Andrew Gilman

Are the Sooners really playoff worthy?

Are the Sooners really playoff worthy?

Oklahoma is in some trouble as far as making the College Football Playoff is concerned. You probably knew that. After all, the newest rankings came out Tuesday and they proved it. The Sooners moved up only one spot after beating an undefeated team – on the road.

So, yeah. OU has a playoff issue.

But this playoff situation is only tangentially involved to the rankings and has little to do with Oregon or Utah. It doesn’t have anything to do with needing Arizona State to beat the Ducks or needing Georgia to lose in an SEC title game.

It doesn’t concern Alabama or Utah or even Ohio State or Clemson. Frankly, it doesn’t even have anything to do with upcoming games against TCU, Oklahoma State and a likely rematch with Baylor, either.

Oklahoma doesn’t have a Playoff ranking problem. It has a consistency problem.

Lost in the madness of a historic comeback against Baylor is the fact the Sooners have played some really bad football mixed in with some really great football. It’s easy to forget the former. It’s easy to be excited about the latter – especially since it was so recent and so historic. 

What we just saw against Baylor – the come-from-behind wildness, the defense, the interception in the final moments was unforgettable, but that was just two quarters. Now, those two quarters might have saved the season and any slim chance of making the playoffs the Sooners have, but consider what’s happened in the past three games.

Six of the past 12 quarters for Oklahoma have been problematic. That’s counting the middle two quarters against Kansas State, the second half against Iowa State and then the opening half against Baylor.

In that span, those six quarters, Oklahoma turned it over six times and gave up a baffling 91 points. That’s an issue, and it’s enough of one that if you were on the the Playoff committee you’d be taking notes and wondering how complete a team the Sooners are. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been spectacular and also a questionable decision maker. His passes against Iowa State and again against Baylor that were intercepted prove that. His fumbled against Baylor in the first half and again in the second half also are more evidence, as are the turnovers against Texas, the near-interception against Kansas and two more against Iowa State in the first half of that game that should have been not only intercepted, but returned for touchdowns.

Oklahoma hasn’t played a complete game since beating West Virginia. That seems like light years ago, so is it more realistic to think OU is a playoff team or that it is a really good team with consistency issues?

The good news is Oklahoma still has a chance at making the Playoff. Lots can happen. It’s certainly not out of the question for Oregon to lose, which could come as early as this weekend at Arizona State or in the Pac 12 title game against Utah. Hey, maybe OU gets some help in the form of a Penn State over Ohio State upset. Or Michigan surprising the Buckeyes. It could happen. Maybe. 

Regardless, the Playoff committee has to be noticing. They’re seeing the same things a lot of fans and others don’t want to admit – this team isn’t playoff worthy. Not today, anyway. It’s a team that has had moments of brilliance, but no indicator that it’s deserving to be in the final four.

Andrew Gilman

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