Check out the Big 12 Championship: TCU vs. Oklahoma fearless prediction and game preview.
TCU (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-1) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, December 2nd
Game Time: 12:30 pm ET
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Oklahoma would’ve been in.
With the way the 2017 college football season has shaped up, Oklahoma would’ve absolutely been in the College Football Playoff if last year’s rules applied.
11-1, Big 12 Champs, done and done.
But now, because it was determined that the conference might have a better shot of getting in with a Big 12 Championship game, TCU has a chance to possible screw it all up with a win.
Or, the Horned Frogs might be able to make their case to get into the CFP if it dominates.
The last time we did this conference championship thing, Oklahoma beat Nebraska 23-20 in 2010, closing out a run of four Big 12 titles in five years. And now it’s going for its third Big 12 championship in a row, but it has to first deal with putting down TCU for a second time this season.
The first go-round was an interesting show of Oklahoma offensive firepower, but it was the defense that rose up and rocked.
Baker Mayfield threw for 333 yards and three scores, and Rodney Anderson ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns int he 38-20 win, with the Horned Frogs held to just fourth quarter touchdown in the second half after getting down 38-14 at halftime.
However, since then, TCU did what it needed to do with wins over Texas Tech and Baylor, to go along with the earlier win over Oklahoma State, to get into the title game.
Win this, and the Horned Frogs have a case to get into the playoff.
Oklahoma has more than answered every challenge since the loss to Iowa State, ripping off seven wins in a row looking better and better as the season has gone on.
Baker Mayfield will win the Heisman, at absolute worst, the team is in a New Year’s Six bowl, and it’s been a successful season.
But now it’s all on the table for the Sooners. TCU has to win and get some help. Oklahoma just has to win to get into the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons.
And this time, if it can get by the Horned Frogs, it just might have the talent to win it all.
One Reason Why Oklahoma Will Win
How did the Sooners get it done the first time around? The same way it’s gotten it done throughout the season – the offense has been amazing.
The TCU defense might be No. 2 in the nation in rushing defense and No. 1 in the Big 12 in total D, but it struggled against the killer offenses on the schedule.
It did a nice job against Texas Tech, but West Virginia hit the Horned Frogs with over 500 yards of total offense. Oklahoma State came close with 499, and Oklahoma roared, cranking up 200 yards on the ground – the most allowed all year by the TCU D – with the offense averaging close to eight yards per play.
Of course, Mayfield is the star, but the running game has turned the offense into something at another level over the second half of the season.
OU has scored two rushing touchdowns in every game but two – the loss to Iowa State and the win over Ohio State. The Big 12-leading rushing attack, it’s averaging 216 yards per game, and again, that’s before Mayfield goes Mayfield.
No matter what happens in this game, it’s Mayfield’s Heisman after throwing 37 touchdown passes and just five picks averaging close to 12 yards per throw.
A marked man with words, late hits, and trolls on and off the field, he might have had a few bad moments, but he’s been beyond brilliant. And now …
One Reason Why TCU Will Win
The Horned Frog defensive front has to turn it loose into the backfield.
The Big 12 leader in sacks – and fourth in the nation – the pressure just keeps on coming. But the D line had problems a few weeks ago in Norman, coming up with just three tackles for loss and just one sack.
Oklahoma is fantastic at keeping the offense moving quickly, and getting the ball out of Mayfield’s hands in a big hurry, but the defense has to sell out to get to No. 6 and pressure him – he can’t have time to relax and find the second and third targets.
Or, TCU has to gear it up and start bombing away.
Kenny Hill came back from missing the Texas Tech game hurt to hit Baylor with 325 yards and three scores, hitting 72% of his passes.
Fantastic all year, he was a fringe Heisman candidate before the Iowa State and Oklahoma games, failing to hit half of his passes in either game. For this to work, TCU has to keep the Oklahoma offense on the sidelines, and that means Hill has to keep the chains moving.
TCU leads the Big 12 in time of possession and third down conversions. Against Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs were hammered in clock control – only having the ball for just under 26 minutes – and converted just 4-of-13 tries.
That has to change in a big way.
What’s Going To Happen
This will be a totally different TCU team than the one that showed up in Norman on November 11th.
The defense will be more aggressive, it’ll take more chances, and it’ll rely on its secondary to hope to win just enough battles to get by.
But mostly, the TCU D will go after Rodney Anderson and the Oklahoma running game.
The Horned Frogs will get up early and take control of the game with a halftime lead, and then Mayfield will show everyone why he’s going to be the 2017 Heisman winner.
Mayfield will rally the Sooners in a brilliant early fourth quarter scoring run to get back in the game, and he’ll lead the way to a final scoring drive and a walk-off field goal.
It’ll be a brilliant moment for the Oklahoma run of championships, and a brutal heartbreaker for the Horned Frogs.
Oklahoma vs. TCU Prediction
Oklahoma 31, TCU 30
Oklahoma -7, o/u: 63.5
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