Without knowing it, the College Football Playoff committee gave Oklahoma the best gift it could have given: Motivation.
Ultimately, being No. 2 vs. No. 3 isn’t that big a difference. The Sooners will still likely play in the Rose Bowl against Auburn if things work out like this. However, strangely putting the Sooners behind 2-loss Auburn.
But now, the Sooners – especially their exuberant quarterback Baker Mayfield – have plausible disrespect to lean on heading into the Big 12 championship game against No. 11 TCU.
Granted, Oklahoma still has a straight shot to the College Football Playoff. It would take losing to the Horned Frogs to even consider falling out. But still, the Sooners deserve better than what the playoff committee is selling them as.
Oklahoma has a win over No. 8 Ohio State. The Sooners also have wins over No. 11 TCU and No. 19 Oklahoma State. In fact, the Sooners have one of the best threesomes of wins in America.
However, beating unproven Alabama and Georgia – neither has a win over a top 14 opponent – with both games occurring at home is enough to push the Sooners down to three in the College Football Playoff committee’s mind.
The more each season goes by, the more the committee seems to be making excuses for every other team.
For Clemson, the loss is excusable because it came without its starting quarterback. Of course, the Sooners lost wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, then-starting running back Abdul Adams and several other major pieces against Iowa State. Alabama also got credit for playing without its starting linebacking corps for much of the year.
Auburn allowed 10 sacks against Clemson, and also lost to an LSU team that also lost to Troy. The committee also slotted 3-loss Mountain West team Fresno State in the rankings. Congratulations on your additional top 25 win, Alabama. Funnily enough, too, the “wins over teams with winning records” rhetoric that was used for Clemson seems to have disappeared now that Eight Big 12 teams made bowl games.
The committee also seems to value defense over offense. Clemson and Oklahoma are beating teams by the same 16.8 point per Power Five win mark. However, Clemson ranks No. 1 and Oklahoma ranks No. 3.
Ultimately, these little things won’t matter. The Sooners are fine if they can control the game on Saturday. However, Heisman-favorite quarterback Baker Mayfield is always in the market for motivation.
In ranked games this season, Mayfield is averaging 439.0 passing yards per game and threw for 11 touchdowns on 70.4 percent of his passes. No player in the sport comes up biggest when the game is on the line.
With the biggest stakes of 2017 on the line, Mayfield needs to come up with one of his biggest games. Then, the games only get bigger from there.
The post Playoff committee gives Oklahoma plenty of ammo after snub appeared first on Diehards.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.