Part I of our schedule analysis looked at Oklahoma's first six games of 2014, finishing with the Red River Shootout. Part II looks at the final six games of the Sooners' slate in the regular season.
Oct. 18: Kansas State
(Previous two weeks: Texas Tech, Bye)
From a national perspective, the Kansas State-Auburn game on a Thursday night in September is the biggest factor for this game. If the Wildcats somehow pull that off, Texas Tech will really be the only thing standing between K-State and a 5-0 start.
From OU's perspective, that bye is terrifying, especially with this matchup coming on the heels of the Texas game. If the Sooners are still unblemished after this game, then it’s time to seriously think about the playoffs.
Nov. 1: at Iowa State
(Previous two weeks: at Texas, Bye)
The Sooners have been immune to the weirdness of Ames, and Iowa State will be mediocre at best in 2014. However, Paul Rhoads has time to prepare for what should be a national title contender, and he has a long history of pulling off these upsets. That stretches back to his time as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh when the Panthers knocked off No. 2 West Virginia. I won’t be comfortable until this one is over.
Nov. 8: Baylor
(Previous two weeks: Bye, Kansas)
Remember how I said that the Texas-Baylor game would be the Bears’ first test of the season? Well, until Nov. 8, it’s their only test. The Bears' back-loaded schedule is reminiscent of Texas Tech’s last year.
The Sooners defense did an admirable job in Waco last year, so expect Art Briles to come up with some new looks in the weeks leading up this game.
Nov. 15: at Texas Tech
(Previous two weeks: Texas, Bye)
This makes four weeks in a row that OU plays a team coming off a bye or a game against Kansas.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Tech, which could have an impressive record on game day. The Red Raiders have a manageable non-conference schedule, and they get Oklahoma State early in the year, when all of Cowboys' new starters will still be learning on the job.
OU is more talented than the Red Raiders, but the Holiday Bowl win over Arizona State may be a sign of better things to come in Lubbock. If that's is indicative of what Kliff Kingsbury can do with extra time to prepare, the bye week could be a real problem for the Sooners.
Nov. 22: Kansas
(Previous two weeks: Iowa State, TCU)
How odd would it be if KU brought a winning streak and a decent shot at bowl eligibility to Norman? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. Also, an underrated aspect of this game is wondering what insult will Charlie Weis lob at his team in the postgame press conference if all goes according to plan for Oklahoma.
Dec. 6: Oklahoma State
(Previous two weeks: at Baylor, Bye)
Another team from the top half of the Big 12 gets a bye before OU. At least this one is matched with a bye for the Sooners.
The Cowboys have to replace a lot of starters in 2014, and the opener against Florida State should be an ugly game. However, OSU’s last four games are Kansas State, Texas, Baylor and OU. If the Cowboys grow up quickly, they may make a late run at the conference title.