Will Texas Loss Wind Up Costing the Sooners a Playoff Spot?


Even if they win out over their final two games, the best the Sooners can do this season prior to a bowl appearance is 11-1. As things stand now, that would leave resurgent Oklahoma fighting among several one-loss teams for the final spot in the four-team College Football Playoff for 2015.

As a diehard, life-long OU sports fan, I have to admit that it is very uplifting to read and hear all of commentary and debate over who will be left standing and in the Final Four bracket after the next three weeks of high-visibility and highly competitive action involving teams with high-risk/high-reward playoff implications.

It’s good to know that Oklahoma is one of the teams being talked about in the Playoff conversation at this late stage of the season. That was confirmed with OU’s advancement of five spots, to No. 7,  in this week’s College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings, following a very impactful road win over a high-ranked, top-25 team in Baylor. Some are calling the Sooner win over Baylor the biggest game so far in the college season.

But there is still work to be done if Oklahoma is going to keep the pressure on the College Football Playoff committee and keep augmenting its case to be one of the chosen four. First there is TCU at home this weekend and then, one week later, Bedlam at Oklahoma State and the game that in all probability will serve as the de facto Big 12 championship.

In case you haven’t seen it, the folks at FiveThirtyEight.com, a website that uses statistical analysis to provide an interesting perspective on timely and topical sports news, have crunched the numbers for the top eight teams in this week’s College Football rankings and come up with the probability of making the four-team Playoff for each of the teams.

FiveThirtyEight has the Sooners edging out Notre Dame for the fourth and final Playoff spot, with a 45 percent probability compared to 26 percent for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame isn’t getting much love from the FiveThirtyEight calculations. Last week, the website had Baylor ahead 0f Notre Dame.

Clemson (68 percent), Alabama (63 percent) and Ohio State (62 percent) have the highest probability of making the College Football Playoff, according to the FiveThirtyEight analysis. Oklahoma State, Florida and Iowa are listed at 25 percent-or-less probability.

The FiveThirtyEight analysis gives Alabama the best chance of winning the national title this season, a 19 percent probability; Oklahoma and Ohio State are both 18 percent and Clemson is at 15 percent.