About a month ago, the thought of the Oklahoma Sooners playoff chances was not at the forefront of many thoughts. The Sooners had just suffered a devastating home loss to Iowa State. With road trips to Kansas State and Oklahoma State on the horizon plus home games against TCU and West Virginia, it did not seem like a year for the playoffs. In fact, more of the discussion centered around how many losses this team will have. As we fast forward one month on the heels of another Bedlam win, Oklahoma is back in the forefront of College Football Playoff discussion.
Take Care of Your Own Business
As fans, we speculate and prognosticate how the season will play out. However, the first order of business will be to take care of your own house. The Sooners host TCU this weekend in another playoff elimination game before traveling to Kansas. Finally, Oklahoma hosts West Virginia in the regular season finale before the Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma obviously may get caught looking ahead, but a win this weekend puts them in a great position moving forward.
Can the Sooners just win out?
After the first unveiling of the College Football Playoff rankings, it appears the committee strongly values the resume of teams you have beaten. The Sooners came in just outside of the top four largely due to their road victory against Ohio State. However, for a second let’s assume the Sooner win out. Winning out would give Oklahoma a road victory over a top two team as well as a top 11 team. Coupled that with a home victory over top 10 TCU and a potential second win against another top 15 team would give Oklahoma quite an impressive resume. But, does that give the Sooner enough to catapult them into the top four at seasons end? Maybe. But, more it is more likely that the Sooners will need at least a bit of help.
What Needs to Happen?
Ultimately, any upset within the top four of Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Clemson would be very helpful. But, when and who those teams lose to could be important. How the committee views the SEC will also be key. Hypothetically speaking, if Georgia is 12-0 and faces a 12-0 Alabama team does the loser still make the playoff? It’s quite possible that even though Oklahoma would be a 12-1 conference champion that a 12-1 SEC championship game loser could bump the Sooners. Oklahoma fans should cheer for a regular season loss for Notre Dame, Georgia, and Alabama.
Who Sooner fans should cheer for.
There are three weeks remaining in the regular season. This weekend, there are seven games pitting teams ranked in top 25 and three within the top ten. Looking for the Sooners to run the table is an assumption made as we look through the last three weeks.
Saturday, November 11th
(2) Georgia At (10) Auburn
This looks to be the biggest opportunity for Georgia to lose in the regular season. Auburn has one of the best defenses in the SEC and has the offensive firepower with Jarrett Stidham and Kerryon Johnson this upset could easily come to fruition.
(1) Alabama at (18) Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide have had trouble with teams that have a dual-threat at quarterback. Mississippi State has that element in Nick Fitzgerald.
(3) Notre Dame at (7) Miami
A loss by the Fighting Irish would most likely be the best thing for the Sooners. Notre Dame has a tough remaining schedule which begins with facing one of the most impressive teams last week in the Miami Hurricanes.
Saturday, November 25th
(2) Georgia at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech has been very inconsistent this year, but three of their four losses have come by a combined six points. The rivalry game plus the triple option being difficult to prepare for could make this one interesting.
(1) Alabama at (10) Auburn
Another rivalry game and another chance for Auburn. The Sooners will either be a huge fan of the Auburn program after this year or it will hate them. Could this come down to another season-defining kick?
(4) Clemson at South Carolina
These two are bitter rivals and what could be more gratifying than a win over your rival to knock them out of the playoffs?
(3) Notre Dame at Stanford
Notre Dame has been very impressive after the early season loss to Georgia. Stanford has had an up and down season, but this game is at the farm and Stanford still has on the best players in the country in Bryce Love.