Staff Picks: Big 12 Championship

Sports Editor Zane Douglas is a junior in journalism and mass communication.

Zane Douglas, sports editor (8-2)

Iowa State 38, Oklahoma 37

This game will be close, I can feel it.

Two teams coming off huge highs and large win streaks with one more last gasp shot to make it to the College Football Playoff? It’s desperation mode for Oklahoma, but Iowa State may have an even stronger motivation.

The Cyclones haven’t been here before, and that could hurt them, but there’s also no negative past with this game. It’s a clean slate.

Iowa State will get help from some of its top offensive players, but it’ll come down to a defensive stop at the end.

Down 38-31, Oklahoma will score with time almost out. Instead of tying the game, the Sooners will go for the kill shot and Iowa State’s defense will stop it to win the Big 12 Championship.

Sound familiar?

Matt Belinson, assistant sports editor (6-4)

Iowa State 27, Oklahoma 21

As the Black Eyed Peas once said, ‘I gotta feeling.’

Iowa State is playing its best football at the best time, but so are the Sooners. But hey, the Big 12 Championship deserves the two best teams playing for conference supremacy, so this works for me.

If you’re asking me, the Cyclones have the advantage at quarterback, running back, tight ends, linebackers and defensive line. 

Iowa State is as close as it might ever get to winning the Big 12, and with the clear talent advantage I am giving them, I have no reason to believe Iowa State can’t get the job done.

It’s going to be close. It’s going to be down to the wire. But in the end, Iowa State will make history.

Stephen McDaniel, assistant sports editor (8-2)

Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 31

I really want to believe in Iowa State here. This team is its own fairy tale story, and claiming its first Big 12 Championship would come as the happy ending fans have gone through lifetimes waiting for.

But I just can’t. Something in my gut is telling me to go with the Sooners. Also, I picked Oklahoma to win the Big 12 Championship before the season started.

Yes, I know Iowa State beat Oklahoma earlier in the year. Yes, I know that the Cyclones elected to go with their undefeated black uniforms. Yes, I know Iowa State is potentially knocking on the door of a College Football Playoffs appearance.

Look, Spencer Rattler has really come into his own ever since the Iowa State/Oklahoma game. The freshman quarterback bounced back from that loss to throw for 1,535 yards, 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions since then.

Not only that, but this time around, Oklahoma gets to add Ronnie Perkins back to its amazing defensive line, which features THREE All-Big 12 Second Team selections, all of which could have made the case for being a First Team selection.

I just don’t feel Brock Purdy and Breece Hall will be able to put up stellar performances against an Oklahoma team that has gotten better in nearly every aspect of the game.

Zach Martin, columnist (6-3)

Iowa State 28, Oklahoma 24

Oh boy, I really don’t want to be wrong here.

On one hand, it is difficult to beat the same team twice in the same season, but if anybody could do it, it’s Iowa State.

On the other hand, Oklahoma is and has been the cream of the crop of the Big 12 for a long, long time. It has the pedigree, the experience and a head coach who has been in big games his entire career.

But I’ll repeat what Hall said after the Texas win: “five-star culture vs. five-star players.”

And that is what will power Iowa State to its first ever conference championship. That, and the fact that it’s wearing the all-black uniforms. This is a team of destiny, and that destiny will continue in Arlington.

Jill Even, academics editor

Iowa State 34, Oklahoma 28

I have been led to believe by multiple sources that this game is going to be close. I hope it will be close in Iowa State’s favor, but only time will tell.

Iowa State has been having, frankly, a historical season for themselves. With offense from quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall, I can only predict that Oklahoma will have a run for their money.

That’s not to say it won’t be a close game. Oklahoma has won the Big 12 Championship game the last three years, so why should that be put to an end now? Well, this year has been full of surprises, so honestly why shouldn’t Iowa State pull ahead?

It’s 2020, so anything can happen.