Oklahoma at Notre Dame is top Big 12 game of Week 5


It's all about the old and the new. Oklahoma continues its fabled series with Notre Dame looking for its second-ever win in 10 tries. TCU and SMU renew the Battle for the Iron Skillet, a rivalry that has been contested 97 times since 1915. Iowa State plays Tulsa for the third time in 13 months, while Oklahoma State travels to Morgantown, W.Va., for the first time since 1928.

Here is a look at all the games involving league teams this week, ranked from worst game to best:

4. Iowa State at Tulsa, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: The Cyclones have struggled to create negative plays in their first two games with only six tackles for loss including two sacks. Linebacker Jared Brackens is responsible for both and will be the obvious focus of the Golden Hurricane's pass protection. The linebacker corps with Brackens, Jeremiah George and Jake Knott is the strength of the team and will have to control a Tulsa offense that has been erratic (102nd in FBS in scoring offense, 105th in total offense) to start the season.

3. SMU at TCU, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: The Horned Frogs still haven't updated the status of sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields, who exited the loss at Texas Tech with an apparent foot injury. If Fields can't rush the passer, TCU could be in real trouble against SMU's pass-happy attack. On the other side of the ball, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin still needs to refine his touch and timing after going 23-of-36 passing for 194 yards with two interceptions in that conference loss to the Red Raiders.

2. Oklahoma State at West Virginia, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Quarterback J.W. Walsh and the Cowboys are 15 for 15 scoring touchdowns in the red zone, six more scores than the Mountaineers have all season long from anywhere on the field. Needless to say, West Virginia will have to stay on schedule with running backs Dreamius Smith and Charles Sims to protect its young quarterback Ford Childress and hope an improved defense can create some turnovers to pull the upset.

1. Oklahoma at Notre Dame, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: The Fighting Irish played last season's 30-13 victory on their terms, limiting the Sooners to 15 rushing yards on 24 carries and 4-of-14 on third down, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o played one of the finest games of his college career (six tackles, one sack, one interception). Te'o is gone, but dominant defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix III return. For Oklahoma, quarterback Blake Bell (27-of-37 passing for 413 yards and four touchdowns vs. Tulsa) is making his first road start and will have to give wide receivers Jaz Reynolds and Jalen Saunders chances to pick up yards after the catch against a secondary that has shown cracks. Saunders caught 15 passes for 181 yards against ND in his OU debut.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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