Oklahoma, TCU unconcerned about perceived Big 12 bias
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) The Oklahoma Sooners are focusing on their game this weekend against TCU, trying to ignore the discussion about the College Football Playoff's perceived bias against Big 12 teams.
That's because the No. 7 Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP) know they need to defeat No. 11 TCU (9-1, 6-1, No. 18 CFP) at home on Saturday to have any chance of claiming the Big 12 Championship or sneaking into the playoff.
Oklahoma is coming off an impressive 44-34 win over then-No. 6 Baylor last week.
''Our focus is obviously on another excellent team coming in here with one loss,'' said OU coach Bob Stoops. ''I guess it's recognized what we did a week ago. Going on the road and beating a top-six team in the country by double digits, says something. We'll see if we can play well again this week and say even more.''
With a visit to No. 4 Oklahoma State looming next week, Oklahoma has a tough road ahead. But if the Sooners can win out, they hope to earn a spot in the top four.
''The obvious part for us is we have to play well these last two weeks,'' Stoops said. ''We have opportunities, but the only way anything happens for us is if we win this week. Then, there will be more to talk about after that. We've done all we can to play well and put ourselves to be one of the teams in the top four.''
TCU, which hosts No. 10 Baylor on Nov. 27, could still claim the Big 12 title if it wins both remaining games, depending on what happens with Oklahoma State. However, getting into the playoff seems pretty remote.
''Our goals are the same every year,'' said Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson. ''Anything can happen. This group is not going to quit, no matter what everybody thinks the odds are.''
It's still unclear if TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin will play because of a sore ankle. Boykin, a legitimate Heisman contender, played just one quarter last week before hurting his ankle. Patterson called Boykin a game-time decision.
Some other things to watch for Saturday:
SENIOR MOMENT: Saturday is ''Senior Night'' for the Sooners, as they play their final home game of the season. For some, it can be an emotional ceremony. ''It'll definitely be something that will be on all of our minds,'' said center Ty Darlington. ''It's the last time to play on Owen Field. It's going to be bittersweet for sure.'' Stoops said: ''It's always tough for me. You become so attached to all your players. To know they're on their way out is always a little bit emotional.''
INJURY WOES: The Horned Frogs aren't sure if All-Big 12 center Joey Hunt will play because of an undisclosed ailment. They're already without top receiver Josh Doctson, who is sidelined with an injured wrist.
AIR RAID DISPLAY: Sooners QB Baker Mayfield has played his way into Heisman consideration, especially after completing 24 of 34 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 76 yards and another TD, against Baylor last week. On the season, he ranks third in the nation in completion percentage (70.2), second in yards per passing attempt (10.0), and second in efficiency rating (183.9). ''It feels pretty good,'' Mayfield said of the Heisman talk. ''If we continue to play well, that means your quarterback is going to get some recognition.''
GREEN DAY: TCU running back Aaron Green piled up 177 yards rushing last week on 30 carries, both career highs, and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 973 rushing yards this season, one more than Oklahoma's Samaje Perine. Averaging 5.4 yards per carry, Green should become TCU's first 1,000-yard rusher since Ed Wesley in 2010.
PERINE ROLLING: Perine, after gaining 1,713 yards last year as a freshman, had a slower start to this season, but has been on a roll of late. Following his performance of 28 rushes for 166 yards and two touchdowns last week against Baylor, Perine has amassed 552 yards and nine touchdowns over the last four games (138-yard average). ''He's such an exceptional runner,'' Stoops said. ''To go with the power, you have the speed and such great movement for a guy that big. His success really open up a lot of other options offensively.''