By Wade Haugen
As the stretch run of the college football season is upon us, it is time to start dissecting the Sooners postseason outlook. Coming into this week’s game, the Sooners are in the driver’s seat of the Big 12 conference with a 6-0 conference record. With a very back-loaded conference schedule, however, a Big 12 title is far from a given for Bob Stoop’s squad.
Oklahoma’s remaining schedule looks like this: vs #25 Baylor, at #11 West Virginia, and then vs #17 Oklahoma State to end the season. Three ranked opponents to end the season is no easy task, especially the trip to Morgantown the Sooners will be making in two weeks. If the Sooners are able to beat West Virginia, that would likely result in a bedlam showdown in Norman on December 3rd for the Big 12 title.
If the Sooners are able to win the Big 12, the focus will then shift to the College Football Playoff. After starting the season 1-2, everyone, including myself, wrote off Oklahoma’s chances of making the College Football Playoff. However, with the team’s recent winning streak, and the way things have gone around the country, there is still a slight glimmer of hope for this team to make a run at the Playoff. Here is what must happen for Oklahoma to have a chance at the final four:
- To begin with, Oklahoma needs to obviously win the Big 12 convincingly. With that being said, they also need Oklahoma State and West Virginia to both win the rest of their games, except against OU of course, in order to strengthen OU’s schedule.
- Washington needs to lose once in the regular season, and then again in the Pac 12 conference championship game.
- Ohio State has to lose to Michigan, giving them two losses and no chance at the Big 10 championship game.
- University of Houston must knock off Louisville, eliminating them from the conversation.
- Auburn would have to get beat by Alabama.
- Clemson would need to win the ACC championship game, to keep a team like North Carolina from having a chance.
Lots of things have to go right for Oklahoma to have a chance at the College Football Playoff. The most important part of all these scenarios is the first one I explained: The Sooners have to take care of business these next three games and win the Big 12. In order to accomplish this, they will have to play exponentially better over the final month than they have all season.