Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley will guide his team into the Big 12’s first conference championship game since 2010 on Saturday.
The revived conference title game pits the league’s two best teams, based on record, which guarantees a rematch every season as the league still boasts a 9-game, round-robin schedule.
Riley shared his thoughts on the Big 12 Championship Game’s revival during a Monday teleconference, admitting a Big 12 Championship Game would’ve been helpful for Oklahoma last season.
“It’s what the league decided,” Riley said. “Last year at this time, I wish we would’ve had that game. Two years ago, it wouldn’t have helped us much. So, it is what it is.
“You can sit there in any year and draw a scenario where it makes sense and where it doesn’t make sense. The reality of it is it’s not going to be perfect every single year. This was the format that they laid before this year started. We knew to win this league, if we were able to play well, we were going to get a chance to get in the championship game and then you’ve got to play well and win that one.”
Oklahoma came up with a huge win on Nov. 11 against TCU, but they’ll have to beat them again on Saturday, Dec. 2, to likely ensure a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Sooners would likely be in the playoff — as they were in 2015 — if they didn’t have a conference championship game to play. As Riley mentioned, a two-loss Sooners team in 2016 could’ve benefited, however, from an extra data point.
Oklahoma and TCU are scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. ET start, Saturday, on FOX.
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