Big 12 Championship Game- Oklahoma vs TCU: Oklahoma has one more game to play against an opponent in TCU that it beat 38-20 not even a month ago. Will the result be any different this time around? It may be closer, but an Oklahoma loss would be devastating for the Big 12’s playoff hopes. Then again, the most Big 12 thing possible would be for the favorite to go down in the very game brought back to help its playoff chances.
Back in the year 2000, Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel led the Oklahoma Sooners to their first Big 12 Championship appearance. Following a hard-fought victory over Kansas State, the conference title game would (for the most part) continue to be kind to the Oklahoma program. In the 11 seasons from 2000-2010, the Sooners would appear in the game a total of eight times and would win seven of those contests. A trip to the Big 12 Championship game was becoming a tradition for Oklahoma and its fans, but conference realignment took it away from them. It returns in 2017 to mixed feelings at best and won’t do much — or anything — to help Oklahoma this season.
Anyway, OU fans will at least have some cool moments to cherish if the Sooners win. Before we discuss TCU, let’s take a look back at OU’s part appearances in the Big 12 Championship:
Young secondary players need to step up once again – Tre Norwood and Tre Brown did a nice job against TCU back on Nov. 11, but we don’t exactly have much to gauge their improvement since that game. The conditions in Kansas weren’t exactly conducive to success through the air, and West Virginia didn’t have its QB last week. I will say that those guys — along with Parnell Motley, who has started the two games since then — have looked perfectly fine for the most part. However, those guys will need to pass the test once again. Kenny Hill isn’t exactly a world-beater, but he’s good enough to make guys pay if assignments are busted and mistakes are made.
The running game – Rodney Anderson has been the best back in the country since his heroics in Manhattan on Oct. 21. Trey Sermon has been Mr. Reliable in a number of situations and has proven to be mature beyond his years. Above all, this offensive line has been nothing short of superb all season long — no matter what the Joe Moore Award people think.
However, this TCU front seven, which is one of the best in the country, is going to have revenge on its mind this Saturday after allowing 200 yards rushing last time around. OU had to work pretty hard to get those yards last time around and I wouldn’t expect it to be any easier in Arlington. If it is easier, OU will win this game, but if OU has trouble establishing the run we could be in for a tight one.
TCU vs. Oklahoma (-7) – I think OU has a great chance to check off the two boxes mentioned above in my keys to the game. On top of that, I don’t see Kenny Hill being able to do enough to match Baker Mayfield even if OU struggles in those areas. Gambling pick: Oklahoma covers with a 34-24 win en route to a spot in the College Football Playoff. Under 63.5.