Oklahoma Sooners put themselves in a position to guarantee a spot in the College Football Playoff

Sooners cap seven-game win streak with emphatic road win to claim Big 12 Championship

STILLWATER – Every week, Oklahoma sets out to dominate its opponent. At least that’s the way Sooners’ center and captain Ty Darlington put it.

He figures the rest, including an possible invitation to the College Football Playoff in Saturday’s case, will just take care of itself. Against Oklahoma State with the Big 12 Championship on the line and the need for revenge after last year’s defeat riding high, the 58-23 win was a perfect time to make a statement – one that would leave a resounding image that Oklahoma couldn’t be left out of the playoff.

It was a time to make that statement, but Saturday’s Big 12 title wasn’t exactly about making a statement.

“It was but it was about wining,” Darlington said. “We really felt that if we just took care of business and got a win on the road against a very good team, that was going to take care of itself. At the same time, we want to dominate our opponent. We’re not playing to win. We’re playing to dominate.”

Like Darlington said, Oklahoma went on the road to a one-loss Oklahoma State, which came into the game ranked No. 11, and came home with the ninth Big 12 title under Stoops. Now, the Sooners just have to watch.

Watching Notre Dame fall to Stanford helps, but Oklahoma now has to sit and wait –watching for two weeks while the majority of the nation plays out its schedule. The Sooners have done all they could do. They might not have set out to make a statement against Oklahoma State, but they sure did.

The Sooners scored 44 points in the first half, the most in any game since 2008 and the second-most in Bedlam history. Before halftime, Oklahoma went on a 37-7 run. The Sooners allowed just one big-play touchdown and one first down during the span – the final 20 minutes of the first half.

At halftime, Oklahoma had more points (44) than plays (36). Through three quarters, when Oklahoma held a 28-point lead, the Sooners scored 51 points in just 50 plays.

After the victory, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops didn’t know that Notre Dame had lost to Stanford. What he did know was that Oklahoma did everything it needed to do.

He agreed with one of Oklahoma’s five captains.

“You just figure, if you’re third and you got to a championship game away from home against the (No. 11) team in the country and win by 30-some points, you’d only move up possibly,” Stoops said. “You sure wouldn’t move back.”

TCU fell from No. 3 to No. 6 on the last week of the season. So there are no guarantees. But TCU didn’t win the Big 12 Championship outright. It didn’t go through a trio of highly ranked teams in the final week of the season.

That’s what Oklahoma did; capped by the most points it has scored in the Bedlam rivalry since 1980 and its most lopsided win since 2003.

In the last seven games, Oklahoma is averaging a 52-19 victory.

Oklahoma’s band and its fans who remained to congratulate the team from the lowest rows at Boone Pickens Stadium chanted ‘”Two More Wins” in unison. Oklahoma figures it will get its shot.

The Sooners did absolutely everything that they could.

“I know we clinched a Big 12 win,” Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker said. “I don’t know what’s guaranteed after this. I just know we’re Big 12 champs. We’re going to let the committee decide that. No doubt, we’re Big 12 champs, and it feels good.”


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