Even though Bedlam is staged earlier this season, the rivalry is still attracting the eyes of the college football world.

Oklahoma is No. 5 in the playoff rankings largely because of the early-season win at Ohio State. Oklahoma State checks in at No. 11 but with opportunities to rise, starting Saturday in Stillwater.

The matchup is highly anticipated but not the only consequential game in the top-heavy Big 12. The two other teams tied atop the standings – TCU and Iowa State – also have games that could potentially trip them up.

Here’s what you will be talking about Monday morning:

1) Which quarterback are you going with in Bedlam?

This is one of the elements that makes this matchup so rich with intrigue. You have Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph, the top two quarterbacks in total quarterback rating, respectively, according to ESPN.

It is difficult to question Mayfield’s ability to come through in critical times in big games. And it’s hard to go against Rudolph and all of the offensive weapons he has at his disposal.

Advantage, Mayfield. Slightly.

2) Is this the season Oklahoma State can beat OU in Stillwater?

Oklahoma State has arguably the nation’s most explosive offense. The Sooners have had their issues defensively throughout the year and should have a difficult time containing the Cowboys.

The stage is set for the Cowboys to win this one. But they’ve lost their last two matchups with the Sooners in Stillwater. And Cowboys coach Mike Gundy is just 2-10 against Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has won 14 straight true road games, the longest active streak in the nation. And the Sooners have won their last two games in Stillwater by a combined score of 91-47. Hard to pick against OU.

3) Will Iowa State finally show an emotional hangover?

The Cyclones have been so steady, so poised despite increasing national attention as they have beaten two top-five teams – Oklahoma and TCU – in one month. If they are going to have a letdown, this will probably be where we see it.

West Virginia’s capable offense and multitude of weapons have been well documented. The Mountaineers just have not been able to breakthrough with a signature victory and they are a bit banged up.

The fact that beating Iowa State at home would be classified now as a signature victory tells you all you need to know about this chaotic season. Look for the Cyclones to win the turnover battle and squeak by.

4) Is this a must-win game for Kliff Kingsbury?

That might be an overreach but not by much. After an encouraging start to the season, Texas Tech has lost three straight games. The Red Raiders are now 4-4, which is essentially where they figured to be at this point in the season.

It’s no secret that Kingsbury has a lot riding on this season, and he would be advised to reach a bowl game to bolster his job security. The loser of this Tech-Kansas State game could be in trouble regarding a bowl berth. And after playing Baylor, Tech’s final two game of the regular season are challenging: vs. TCU and at Texas.

5) How many touchdowns will be scored in the Texas-TCU game?

Not many, unless the defensive and special teams units create some offense and points. These are two stingy defenses.

Both teams have plenty to play for. After losing to Iowa State, TCU finds itself at No. 8 in the CFP rankings. With a visit to Oklahoma looming Nov. 11, there are opportunities to rise.

As for Texas, players have vivid memories of the Horned Frogs outscoring them, 129-26, in the past three meetings. This is a chance to end TCU’s playoff hopes altogether.

Eric Prisbell covers the Big 12 for CNHI Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @EricPrisbell and email him at eprisbell@cnhi.com.

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