No. 3 Ohio State and No. 14 Oklahoma play one of the college football season's marquee games on Saturday. The contest in Norman features the team that won the first College Football Playoff two seasons ago and another that made a semifinal last year. Whoever wins this game will be looking at a good chance to get there again. On the whole, there's a good case this is the best non-conference game of the year.
The Buckeyes are 2-0, coming off opening wins against Bowling Green and Tulsa. They haven't really played anybody, but they've nonetheless looked sharp as they've worked in tons of new contributors after last year's NFL Draft exodus.
The Sooners crushed Louisiana-Monroe last week, but they're only 1-1. That's because Houston punched them in the mouth at NRG Stadium in Week 1. They'll still have a legitimate chance to win the Big 12, but a home loss here would be no good for OU's Playoff aspirations. It's critically important they figure out a way to win.
This is a legitimate prize fight, and it'll come down to a few things. Can Ohio State run? Is Oklahoma willing to try? Those questions, and many, many more, are about to get answers.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: [Delayed until 9:10 p.m. ET, at earliest, due to weather], FOX
Online streaming: FOX Sports Go
Spread: Ohio State opened up as a 2.5-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. Oklahoma can't afford a loss. The Sooners were the consensus Big 12 preseason favorite, but they've already got one loss to Houston. Going to 0-2 against great teams (actually against FBS teams) with a loss to Ohio State? They'd be pretty close to out of the Playoff race. But a win would put the Sooners squarely back in the picture.
2. Ohio State can. The Buckeyes are a young team, and they're playing on the road. They'll still have a chance to win the Big Ten, no matter what happens Saturday, and the Big Ten winner is going to make the Playoff almost every year. But a win here would put Ohio State squarely on the inside looking out, even with months until the Playoff picture crystalizes. This is a great opportunity for Urban Meyer's team.
3. This is largely about the quarterbacks. Ohio State's J.T. Barrett and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield are two of the best anywhere, and they're kind of similar. Both have good arms, but they're shifty and can make plays with their legs, too. Each is somewhere in the Heisman picture, and each could turn this game on its head. Who will? We'll see.