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OU upset looms at 'the Case'

Nov. 18, 2004

By DREW WILLIAMSON, sports writer

Another year of college football, yet another year of crunching numbers and looking at percentages to see which two teams play for the coveted national championship. The suspense is killing me.

While the BCS system has garnered more criticism than ABC has for its choice to telecast a stark naked "housewife" on Monday Night Football, the Baylor Bears sit comfortably at home in Waco, unconcerned with all of the gossip concerning who will be No. 2. Right? Wrong.

This weekend, the Bears will play their final game of the 2004 season against the team that, as of now, holds the No. 2 position in the all-important BCS standings, the University of Oklahoma.

The only thing that stands in the Sooners' way of playing for Bob Stoops' second national championship is a lifeless Big 12 North opponent in the conference championship game, and the vaunted Baylor Bears.

The Bears could single-handedly ruin the Sooners' chance of a berth in the Orange Bowl by simply keeping the game close, as margin of victory is one of the components of the genius that is the BCS system. A win by less than 20 over the Bears would hurt the Sooners in their quest to stay ahead of Auburn.

But, let's not worry about keeping the game close. The way I see it, there is only one possible outcome on Saturday.

The Bears will once again shock the world by upsetting the Sooners on regional television.

The reasons are blatantly evident. I don't know why everyone isn't on the same page with me.

First of all, the Bears come into Saturday's game scorching. The Bears have won one out of their last three conference games, a mark which dwarfs Baylor's previous streak: one out of 18.

An upset is definitely lurking. Simply look at the stats both teams have compiled this season, and it's easy to see why Baylor is the obvious choice this weekend.

Baylor kicker Kenny Webb has converted on almost 79 percent of his field goal attempts, while Oklahoma kicker Trey DiCarlo has made only 53 percent of his attempts. 53 percent? Come on, that's weak.

Willie Andrews and the Bears have nearly 900 yards in kick returns this year, while the Sooners have put up a pathetic 362 yards.

Stoops has let his team amass more than 600 yards in penalties this season. He might want to jot down a few notes this weekend while observing head Coach Guy Morriss, who has turned the discipline up a notch as his team has been penalized an astronomical 100 yards less than the almighty Stoops.

Statistics don't lie. So Adrian Peterson looks like he's being controlled by a joystick when he spins and jukes; Baylor has bruiser Paul Mosley. Who cares if Jason White has some of the best passing numbers in the country? Terrance Parks can throw, run and catch. And I will take Trent Shelton, Ziggy and Marques Roberts any day over the Sooners' trio of Mark Clayton, Travis Wilson and Brandon Jones.

The city of Waco provides one of the most important aspects of upset nostalgia. Almost overnight, Floyd Casey Stadium has become one of the toughest places to play in the nation, and is now mentioned in the same breath as "The Big House" in Ann Arbor, and "Death Valley" in Baton Rouge.

White and company have something else coming if they think they are going to waltz into "The Case" and run circles around the 3-7 Bears.

Then there is the final piece to the upset puzzle. We have Sic'em Bears. They have Boomer Sooner. Do I even have to ask which is cooler and tougher? They have a wagon with horses and guys who carry fake guns; we have a bear that could maul Boomer and Sooner with one arm tied behind her back.

The conclusion is forgone. The Bears will surprise the high-powered Sooners on Saturday, giving the Auburn Tigers the chance to play for the national title.

The Bears win 28-27 on a two-point conversion call with no time remaining, and Floyd Casey will wave goodbye to its third goalpost in only two years.

I mean, isn't it crystal clear?