Even when the Oklahoma Sooners were finding some success in the College Football Playoff semifinal, they couldn’t seem to get out of their own way.
The Sooners got on the board with a touchdown early in the second quarter to bring the score to 28-7. However, thanks to some shoving in the end zone, they took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the score, and then took an unnecessary roughness penalty after converting the extra point.
That meant Oklahoma was forced to take the ensuing kickoff from their own 10-yard line.
Ultimately, Oklahoma forced Alabama to punt on the ensuing drive, as they rather oddly called for a fair catch at their own 20. The kickoff location didn’t end up harming them. It certainly created a hilarious visual that we don’t see often, though.
The Oklahoma Sooners have done all they can to make their case for a College Football Playoff bid, and now it’s up to coach Lincoln Riley to do some campaigning.
The primary criticism aimed at Oklahoma is their defense. The Sooners allow nearly 33 points and roughly 450 yards per game, the worst marks of any playoff contender by some margin. Riley was quick to address that point after his team’s 39-27 win over Texas, saying the defense was still improving — and good enough as is to win a championship.
Riley’s job now is to publicly campaign for his team, whether anyone is listening or not. He has at least one big defensive play to point toward as evidence that his team can get it done when it needs to.
The Oklahoma Sooners effectively clinched the Big 12 title with an incredible touchdown pass and catch from Kyler Murray to Grant Calcaterra.
On 3rd and 10 from the Texas 18 with the Sooners already up five, Murray floated a perfect pass to Calcaterra, who reeled it in with one hand to put the Sooners up 12 with just two minutes left in the Big 12 Championship.
Murray essentially has to make a perfect throw here to avoid the Texas defensive back while keeping it catchable, and Calcaterra has to make an incredible play to reel it in. It had to be perfect on both ends, and it was.
The drive that essentially finished off Texas was set up by a huge play by the Oklahoma defense. The entire team came up big when it mattered in the most important game of their season to date.
A wild set of plays culminated in an Oklahoma safety during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Big 12 Championship.
The Sooners had just fumbled inside the Texas ten-yard line, giving Texas the ball trailing by three. However, the Oklahoma defense stepped up, opting to blitz Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger on second down. Ehlinger never saw the blitz coming and was taken down in the end zone.
The play was a real killer for Texas, who had just gotten the ball back in a huge emotional swing. It was far from their first major error of the game, too. It was an enormous boost for Oklahoma off the turnover as well, factoring in the reality that their defense has been oft-criticized for being too leaky. This was a big moment for them to have the last laugh.
The Oklahoma Sooners took a very harsh penalty after their opening touchdown Saturday against TCU that ended up having some pretty significant implications.
The Sooners got on the board first in the opening quarter through a CeeDee Lamb 37-yard touchdown reception. After the score, Lamb and a teammate did what appeared to be a pre-rehearsed celebratory handshake. Apparently that was a bridge too far, because Lamb was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, with the celebration deemed “choreographed.”
Well, by the letter of the law, perhaps it was choreographed, but that’s a pretty harsh thing to penalize. It’s not as if anyone was being shown up.
To make matters worse, the ensuing kickoff was taken deeper due to the enforcement of the penalty, and TCU ended up returning it for a game-tying touchdown.
The NCAA can certainly hand out unsportsmanlike calls for bad reasons. By the letter of the law, they were perhaps correct here, but that’s a pretty silly thing to penalize.
Mike Stoops has been fired as Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator, according to reports.
Both The Athletic’s Jason Kersey and The Football Brainiacs’ James Hale reported on Sunday that Stoops has lost his job with the Sooners.
Stoops, who was the head coach at Arizona from 2004-2011 before joining his brother’s program, has been the Sooners’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator since 2012.
Stoops’ firing comes after the Sooners allowed 48 points to Texas in their rivalry game — the most they’d allowed to the Longhorns. The 5-1 Sooners are 79th in the country with 27.3 points allowed per game.
Stoops being fired may lead to more of a sense that this is Lincoln Riley’s program now rather than one that was left over by his predecessor, Bob Stoops.
As Oklahoma and Army were tied at 21 through three quarters, fans began scrambling to try and watch the upset unfold. Unfortunately, they quickly learned that watching the game would be a lot tougher than they realized.
The game was being televised on pay-per-view for $54.99 on SoonerSports.tv and on pay-per-view through different cable and satellite providers. Fans are used to paying money for major MMA and boxing events on pay-per-view, but most college football games are available through cable or satellite TV — either on broadcast or premium channels. Having to pay so much to watch one football game was not an investment non-die-hard Oklahoma fans were willing to make.
How did this end up happening? The Big 12’s contract allows for schools to choose how they want to distribute one game per season. Oklahoma has a contract with FOX to air the game, and the company usually does so on one of its regional channels. However, they likely realized that they could make more money by putting the game on pay-per-view because there are enough dedicated Oklahoma fans who will pay for it.
They probably just didn’t bank on the game being so close that fans around the country would want to tune in.
The college football season is upon us, and expectations vary per team. Only a select few programs have a realistic shot of reaching the College Football Playoff. For some schools, it will be a disappointing season if they don’t achieve that goal.
There are a dozen or so teams that will really believe they have the team and the favorable climate they need to challenge for the playoff, but only four teams can actually make it in. Here are ten that will have the best chance of doing just that.
With three full offseasons of recruiting under his belt, Jim Harbaugh should finally have the team he needs to contend for the playoffs. Shea Patterson, the newly-minted starting quarterback, looks set to be the final piece of that puzzle. The Wolverines are deep everywhere and boast one of the nation’s best defensive players in Rashan Gary. They do have to face Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Ohio State on the road, but if they come through that with one loss and a Big Ten title, they should have the resume to qualify. There is also little doubt that the pressure is on Harbaugh to turn it around.
College football season is just around the corner, and it will only be a matter of time before the legitimate preseason polls are out. Too much weight can be put into these, but they’re the best we have before games are played, so they’re worth paying attention to.
That said, it’s a good bet these polls will overrate some teams. There will even be other teams who aren’t ranked, but are experiencing a lot of hype for various reasons that they might not live up to, at least in 2018. Here are ten such teams that might disappoint once the 2018 college football season kicks off.
To be clear, the Cornhuskers have a bright future, and it’s not as if anyone is really expecting them to challenge for the Big Ten title this year. Still, the expectations for new coach Scott Frost might be a little high in his first year. The Huskers are coming from a four-win season and face a very difficult schedule. There are also major questions about a defense that allowed 36 points per game in 2017. The trajectory of the Nebraska program was good, and scrapping for bowl eligibility is actually a step forward, but don’t be shocked if that’s all they end up doing.
Oklahoma’s football program received their Big 12 championship rings during Saturday’s spring game, and the rings are massive.
Here’s a look at the ring being worn by wide receiver Marquise Brown.
The Sooners went 8-1 in conference play last season to capture their third straight Big 12 title. They beat TCU 41-17 in the conference championship game.
Here’s a look at their three rings for winning the conference titles:
Oklahoma made the College Football Playoff last season and lost to Georgia 54-48 in the semifinals in their first season under head coach Lincoln Riley.