With Michigan and Washington State falling out of the Playoff race last week Oklahoma has a new breath of life and is officially back in the discussion of post-season glory.
Naysayers will continue to criticize the Sooners porous defense, but there’s no denying the team has one of the best offenses in the nation. Lincoln Riley has done a magnificent job of handling the torch from Bob Stoops and Oklahoma is a potential win this weekend from the program’s third Playoff appearance in four years.
Ohio State and Central Florida will have a lot to say about that scenario. Although the Sooners are playing a more quality opponent in their Championship Game than the Buckeyes and the Golden Knights just lost their starting quarterback for the season. Oklahoma’s three point loss to Texas trumps Ohio State’s 29-point loss to Purdue any day. The Sooners have passed the eye test but will definitely need some style points this Saturday to impress the Committee.
Junior quarterback Kyler Murray filled the shoes left by Baker Mayfield nicely and has already solidified himself as a Heisman Finalist. He has a chance to avenge the Sooners only loss this season by going through the hated Longhorns for the Big 12 Championship. Quality running backs seems to grown on trees in Norman and the Sooners always have a great rushing attack. Receivers Cee Dee Lamb and Marquise Brown can stretch the field like no other and bring any secondary to their knees.
Oklahoma has two wins over teams with nine or more victories this season in Army and West Virginia. If the Sooners beat the Longhorns in Jerry’s World that’ll make it three and a huge boost on the team’s resume. Oklahoma has owned the Big 12 for nearly two decades and always gets to the promised land, but can never win the big one.
Several people have perceived the Sooners as chokers, considering that they’ve lost their last three National Title Games and were one-and-done in their last two Playoff appearances. It’ll be interesting to see if that’ll hold any weight on the Committee’s final rankings on December 2nd.
Still, the Sooners have a ton of momentum heading into week 14 and all the team’s goals are still within arm’s reach. Riley will have his toughest challenge as coach with keeping his players focused instead of satisfied with the team’s No. 5 ranking in the latest AP Poll.
There’s still a lot of football to be played in the last week of the regular season and nothing has been set in stone except for Notre Dame’s clinch in the Playoff. The Buckeyes and Golden Knights will be anxious to see where they stand in the second to last release of the Playoff Rankings and both have Championship Games this weekend to make the Committee’s time harder in the war room. Regardless, Oklahoma has to be pleased with its’ position.