Sooners are headed to the playoffs

 

It was a sea of crimson and cream and burnt orange inside of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. On the field, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns were playing for the second time this season, but this time it meant a little more.

The two teams were competing for the Big XII Championship and a better bowl game berth.

Oklahoma avenged its only loss of the season to the Longhorns with a 39-27 victory and hoisted the championship trophy for a fourth consecutive season.

After the game, Oklahoma’s attention turned to the Southeastern Conference Championship between the University of Georgia and Alabama.

The Sooners needed a win by the Crimson Tide to eliminate the Bulldogs, which would put the Sooners as the fourth ranked team in the nation and punch their ticket to the playoffs.

In the midst of Alabama pulling off a comeback, Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama’s quarterback, was injured and was replaced by Jalen Hurts.

Why is that important?

Because Kyler Murray just finished his regular season with an outing of 25-of-34, 379 yards and three touchdowns inside of AT&T Stadium and is chasing Tagovailoa for the Heisman Trophy.

After the Alabama victory, the two quarterbacks of Tagovailoa and Murray posted the two highest quarterback ratings since EPSN began tracking the stat in 2004. Tagovailoa bolsters a QBR of 94.2 while Murray tops that with a 96.0 rating.

If Murray’s name is to be called Saturday for the Sooner quarterback to walk the stage and receive the Heisman, it would be the first time in history that a university would have back-to-back quarterbacks win the prestigious award.

Not only will the two quarterbacks be competing with each other for the Heisman, the two quarterbacks will lead their teams onto the field against each other in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Murray will have a few hurdles to leap along the way to a Heisman and a win over the Tide. Because on the other side of the ball for the Sooners are the 91st ranked (out of 130) defense in defensive efficiency while Alabama sits at No. 2 with an efficiency of 88.4.

Murray and Tagovailoa led their respected teams to No. 1 in the offensive efficiency rankings with a 96.6 efficiency.

On paper, Alabama is a 14-point favorite on Oddsshark.com over the Sooners in Miami.

Saturday night, you will witness history with the Oklahoma Sooners having back-to-back quarterbacks with Murray accepting the award one year after Baker Mayfield in New York. Murray will be the seventh Sooner to hoist the award.

But, on Dec. 29, the lack of defense will be too much for Oklahoma to overcome, and the Heisman curse will live on.

University of Oklahoma runningback Kennedy Brooks looks for a hole during Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas. The Sooners were playing the Texas Longhorns. Photo / Terry Groover

 

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