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Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: Lifting the lid, OU's season as appealing as Lincoln Riley's brisket

October 26, 2021

Lincoln Riley must judge his Oklahoma Sooners the same way he judges brisket.

Though his brisket seems much tougher than OU, which may have put together the softest 8-0 start in college football history.

Remember Riley tweeting a shot of a dried-up brisket last summer? As any competent pitmaster knows, it wasn’t something to brag about.

And as any competent or unbiased college football observer knows, neither is his football team.

Nevertheless, Riley remained stubborn as a Muleshoe resident with comments following the Sooners' lackluster 35-23 victory over lowly Kansas last week.

“We’re still a very capable football team,” Riley said. “No question.”

Actually, there are many questions. How could this team be picked for a playoff berth ahead of a good one-loss team? Also, how can Associated Press voters justify ranking the Sooners fourth in the nation?

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
The Sooners hope to cruise to their seventh straight Big 12 title. 

Obviously, they’re reacting to the Sooners’ unbeaten record. But Wake Forest, which is also unbeaten, is ranked No. 13.

Wake Forest arguably has been much more impressive than OU. At least, the Demon Deacons beat bad teams badly.

OU merely survives against weak opponents.

The Sooners opened the season with a 40-35 victory over now 1-6 Tulane, which lost by 40 to Ole Miss and by 23 to Eastern Carolina. Tulane did not succumb until quarterback Michael Pratt was stopped one yard short of a first down at the OU 44-yard line with less than two minutes remaining.

Two weeks later, the Sooners held off now 3-5 Nebraska, 23-16.

OU started Big 12 play with a 16-13 win over now 3-4 West Virginia. Tied 13-13 with about five minutes remaining, the Mountaineers had second down at the OU 33-yard line.

But an errant snap sailed past quarterback Jarrett Doege for a 21-yard loss. The Mountaineers were forced to punt. OU then drove for a game-winning field goal on the final play.

They held off (4-3) Kansas State 37-31. They benefitted from a monumental Texas choke to beat the (4-3) Longhorns, 55-48. They gave up 529 yards of offense in a 52-31 victory over TCU (3-4).

Then, last week OU led Kansas just 28-23 late in the fourth quarter. The Sooners appeared stopped on a fourth-and-one, but quarterback Caleb Williams wrestled the football away from running back Kennedy Brooks.

Some thought the play should have been blown dead before Williams took the ball and picked up the first down. That would have set up the Jayhawks at the OU 44-yard line with 3:20 to play.

Instead, OU managed a final touchdown with 1:09 remaining to make the score look more… respectable. Riley seemed to brag about that game like he did his brisket.

“We figured out our personality a little bit,” he said. “Our personality is we can finish with the best of them.”

Well, as long as Sooners are playing some of the worst of them.

Heisman watch (if my ballot was due today)

1. Bryce Young, Alabama, QB: Young bolstered his candidacy by throwing for 371 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 42 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-24 victory over Tennessee. He’s passed for more than 300 yards in each of the last three games and five times overall. For the season, Young has passed for 2,453 yards and 26 touchdowns.

2. Matt Corral, Ole Miss, QB: Corral had an ‘off’ day in a 31-17 victory over LSU. He passed for just 185 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 24 yards and a score. He’s been involved in multiple touchdowns in every game. Corral is ranked sixth in the nation with 2,387 yards of total offense. He’s thrown for 1,913 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s rushed for 474 yards and nine TDs.

3. Kenneth Walker, Michigan State, RB: The Spartans were open last week in preparation for the showdown with arch-rival Michigan. Despite sitting out, Walker still has the second-highest rushing total in the nation. He’s gained 997 rushing yards and has scored nine touchdowns.

4. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB: Stroud continued a torrid touchdown pace with four scoring strikes in a 54-7 blitzing of Indiana. Stroud completed 21 of 28 passes for 266 yards. He’s now thrown 14 touchdown passes in the past three games. Stroud has passed for 1,965 yards and 22 touchdowns.

5. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh, QB: He completed 25 of 39 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-17 victory over Clemson. Overall, Pickett has thrown for 2,236 yards and 23 touchdowns with one interception.

Predicted playoff participants

1. Georgia: Look out. Georgia’s offense has been looking good, too.

2. Ohio State: The Buckeyes have scored 50-plus points in their last four games.

3. Cincinnati: Beating Notre Dame carries a lot of clout.

4. Oregon: A one-loss Oregon should get the nod over an unbeaten Oklahoma. Especially considering the Ducks have a win over Ohio State.

Games to watch

1. No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State: Heated state rivals vying to remain in the national championship discussion.

2. No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville: Gators are the last team with a realistic shot at beating Georgia in the regular season.

3. No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn: Winner stays on Alabama’s heels in the SEC West race.

4. No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State: Nits look to bounce back from Illinois loss. Buckeyes look to bounce another opponent.

5. Texas at No. 16 Baylor: Longhorns hope to avoid a three-game losing streak.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: Lifting the lid, OU's season as appealing as Lincoln Riley's brisket

4,470 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by el_guapo
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am I the only one that doesn't see Bryce Young as a heisman QB

if he wins the heisman then the field is really weak this year.

I'd pick corral over young any day of the week

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Hopefully the playoff committee will recognize OU's weak SOS and adjust their ranking accordingly. If not, we have a great argument for expanding the playoff.
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"Though his brisket seems much tougher than OU...". Nice.
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