However, Oklahoma kept the Bears scoreless in the second half and mounted the largest comeback in school history to clinch a 34-31 win which breathed new life into both its Big 12 title aspirations and CFP bid.
The CFP selection committee rewarded Oklahoma for its comeback, with the Sooners moving two spots to No.8 in the latest CFP rankings on Tuesday.
As shown in this graph provided by Statista, with the current 9-1 record Oklahoma has five one-loss teams ahead in the rankings, but it also has two ranked opponents left on the schedule—Oklahoma State in the final regular season game and in all likelihood Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.
If the Sooners finish 11-1 and win their conference championship game, they would have defeated four ranked programs, which would make it very difficult to rule them out of the CFP picture.
Before all of that can be taken into consideration, however, the Sooners have to take care of business against Texas Christian University on Saturday.Oklahoma has won the last five meetings against the Horned Frogs but may again be without Lamb this weekend.
“CeeDee’s still going to be up in the air,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said in his press conference on Tuesday, as per The Oklahoma Daily. “We haven’t seen our guys yet this week with Sunday being our off day. It’s not a definite no, but it’s certainly not a definite yes right now.”
Lamb has 44 receptions for 983 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and while his absence would be a blow for the Sooners, Oklahoma has plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball to offset for the loss of his top receiver.
Freshmen Austin Stogner and Theo Wease Jr. both scored in the comeback over Baylor and could be again involved on Saturday, after having limited opportunities earlier in the season.
As ever, however, the key to Oklahoma’s success rests with Jalen Hurts. The quarterback completed 30 of his 42 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Baylor, adding a further 117 yards on the ground.
In his first season in Oklahoma, the former Alabama signal caller has thrown for 3,039 yards, 28 touchdowns and just five interceptions and ranks fourth nationally in terms of quarterback rating.Riley suggested Hurst’s influence stretched far beyond his statistical impact.
“He’s had a really good impact on our program,” the Sooners coach explained. “He prepares like he’s a pro, he has a great mindset and approach. […] There’s no doubt that’s what you hope to have in your guys. In each of these rooms, there’s still going to be lessons that the guys in there have taken from him.”
The win over Baylor vaulted Oklahoma to the top of the Big 12, while TCU snapped a two-game losing streak with a 33-31 win over Texas Tech. The Horned Frogs are 5-5 and have already lost three times to ranked opponents this season—against No. 21 SMU, No. 22 Oklahoma State andBaylor.
Those defeats, however, have come by a combined margin of just 16 points, a timely reminder that Oklahoma can’t look forward to its game against Oklahoma State just yet.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday.The Oklahoma Sooners host the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday, November 23.