After a seven-year hiatus, the Big 12 Championship game returned to host No. 3 Oklahoma (12-1, 9-1 Big 12) and No. 11 TCU (10-3, 7-3 Big 12). After beating the Horned Frogs 38-20 a few weeks ago, the Sooners once again came out on top, winning 41-17. The win marks the Sooners’ 11th Big 12 title — their third in a row.
Oklahoma’s win almost certainly secures its spot in the College Football Playoff semifinal — which will be revealed on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 11:00 a.m. CT. The Sooners’ spot in the top four would make it their second playoff berth since the format was introduced in 2014.
Saturday’s game was a test for a defense that has struggled throughout the season. The Sooners, however, had arguably their best game of the season. Big plays, such as a fumble recovery and an interception, aided in keeping the momentum in favor of the Sooners. The role of the defense will continue to be important as the competition becomes tougher.
Offensively, Oklahoma was once again able to expose the TCU defense by putting up 41 points and 461 total yards. Heading into Saturday’s game, TCU’s defense ranked first in the Big 12 in total defense (317.5 yards per game) and opponent rushing yards (90 yards per game) — both of which Oklahoma exceeded. The Sooners were able to rush for 218 yards against the Horned Frogs.
Though Oklahoma had success against TCU, it will have to face tougher defenses in the playoffs. Clemson, Auburn, Wisconsin, Alabama and Georgia all currently rank in the top 11 in total defense, and are potential playoff opponents.
Senior quarterback Baker Mayfield continued to make big plays for the offense, including showing off his leg strength with a 54-yard rush in the second quarter. Mayfield has been the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy for the past few weeks, and after his play on Saturday, there is little reason that he won’t be raising the trophy come Dec. 9. Mayfield completed 15-of-23 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the win.