What would your fall look like if you had no restrictions on how you spent your Saturday? Every Big 12 game is an option to attend in person as you strive to see the best game, find the best game-day atmosphere and tailgating or simply follow your favorite team or player on a weekly basis.
That is the premise of our annual Big 12 Ultimate Road Trip as Jake Trotter, Max Olson and Brandon Chatmon pick one game per week to attend.
We continue the series with Week 3.
Jake Trotter’s pick: Ohio State at Oklahoma
This could be the biggest nonconference home game of the Bob Stoops era. 2012 Notre Dame is also in that discussion. But those 2012 Sooners weren’t the national contenders that these Sooners appear to be.
On the other side, Ohio State is replacing a bevy of talent off last year’s squad, having had 10 players selected in the first three rounds of last month’s NFL draft. The Buckeyes, however, are at a level now in which they simply reload, and J.T. Barrett still will be behind center.
This has all the makings of a classic — with the winner taking a monster step forward toward making the CFP. In other words, a can’t-miss clash.
Max Olson's pick: Ohio State at Oklahoma
As I began plotting my course for this season-long road trip, I wanted to try to see as many Big 12 teams and cities as I could while still hitting the best games. After going through the schedule, I quickly realized I had chosen too many Oklahoma games. We'll try to course-correct a little over the next few weeks. But there was no way I could drop this one from my trip.
Might this be the very best nonconference game of the 2016 regular season? Rarely do we see programs this prestigious agreeing to a home-and-home series, so I love that this is happening. I've never actually been to a game in Norman, and I'm guessing the experience at this one will be as good as it gets.
The Buckeyes open the season against Bowling Green and Tulsa, so they'll come into this one with fairly good preparation for defending Air Raid ball. Not sure that'll prepare them for facing Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. I can't wait to see how Baker Mayfield (and J.T. Barrett) handle the pressure in this ballgame, and I have a hunch it'll come down to the final minutes. Can't pass up this trip.
Brandon Chatmon’s pick: Ohio State at Oklahoma
This is the easiest pick of the year.
Urban Meyer vs. Bob Stoops. J.T. Barrett vs. Baker Mayfield. This game wouldn’t look out of place on a College Football Playoff bracket.
Not only is it a chance to see the renovated Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, it’s a chance to see two of the best teams in the nation representing a pair of tradition-rich programs that rarely go head to head. I’m not missing this chance.
The last time these two coaches met on a national stage Meyer’s Florida Gators knocked off Stoops’ Sooners to win the national title in the 2009 BCS National Championship. This fall, Stoops will be looking to return the favor and potentially knock the Buckeyes out of the national title picture.
Mayfield, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon provide an offensive trio that will give the Buckeyes' defense nightmares, while Barrett headlines an offense full of largely unknown but talented names. Both offenses will have their moments, but defense and turnovers will decide the winner.
I'm looking forward to this game more than any other game in 2016.