John Hoover

John E. Hoover: Sooners rout TCU for 11th Big 12 title, now preps for College Football Playoff

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, gains yardage as he runs the ball as TCU safety Niko Small (2) gives chase in the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
John E. Hoover: Sooners rout TCU for 11th Big 12 title, now preps for College Football Playoff

ARLINGTON, Texas — Baker Mayfield threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns and the No. 3-ranked Oklahoma Sooners routed No. 12 TCU 41-17 on Saturday in the return of the Big 12 Championship Game.

It marks OU’s 11th Big 12 Conference title—by far the most of any program—but also cinches the Sooners’ spot in the College Football Playoff for the second time.

The CFP selection committee is meeting this weekend in nearby Grapevine, and Sunday’s four-team playoff field — 11 a.m. on ESPN — is virtually assured to include the Sooners.

OU raced out to a 17-0 lead, which dwindled to 24-17 at halftime.

But Mayfield threw touchdown passes of 55 and 52 yards two of the Sooners’ first three plays after halftime, and the rout was on.

It was a rematch of a regular-season game on Nov. 11 in Norman, won 38-20 by Oklahoma.

After opening the game with a 41-yard Austin Seibert field goal, OU led 10-0 on the next play when Amani Bledsoe forced a fumble from TCU running back Kyle Hicks, and Caleb Kelly ran it back 18 yards for a touchdown.

Mayfield’s 5-yard TD pass to Mark Andrews put the Sooners ahead 17-0 — the biggest first-quarter lead in Big 12 title game history.

Jalen Reagor and John Diarse made circus TD catches from Kenny Hill to cut the lead to 17-14, but Mayfield’s 6-yard TD pass to Andrews — threaded between five TCU defenders — put Oklahoma ahead 24-14 with 3:45 left in the first half.

After OU’s defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half, Mykel Jones opened the second half by taking a short throw from Mayfield and racing 55 yards for a touchdown.

On OU’s next possession, Marquise Brown got behind the TCU defense and hauled in a 52-yard bomb from Mayfield for a 38-17 Oklahoma lead.


Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard every weekday on The Franchise in Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. with co-host Lauren Rew. In Oklahoma City, catch him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:25 and every Friday afternoon at 4:05. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Visit his personal page at

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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