Believe it or not, it’s already October. The only thing standing between the Sooners and their long awaited matchup with Texas in the Cotton Bowl? A trip to Lawrence to face Les Miles and Kansas.
Meet the Jayhawks
While Kansas has been the laughing stock of the Big 12 since Mark Mangino’s firing in 2010, they have shown signs of improvement at times this season, such as their stunning road win at Boston College.
However, it’s important to take the good with the bad when evaluating this Jayhawk team. For every impressive point (a Power 5 road win), there is a glaring negative (blown out by TCU, lost to Coastal Carolina). As such, you have no clue what team you will see each Saturday. They’ll either be decent or astonishingly awful; no middle ground.
The X-Factor here is Les Miles, someone we’ll speak of quite often a bit later this week.
Who to Watch For:
Pooka Williams Jr., RB
While Williams has had a lackluster start to 2019, he’s still the same man who put up 252 yards and two touchdowns on the Sooners last season in Norman.
Williams represents the main reason why Kansas shouldn’t be seen as just a bye week. This game is this team’s Super Bowl. Sure, they aren’t good by any means, but Les Miles is going to have this team fired up for this game. They have the capability to make this an annoying game for Oklahoma if the Sooners don’t show up.
Why You Should Be Excited
Look, I don’t know how many of you really remember Les Miles the way I do. From November 2001-October 2003, this man was responsible for two of my toughest years as a Sooner fan.
While both seasons would be considered pretty good by most standards, they had the inescapable annoyance of Oklahoma State, who went on an extremely rare two game Bedlam win streak, with both wins eliminating OU from national title contention. The success starved Poke fans were absolutely insufferable up until October 2003 when Sooners finally took out Les in embarrassing fashion.
The next two Bedlam games OU won in cathartic fashion with seeing Les get his comeuppance making those wins even better. After the 2004 season, Les left for Baton Rouge to continue on the dynasty that Nick Saban started at LSU. From that point on, the Cowboys have only won Bedlam twice – the same count as Miles.
I don’t care that Kansas is, well, Kansas. I’ve seen what the Mad Hatter can do in these scenarios. The seven year old in me who was teased endlessly for two years wants to see Les get obliterated all the same.
Let ‘er rip.
Series History (OU Leads 76-27-6)
Not a lot to note here, other than the fact that somehow this traditional matchup is closer than Bedlam. That’s hilarious.