Chuck Carlton, Big 12 beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered your league questions in a live chat on Wednesday. The following are the salient points, modified for clarity:
How important is it for Oklahoma to blow Oklahoma State this weekend? Will the penalty shots be played against the Sooners in the PCP classification?
Carlton: An explosion would be nice. Even more important could be a strong defensive demonstration. The selection committee of the College Football Playoff seems more than offending the defense, at least on the basis of the rankings. Since replacing Mike Stoops with Ruffin McNeill as a defensive coordinator, OU has two good performances against TCU and Kansas State and D in trouble against Texas Tech. The Sooners will probably have to show progress on that side of the ball to avoid a debate about their dignity if they end 12-1.
Do you think Oklahoma and West Virginia will both enter the November 23 showdown with only one loss each?
Carlton: Right now, Oklahoma seems to be a safe bet. The Sooners seem to be on a mission after a loss in Texas. West Virginia has a more difficult test, including a trip to Oklahoma State. Texas has discovered how difficult the Boone Pickens Stadium is, although this is not a team of Oklahoma State vintage.
IIs this a window now or never for West Virginia? No Will Grier or David Sills next season, the conference may not be as open as it has been this season.
Carlton: Now or never it seems a bit extreme. However, this is the best opportunity in West Virginia to do anything significant in the Big 12. All the pieces are fine. Things have to be fine, and they certainly did it against Texas. Will Grier is showing why he is a Heisman candidate and a future NFL quarterback. His receivers are increasing. It's a fun team to watch. Opportunities do not come this way all the time – well, unless you're in Oklahoma.
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