Championship Saturday greetings, Sooner Nation! With another wild regular season in the books, the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners look for a fifth-straight Big 12 Championship and a third-consecutive College Football Playoff berth with a win over the No. 7 Baylor Bears this morning in Jerry World.
Just three weeks removed from the biggest comeback win in school history down in Waco, Oklahoma hopes this rematch against the Bears yields less turnovers and an easier win than the first matchup. Following No. 13 Oregon’s defeat of No. 5 Utah last night, the hopes of a playoff berth hang in the balance for not just OU but both one-loss Big 12 teams heading into Championship Saturday.
Head on down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.
TV: ABC 11:00 A.M. CT
Live Stream: WatchESPN
TV Commentary: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
ICYMI, here’s the latest episode of Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast: Bedlam win, Big 12 Championship, CFP rankings and more!
Thank you, Oregon! We’ve still yet to forgive you for 2006 but let’s let bygones be bygones, for now. After the two-loss Ducks’ dispatching of the fifth-ranked Utes on Friday night in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the College Football Playoff’s No. 4 spot is the eventual Big 12 champion’s to lose, provided the top three teams in the nation take care of business today.
In OU’s first matchup against Baylor, Jalen Hurts’s three-straight turnovers resulted in the motivated and explosive Bears building a 25-point second-quarter lead in Waco. Then, Hurts and the Sooners offense woke up, on the heels of Alex Grinch’s defense making the biggest statement of the year — a second-half shutout of then-undefeated Baylor — to propel Oklahoma to an historic 34-31 comeback win.
That miraculous turnaround could come to define a special season for the Sooners. Hurts played his best game of the season last week in Stillwater, leading OU to a fifth-straight win over their in-state rivals while failing to cough up the ball once in a crucial conference battle.
I expect the experienced playcaller to do the same today in this rematch against Baylor. A steady dose of the run game and mindful clock management, along with zero turnovers from Hurts on offense, will mean trouble for Baylor. Kennedy Brooks and Rhamondre Stevenson will rumble downfield all game long, while Hurts’s dual-threat skill set, coupled with a healthy CeeDee Lamb, will make this offense appear unstoppable most of the day against the overmatched Bears.
With nothing to lose and a CFP spot on the line, expect Baylor to keep this thing close for awhile. The Sooners’ talent and experience will ultimately prevail, however, in a hard-fought, intense conference championship game.
OU goes back and forth with Baylor in the first half, makes a couple of huge stops in the second to preserve the lead for a big win in Dallas and a fifth-consecutive conference crown. A spot in the College Football Playoff comes next.
Score: OU 35, Baylor 24
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