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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Which is Oklahoma's most important game?

By David Ubben

We're continuing our series today looking at the "most important" game of the year for each team in the Big 12.

I have my own opinions on that for every team, but I'll ask the fans what they think first before I weigh in on what game I'd pick and why.

You can define "important" in a number of ways, which is why this exercise should be intriguing.

Let's have a closer look at the next team up on our list: Oklahoma.

at Notre Dame, Sept. 28: Want to make a big splash early in the season? This is Oklahoma's chance. The Sooners have lower expectations entering this season than they've had in a long, long time. That could change by knocking off the national runner-up a year ago. Everett Golson is gone, but ND is still a top-15 team and could have a strong resume with games against Michigan and Michigan State before facing the Sooners.

vs. Texas at the Cotton Bowl, Oct. 12: This is the one everybody remembers. Oklahoma's fresh off a pair of absolute butt-kickings in Dallas, embarrassing the Longhorns in 2011 and 2012. Seasons with 10 wins feel pedestrian in Norman, but beating Texas always provides a boost, especially when you do it as emphatically as the Sooners did. Can Oklahoma do it again?

vs. TCU, Oct. 5: The Frogs nearly denied Oklahoma a share of the Big 12 title last year, but the Sooners escaped on the final play in the regular-season finale, celebrating on the Frogs' field after the game. TCU was the second team to ever beat Bob Stoops in Norman, and nobody did it again from 2005 to 2011. The Frogs should be a Big 12 contender, and Oklahoma has obvious Big 12 title dreams. To achieve them, they've got to go through TCU.

at Oklahoma State, Dec. 7: I've written about it a lot lately, but Bedlam has easily been the most fun rivalry in the Big 12 the last three seasons. All three games have had serious Big 12 title implications, and two of the games were dramatic classics that came down to the final minutes. The Sooners will be making a third trip to Stillwater in four seasons thanks to a Big 12 scheduling quirk, but this should be a battle of top-20 teams by season's end, and state bragging rights will be on the line. Don't be surprised if the winner gets some Big 12 hardware at the end of the night, too.

at Baylor, Nov. 7: The Thursday night stage is always an attention-grabber, and Oklahoma will try and make up for a difficult loss in 2011 the last time it went to Waco. That was the first of two frustrating losses in OU's final three games that season. Baylor's a bit of a wild card in Big 12 play and will be gunning for the second win against the Sooners in school history. This one won't be easy for Oklahoma, but a win on the national stage over a good team will get them some attention and respect.