Playing on the final weekend of the regular season can be the recipe a team needs to get the extra push it covets and secure a spot in the national title race.
For that reason alone, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wants his Sooners playing on the last day of the regular season alongside championship games in other conferences. In the past, Stoops had expressed his displeasure about losing a recruiting week during the critical month of December while his team was preparing for a game. Now Stoops believes having his team in action is the right way to go.
"If you're in the position to be in the [national title] hunt I think it's positive," Stoops said. "To have people viewing you the day before they're making those decisions is a positive. Joe C [OU athletic director Joe Castiglione] and I have felt that way and that's why we had the game [in December] this year, hoping to be in that position. We're not, but if you are, I think it's the right time to play, if you play well."
Unlike the ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, the Big 12 does not have a championship game. Those four conferences have a built-in opportunity to showcase their champions every season. The Big 12 has entered the final weekend of the regular seasons with its champion still in doubt during the past few seasons and will continue that streak with TCU, Kansas State and Baylor, the teams in a three-way tie atop the standings, in action this weekend. And a Baylor win against KSU could provide a much-needed boost to BU's resume as the Bears chase a College Football Playoff berth.
Scenarios like Baylor's heading into this weekend are the perfect example of why Stoops is willing to miss out on a recruiting weekend to play in early December.
The Sooners currently have a open date scheduled for the final week of the 2015 regular season with their annual matchup with Oklahoma State set for Nov. 28. Stoops' desire to play on the final weekend means it's quite possible the Sooners move one of their games to the first week of December 2015.
"Hopefully," Stoops responded when asked if a game could be moved into that slot. "You'd like to play on that weekend. If OSU wouldn't, maybe someone else would. It's something you have to consider, for sure."
There's no reason to think the Cowboys wouldn't be open to shifting Bedlam to the first weekend of December, particularly with their current 2015 schedule featuring five straight games before the Nov. 28 meeting with the Sooners.