Let’s have some fun. With three weeks left in the regular season, Oklahoma has emerged back as a consensus top 10 team in the AP and coaches polls and now in the college football playoff.
The Sooners are ranked No. 8 in the polls and come in No. 9 this week in the playoff rankings, the first time OU has leapt into the top 10.
Now OU’s playoff chances remain slim, but they’re getting better with each passing week. As OU wins and other teams falter, Sooners make their case that the team that lost to Houston and Ohio State is not the one scoring nearly 50 points per game in Big 12 play.
OU can easily help itself out by closing the season in a remarkably strong way of winning at No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday night and finishing with Bedlam vs. No. 11 Oklahoma State.
So the dream is still alive, the door is still cracked open, so how do the Sooners get there?
2. Ohio State
8. Penn State
Alabama – Nothing. Let the Tide win out, doesn’t matter one bit with Sooners. Even a loss and you know Alabama is still in top four and probably would even remain No. 1.
Ohio State – OK, things get tricky here if Buckeyes and Penn State win out since Nittany Lions would have the head-to-head edge and go to Big Ten championship. OSU would be 11-1 with, you know, a 45-24 win in Norman on resume. So what you need here is Michigan to take down the Bucks in Columbus next weekend.
Michigan – Nothing. OU’s best hope for everything is for Wolverines to run the table. Beat Ohio State. Beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. That would put Michigan and Alabama in the playoff.
Clemson – Same thing here. Let the Tigers take care of business the rest of the way and clinch the third spot in the playoff. No problem in that regard.
Louisville – OU is going to need some help from a familiar foe. Houston taking care of the Cardinals would do OU a world of good Thursday night. If Louisville is 11-1 with its only loss being to Clemson, might be tough for a two-loss OU squad to jump. Add in Lamar Jackson as the easy favorite for the Heisman Trophy Award, and yea, could be a problem.
Washington – Suffer another loss, whether it’s vs. Washington State in the Apple Cup next week or a loss in the Pac-12 championship game. The Huskies seem to be the most vulnerable right now to fall once again.
Wisconsin – Win out until losing in the Big Ten championship game.
Penn State – A random loss would be ideal but not likely by any stretch. Instead, OU fans have to hope for Michigan to beat Ohio State so the Lions would never get a chance to play for the Big Ten championship. Because if Penn State ends up beating Wisconsin in the Big Ten, now you have a scenario of Penn State being in and an 11-1 Buckeyes squad passing the eye test.
OU – Keep winning, duh. Look good in Morgantown. Win the expected shootout vs. the Cowboys. Try to make a case (?) that with a healthy Dede Westbrook, the Sooners went undefeated. Hope that Heisman buzz for Westbrook and quarterback Baker Mayfield might help. And hope the defense looks good enough to show the significant improvement so everyone can forget 66-59 in Lubbock.
No. 10 Colorado is in a nice spot as well with games against Washington State, Utah and perhaps the Pac-12 championship. If the Buffs were to beat Wazzu, Utes and Huskies, you could see the Buffs overtake the Sooners anyway and claim the fourth spot.