total defense and are fourth in scoring defense.
Scouting Texas: After allowing 111 points in consecutive losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma, the Longhorns have improved on both sides of the ball and have won four in a row. Texas has allowed just 46 points in their last three games after allowing 161 in the three previous games. The offense generated 609 total yards in its last game.
This and that: Texas and TCU have played 82 times, making it the fifth-most played series in Texas history. ... TCU is playing on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1928. ... TCU is tied with Texas for having played the most true freshmen (16) in the nation. TCU has played more true freshmen (16) than it has scholarship seniors (11).
West Virginia at Iowa State
Need to know: 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jack Trice Stadium, ABC.
Records: West Virginia, 5-5, 2-5; Iowa State 6-5, 3-5.
Scouting West Virginia: The Mountaineers need one victory in their last two games to become bowl eligible and are desperate to end a five-game losing streak. During the skid they've allowed nearly 50 points a game. Senior Tavon Austin is coming off a remarkable game that saw him start at running back and rush for 344 yards and gain 572 yards in all-purpose yardage.
Scouting Iowa State: The Cyclones are bowl eligible for the third time in coach Paul Rhoads' four seasons. Redshirt freshman Sam Richardson, seeing the first significant action of his career, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to spark a 51-point explosion in last week's win at Kansas. Offensive production has been a season-long issue for Iowa State.
This and that: These schools are meeting for the first time. ... West Virginia has the No. 4 passing offense in the nation, averaging 344.80 passing yards per game. ... Iowa State strong safety Durrell Givins leads the nation in takeaways. His national-best six fumble recoveries and three interceptions give him nine takeaways in 11 games (.818).
Baylor vs. Texas Tech
Need to know: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, FOX.
Records: Baylor 5-5, 2-5; Texas Tech 7-4, 4-4.
Scouting Baylor: The Bears shocked the college football world with their upset of Kansas State. That put them within a victory of bowl eligibility. Baylor's defense showed toughness in shutting down the Wildcats' running game and forcing three turnovers. Baylor's offense continues to put up big numbers - second nationally in total offense, fifth in scoring offense
Scouting Texas Tech: Last season the Red Raiders' bowl hopes were lost during a collapse over the second half of the season. Texas Tech will go bowling this season but need a victory to prevent another season-ending slump. The Red Raiders have lost three of their last four and in two of those losses gave up 50-plus points.
This and that: This is the fourth annual Texas Farm Bureau Shootout. ... The Bears haven't won back-to-back games vs. Texas Tech since the 1986 and 1987 seasons. ... Baylor has 4 players with at least 400 yards rushing this season; the last time that happened was 1994. ... In just two seasons as a starter, senior quarterback Seth Doege is No. 3 in passing yards in school history.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
Need to know: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Gaylord Family/Memorial Stadium, 2:30 p.m., ESPN.
Records: Oklahoma State 7-3, 5-2; Oklahoma 8-2, 6-1.
Scouting Oklahoma State: Junior Clint Chelf is expected to be the starting quarterback although freshmen J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt are healthy. Walsh scored touchdowns running and passing in short-yardage situations last week. In winning five of their last six, Oklahoma State has held four opponents to 21 or fewer points. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in scoring offense and are second in total offense.
Scouting Oklahoma: The Sooners still have a shot at winning the conference title. They allowed a school-record 778 yards in winning at West Virginia Saturday. Senior quarterback Landry Jones drove OU to the winning touchdown and set a school record for passing yards. Despite giving up 49 to the Mountaineers, the Sooners are second in the Big 12 in scoring defense.
This and that: The Cowboys haven't won in Norman since 2001. ... Oklahoma State is seeking to beat ranked foes in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1976. ... Sooners quarterback Landry Jones needs 170 yards passing to become the Big 12's career leader in passing yards and 350 yards to become the career leader in total offense.