One positive to an Oklahoma win, at least in the eyes of the Texas football program, over Oklahoma State in Bedlam is the Big 12 possibly making the CFP.
The College Football Playoff is going to be a hot debate within the next seven days. With the Big 12 and the PAC-12 both still very well alive in the race to land one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff field, conference championship week is going to be very decisive. Even the SEC and Big Ten have a lot on the line in conference championship week. What type of impact will this carry for the Texas football program and the entirety of the Big 12?
As it pertains to the Big 12, the team that has the best shot (or really the only logical path) to making the College Football Playoff is the archrival of the Texas Longhorns football program, the Oklahoma Sooners. With Oklahoma’s crucial Nov. 30 convincing victory over the in-state rival Oklahoma State Cowboys in their annual Bedlam game, by the final score of 34-16, the Sooners should have more than enough proof to get a Playoff team.
Now, there is one step for the Sooners to prove that they belong in the Playoff conversation. They have to take care of business in more convincing fashion in their second meeting with the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Championship Game than they did the first time around. Oklahoma had to pull off a massive 25-point second half comeback to even beat Baylor by one possession.
Yet, this second meeting will give head coach Lincoln Riley another chance to prepare for head coach Matt Rhule and his Baylor squad. A second meeting should give Riley and his Sooners a leg up when it’s all said and done.
Both Oklahoma and Baylor come into the Big 12 Championship Game with momentum. Baylor just handily defeated the lowly Kansas Jayhawks by a 56-point margin in Lawrence to close out their regular season. Meanwhile, the Sooners ended Oklahoma State’s winning streak with an impressive three-possession win in hostile territory at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
The former graduate transfer and senior quarterback Jalen Hurts should not only be commended for his outing against Oklahoma State, but he should be a solidified Heisman finalist at this point. He didn’t turn the ball over once against the Pokes, which is what helped Oklahoma seal this game so early on in the second half.
While it’s difficult for any Longhorns fan to talk nicely about Oklahoma, this situation would help out the Big 12’s image on the national stage. Getting a team into the Playoff field over the PAC-12, or instead of two from the SEC, would even help out the Longhorns.
Head Texas football coach Tom Herman can only sit and watch as he hopes his team gets into a solid postseason game like the Alamo Bowl or Camping World Bowl. But the Alamo Bowl is likely to be occupied by the likes of Oklahoma State or Kansas State. We’ll see how that turns out, though.
Herman and the Longhorns were hoping to be in the position of vying for a Playoff spot alongside the Sooners by this point in the season, entering the fall.
What all needs to happen between now and when the selection committee pieces together the four-team Playoff field is for Oklahoma to beat Baylor by likely a good double-digit margin. Baylor more than proved itself this season that it is a quality top 15 team. Beating them in more convincing fashion at a neutral site, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, would give Oklahoma more respect from the committee heading into the postseason.
The Big 12 also needs the Oregon Ducks to preferably beat the Utah Utes in the PAC-12 Championship Game next weekend. Utah dominated their competition, the Colorado Buffaloes, in the Rumble in the Rockies in the second half. Any hope the Big 12 had of Oklahoma getting a perception edge over Utah from a close win over Colorado diminished late in that game.
It would also help the Big 12 if LSU beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game next weekend. The Alabama Crimson Tide were already knocked out by the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl earlier in the afternoon. So Utah is about the biggest threat left, barring Georgia and LSU both getting into the Playoff if the SEC East reigns supreme.