Oklahoma poised for College Football Playoff, but Big 12 precariously perched


The Oklahoma Sooners are back representing the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff picture after beating TCU and Oklahoma State in the last two weeks, two teams ranked in the top 13.

If Oklahoma wins the rest of its games, the Sooners are most likely in the College Football Playoff. But while the Sooners are in a pretty good spot, the Big 12 still lags behind other conferences in terms of committee perception.

The Sooners have unequivocally the best group of wins in all of college football. Oklahoma beat No. 9 Ohio State, No. 12 TCU and No. 13 Oklahoma State. Two of those wins – against the Cowboys and Buckeyes – came on the road. However, the Sooners have a curious Achilles heel.

“It’s the loss to a 4-loss Iowa State that has them ranked where they are,” College Football Playoff committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said.

Of course, that logic doesn’t take into account that Clemson lost to 6-loss Syracuse team. Luckily, Hocutt had a bizarre answer for that too: quarterback Kelly Bryant’s injury.

“Their quarterback came into the game against Syracuse hobbled and looked he was playing with an injured ankle,” Hocutt said. “When he was concussed in the second quarter. He came back and appeared healthy and at full strength.”

Hocutt did not mention whether Oklahoma losing CeeDee Lamb, Abdul Adams, Stephen Parker and Du’Vonta Lampkin over the course of the one-score loss to Iowa State was relevant. He also didn’t mention whether the Sooners’ massive injury issues in the secondary will be taken into account into defensive metrics. Somehow, it seems doubtful.

The perception issue doesn’t just affect the Sooners. The committee ranked TCU No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings, behind USC and Penn State. When asked about that curious fact, Hocutt had another slew of odd excuses.

Hocutt pointed to USC’s injury issues earlier this season.

“Southern California is getting healthy,” Hocutt said. “They’ve had significant injuries this year that as they have gotten those players back on the field, they are playing at an extremely high level.”

For the record, since getting eviscerated 49-14 by Notre Dame, USC has wins over Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado.  None of those teams are close to being ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings.

For Penn State, he pointed to quality losses against Michigan State and Ohio State. The Nittany Lions’ best win is against No. 24 Michigan.

“This is a very good Penn State football team, with their only two losses being by a combination of four points to Ohio State and Michigan State,” Hocutt said. “Two good football teams on top of TCU right now.”

The positioning behind Penn State and USC – and so far behind Ohio State – means TCU is completely out of the playoff race. Even if TCU beats Oklahoma, it’s almost impossible to see the Horned Frogs jumping all those teams.

Big 12 teams continue to appear at a disadvantage relative to the rest of college football in the College Football Playoff committee’s eyes. The conference had better hope Oklahoma goes and wins the national championship, or the apparent disadvantage will continue.

The post Oklahoma poised for College Football Playoff, but Big 12 precariously perched appeared first on Diehards.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Arkansas-Missouri: Score predictions and players to watch
Arkansas-Missouri: Score predictions and players to watch

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas will host Missouri at 1:30 p.m. CT on Friday inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. To help get you ready for the game, SEC Country’s Arkansas reporters Trent Shadid, Eric Bolin and John Nabors provide their score predictions and players to watch below. Missouri 35, Arkansas 28  ...
Report: Chip Kelly turned down the Tennessee job
Report: Chip Kelly turned down the Tennessee job

Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly has reportedly turned down advances by Tennessee to become the Vols’ next head coach. Instead, he will only consider Tennessee’s SEC East rival Florida and UCLA. According to a report from USA Today’s George Schroeder, Kelly also turned away Nebraska. He has reportedly met with...
Alabama recruiting mailbag: Georgia ruining Tide’s chances with major target
Alabama recruiting mailbag: Georgia ruining Tide’s chances with major target

Have Alabama football recruiting questions? We have the answers. Join us every Wednesday for the SEC Country Alabama recruiting mailbag to discuss Crimson Tide recruiting.  This week, we discuss some of Alabama’s top defensive back targets, a linebacker...
Houston Texans post hilarious ‘Stepbrothers’ spoof featuring former Clemson, South Carolina stars
Houston Texans post hilarious ‘Stepbrothers’ spoof featuring former Clemson, South Carolina stars

The Houston Texans claimed former Clemson Tiger Andre Ellington off of waivers on Tuesday. That means he’ll be teammates with his cousin, former South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington. The Texans Twitter account pounced on the opportunity to make a “Stepbrothers” joke. Take a look: Funny stuff. The timing is fitting...
Tennessee coaching search: Phillip Fulmer’s thoughts, latest on top candidates
Tennessee coaching search: Phillip Fulmer’s thoughts, latest on top candidates

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Phillip Fulmer understands what it takes to win at Tennessee in the modern era as much as anyone, and he shared his thoughts on the Vols coaching search. “As we look forward, we need a great coach, a great leader and a great example for our young people,” Fulmer said recently at the Ray and...
More Stories