September has seen the Big 12 dominate the news with realignment talk featuring back-stabbing, maneuvering and greed. Saturday, the business of college football will have to step aside as we enjoy the first big Big 12 conference showdown. Oklahoma State will visit College Station to take on Mike Sherman's Texas A&M Aggies, as No. 7 in the nation meets No. 8.
It figures to be an offensive battle. Brandon Weeden has the Cowboys offense in high gear, averaging 52 points per game in their three contests and personally throwing for 385 yards an outing. Justin Blackmon, a candidate for the top pick in the draft next spring, is his lead receiver with 330 yards and 3 TD already, but Weeden has five other receivers between 97 and 200 yards. Joseph Randle has taken over for Kendall Hunter in fine fashion, averaging almost six yards per carry and totaling 368 yards. He and his backup, Jeremy Smith, have combined for 10 TD.
The Aggies have averaged 42 points per game themselves, and their game is build more on efficiency. Ryan Tannehill has completed over 72% of his passes and has thrown just one INT (Weeden has six) while averaging more yards per attempt. A&M splits rushing duties between Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael and has gotten 333 yards and 6 TD in their two games from the pair. With Jeff Fuller battling injuries, Ryan Swope has been Tannehill's top target so far.
OSU has allowed 27 points per game to Louisiana-Lafayette, Arizona (who they actually held to 14) and Tulsa, so they can be scored on. Sherman will hope to control the game and keep Mike Gundy's explosive group off the field as much as possible. Gundy will hope to jump ahead and force the Aggies to play at OSU's pace.
The winner likely jumps into the top five and becomes Oklahoma's prime competition for the conference title and a possible shot at the BCS championship game. Kickoff is 2:30 CDT Saturday. The game can be seen on ABC.
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