There’s been a lot made this week of hand gestures and the Big 12 Conference. Texas got all offended over the downward facing horns and the rest of the Big 12 is all offended over…well…Texas. Despite the long-standing tradition of putting the horns down upon entering the playing field, scoring touchdowns, and making big defensive plays a hand gesture should mean little to Oklahoma this weekend because this game isn’t about Texas…at all.
The only role Texas plays this weekend is just being the method by which the Sooners can accomplish their season goals. That’s their only purpose this weekend. As much as the Longhorns would like to think this is all about them, the reality is that Saturday’s Big 12 championship game is much bigger than they are.
The Texas Longhorns have won the Big 12 three times since the inception of the league in 1996. Oklahoma is going for their fourth consecutive conference title. Twice the Sooners have won the league in three consecutive seasons and they are the only team to do so. No one has come close to challenging OU’s 11 total titles and they are going to make another notch in history should they become the first team to win four in a row.
The debate between Oklahoma and Ohio State came to a screeching halt on Tuesday when the committee placed the Sooners at #5 and the Buckeyes at #6. Assuming that Alabama beats Georgia in the S.E.C. championship, there will be a spot open in the Top Four.
Oklahoma, at #5, is the natural fit in that spot. The Sooners aren’t going to be punished for beating a Top 10 Texas team (both in the AP and Coaches) by letting Ohio State slip by on the final playoff rankings.
A second consecutive (and third overall) appearance in the playoff is there for the taking.
Kyler Murray is doing something that no player in the history of college football has ever done. Through twelve games this season he’s averaging 306 passing and 71 rushing yards per game. Prior to this season no quarterback had ever averaged 300 passing and 60 rushing yards for a season.
It’s an outside chance, but not far fetched, Murray could have a 4,000 yard passing and 1,000 yard rushing season with a big game on Saturday.
Playing For More Than Just The Big 12 Title
This game is about so much more than just Texas and the Big 12. Everything is still on the table for the Sooners…if they win. A loss on Saturday takes it all away. With a loss OU won’t be in the playoff, Murray’s Heisman campaign dies and obviously there’s no fourth consecutive Big 12 championship. At that point it would become all about Texas and that’s absolutely the last thing Oklahoma fans want.