Oklahoma is alive and well in the College Football Playoff chase thanks to a dramatic overtime win over Baylor, 30-23, in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday.
Baylor rallied from a ten-point deficit with their third-string quarterback in the fourth quarter to force an overtime period.
Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson scored a go-ahead five-yard TD on the first possession of overtime and the Sooners’ defense ended the game on downs for the thrilling win.
With the Sooners winning the Big 12 title and No. 5 Utah going down Friday night in the Pac-12 championship game, Oklahoma now has a shot of making the College Football Playoff, but they’ll need help in the upcoming SEC championship game.
If No. 2 LSU takes down No. 4 Georgia to win the SEC title on Saturday afternoon, Oklahoma will have the inside track to qualify for the CFP.
Baylor Quarterback Charlie Brewer Forced to Leave Game With Apparent Head Injury
Baylor starting quarterback Charlie Brewer took a hard hit early in the second quarter of the Big 12 championship game on Saturday and appeared to be wobbly as he was assisted off the field by his teammates.
The junior QB returned to the game following that drive but the lead official Mike Defee suggested to Baylor’s head coach Matt Rhule that Brewer needed further examination.
Brewer headed to the locker room and would not return for the second half.
“Charlie Brewer got up and was unsteady walking to the sideline, told everyone he was fine, he was briefly examined by athletic training staff and went back and played,” ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported. “But Mike Defee, the head umpire of this crew, went to Matt Rhule and said I think we need to take another look at this kid. They’ve done more evaluation on the sideline. They’ve now taken him into the locker room for further head evaluation.”
Baylor’s Second and Third String Quarterbacks Rally Bears to Force OT
Baylor’s backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Gerry Bohanon entered when Brewer was forced out of the game and threw a 33-yard touchdown to Tyquan Thornton to tie the game at 10 in the second quarter.
Outside of the TD pass, Bohanon struggled to move the offense, going 4-of-15 for only 56 yards. Baylor coach Matt Rhule made a gutsy call to bring in true freshman Jacob Zeno in the fourth quarter and it paid off big time.
Zeno struck gold on his first possession, hitting receiver Trestan Ebner for an 81-yard touchdown and ultimately rallied the Bears back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts Leads Sooners to Big 12 Title After Transferring From Alabama
With Tua Tagovailoa fixed as Alabama’s starting QB coming into this season, Jalen Hurts opted to transfer to Oklahoma for his final year of eligibility and boy are the Sooners elated he did.
Hurts, who was a part of three College Football Playoff appearances by Alabama including the 2017 national title team, has led Oklahoma to a 12-1 record this season.
The senior QB was 17-of-24 for 287 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game. A year ago, Hurts came off the bench to lead Alabama to a comeback win over Georgia in the 2018 SEC championship game.
Hurts’ No. 1 weapon, receiver CeeDee Lamb, had a huge game on Saturday, catching eight passes for 173 yards.
Impact on College Football Playoff Rankings
So, who will be the final four teams standing on Sunday with a chance to compete for a national championship?
The unveiling of the final College Football Playoff rankings and the selection of the top four teams that will advance to the national semifinals will take place on Sunday, following this weekend’s conference championship games.
Coming into this final week, the rankings were as follows:
1. Ohio State (12-0)
2. LSU (12-0)
3. Clemson (12-0)
4. Georgia (11-1)
5. Utah (11-1)
6. Oklahoma (11-1)
7. Baylor (11-1)
8. Wisconsin (10-2)
9. Florida (10-2)
10. Penn State (10-2)
The top four teams in the final College Football Playoff rankings will meet in the national semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 28.
At the very least, Oklahoma gave themselves a shot of getting in with Saturday’s thrilling Big 12 championship game win.