Big 12 Notebook: Oklahoma walks over TCU to the College Football Playoff

Dawson Hinkley

With regular season play completed, last Saturday saw just one Big 12 contest, the conference title game. After a seven-year hiatus, the Big 12 Championship was brought back to the conference this season, with a championship matchup between conference juggernauts Oklahoma and TCU.

The No. 2 Sooners entered the contest on an seven-game winning streak, looking to keep the only blemish on their resume a 38-31 loss to Iowa State on Oct. 7. TCU sat further back in the AP Poll, suffering two losses following a 7–0 start to the year.

Earlier in the season, TCU gave the Sooners a run for their money, but an offensive explosion in the first half gave Oklahoma a strong 38-20 victory. And heading into Saturday, a second Sooners’ victory set the stage for the program’s second College Football Playoff Appearance.

This championship rendition of the matchup between the two squads proved to be a much more one-side affair, strongly favoring the team donned in crimson. Oklahoma came hot out of the gates, looking like a team capable of running the table in the playoffs.

The Sooners showed their custom brand of high-octane offense conducted by quarterback and Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield. The senior once again went on a scoring tear against TCU, throwing for four touchdowns on top of 243 passing yards.

And it wasn’t just Mayfield who controlled the contest. Oklahoma’s defense showed improvement in the matchup, holding TCU to only 17 points while scoring their first defensive touchdown of the season.

Saturday’s 41-17 victory kept Oklahoma at No. 2 in the final playoff rankings, setting up a Rose Bowl matchup with No. 3 Georgia. Kickoff on New Year’s Day is scheduled for 4 p.m.

While the Horned Frogs won’t be competing for a national title in 2017, they’ll be continuing their season. TCU faces off against No. 15 Stanford in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. A win would give the Horned Frogs their third 11-plus win season in the last four years.