Oklahoma football: Sooners headed to CFP

For the third time in four years the Oklahoma football team is headed back to the College Football Playoff.

The 12-1 Big 12-champion Sooners earned the No. 4 spot and will take on No. 1 Alabama in the Orange Bowl.

Oklahoma punched its ticket for the event by virtue of a 39-27 victory over rival Texas in the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington on Saturday. The Sooners moved from No. 5 to No. 4, edging out Georgia, which lost to Alabama 35-28 in the SEC title game Saturday night.

The Bulldogs fell to No. 5, while Ohio State stayed at No. 6 despite winning the Big 10 Championship.

“The one-loss champion carried the day,” College Football Playoff Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said during the ESPN broadcast.

The Sooners are 3-0 against the Crimson Tide this century with a pair of wins in a home-and-home series from 2002-3 and a harrowing 45-31 win in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.  Alabama hasn’t beaten Oklahoma since 1962 when Joe Namath led the Crimson Tide to a 17-0 win over the Sooners.

The No. 1 vs. No. 4 matchup was originally schedule to take place in Arlington, but Alabama, being the No. 1 seed, elected to play the game in Florida to avoid what would have been a virtual home game for the Sooners.

The Crimson Tide have won 14-straight games and are the defending National Champions. They have Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Tagovailoa and Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray are expected to be the top two contenders for the Heisman Trophy.

Alabama opened at a 14-point favorite over the Sooners in early Las Vegas odds.

Clemson will take on Notre Dame in the other National Semifinal in Arlington.