Andrew Gilman

Forecasting the future: 25 picks for the playoff bound Sooners (maybe)

Forecasting the future: 25 picks for the playoff bound Sooners (maybe)

Some say it may rain, or snow or be really windy this Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.,

Some may say the Sooners still have a shot at this NCAA playoff, too. After Houston knocked off Louisville Thursday night, pushing Oklahoma another step closer to achieving what most thought was improbable, opportunities abound.

Oh, sure, dominoes need to fall, things have to happen – something short of heavens colliding – for Oklahoma to make the Final Four of college football, but while two weeks ago it seemed a waste of time to play “what-if,” now it kind of appears to be appropriate.

Oklahoma in the playoff? Maybe. Let’s get weird. And when it comes to forecasts and prognosticating here are 25 more guesses going into Morgantown.

We saw four teams in the top 10 lose last week and we saw Oklahoma complete another step on its now-annual “March To The Sea” campaign through the Big 12. We saw another in front of the Sooners – Louisville – lose already this week. So, yes, even before the game starts Saturday, you’ll be watching:

1. Scores from teams from the Big 10, Pac 12, ACC and beyond
2. Weather.com, The Weather Channel, The Farmer’s Almanac
3. Priceline.com, Orbitz.com and any other discount airline sites for your New Year’s destination for the impending Oklahoma football game. Right? Right?

Sure, there’s plenty to concern yourself with as far as the game goes, too, but all of it will center around whether the Sooners will get into the playoff and none of it has anything to do whether Oklahoma really is one of the four-best teams. It doesn’t matter. If teams keep losing, and there are more losses on the way, Oklahoma will get a bump. Ignore the fact it was blown out by Ohio State and looked bad against two-loss Houston. Doesn’t matter when others lose, too.

4. But those “others” won’t lose this week. Not with Michigan at home against Indiana and Rutgers and Purdue on the schedule against Wisconsin and Penn State. 5. Don’t count on Clemson losing to Wake Forest, either. All of those teams are 20-plus point favorites, so, 6. you’ll have to take your joy in OU’s success, not in other’s failures. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of successes, too.

7. Oklahoma will play its best game of the season against West Virginia, so good, in fact, 8. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will even be caught smiling before halftime. 9. He won’t wear a stocking cap or beanie, despite the cold temperature and 10. Will go with the traditional visor head gear. 11. So will West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. 12. Holgorsen’s visor will end up being thrown at some point in the first half.

West Virginia is considered by most to have the best defensive team in the conference. However, West Virginia hasn’t seen DeDe Westbrook, either. 13. Westbrook will catch a pass on OU’s first offensive play and 14. he’ll score a touchdown within the first five plays, which will be enough reason for you to flip over to check and see if Washington is having any trouble vs. Arizona State. 15. The Huskies will be just fine. 16. So is Alabama. Don’t worry about checking in on the Tide.

Don’t worry about the OU offense, either. 17. Baker Mayfield will throw for four touchdowns and 18. lead the Sooners to points the first two times the Sooners have the ball. Remember, and it’s not like you could ever forget, OU needs some help. The Sooners have to have others lose in front of them, but they also have to impress.

That means you’ll see Stoops do everything possible to pile up the points. 19. There will be trick plays, 20. including a fake punt, 21. and 500 yards of offense by the Sooners. If Stoops gets the chance to pile up the points, he will. When you have two losses, you have to treat the season like a beauty pageant. You better look good when you win.

And the Sooners will. By the end of the evening, 22. Kirk Herbstreit will suggest OU is still a long-shot. That’s fair. 23. But you won’t believe him. 24. That’s because this game against West Virginia was decided by halftime. 25. Give the points, look ahead, start forecasting playoff possibilities. Sooners win 49-21.

Last week: 19-6
Overall: 143-107

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