OU football: Sooners have dominated Big 12 Championship Games
The 18th Big 12 Championship Game arrives Saturday, with a yet another fresh matchup. OU-Baylor.
Last year was OU-Texas. The year before, OU-TCU. All three were the first matchups in Big 12 title game history. Here’s a little Big 12 Championship Game trivia:
* The most common Big 12 title matchup? Texas-Nebraska, three times, 1996, 1999 and 2009. OU-Kansas State, OU-Nebraska, OU-Colorado, OU-Missouri and Colorado-Texas each have been staged twice. The other two matchups, each a solitary time, were Kansas State-Texas A&M and Nebraska-A&M.
* OU’s 9-1 record in Big 12 titles games is absurd. By comparison, Alabama is 8-4 in SEC title games. The best winning percentage is LSU’s .800, 4-1. Florida is 7-5.
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In the Big 12, Texas is 3-2 in title games, Nebraska 2-4, Texas A&M 1-1, Kansas State 1-2, Colorado 1-3, TCU and Baylor each 0-1, and Missouri 0-2.
OSU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas have not made a Big 12 title game. In the SEC, Ole Miss, A&M, Kentucky and Vanderbilt have not made a championship game.
* The matchup of the sixth-ranked Sooners against the eighth-ranked Bears is the sixth top-10 showdown in Big 12 Championship Game history.
The others? No. 2 OU beat No. 10 TCU 41-17 in 2017. No. 9 OU beat No. 1 Missouri 38-17 in 2007. No. 9 Colorado beat No. 3 Texas 39-37 in 2001. No. 1 OU beat No. 8 Kansas State 27-24 in 2000. No. 10 Texas A&M beat No. 2 Kansas State 36-33 in double overtime in 1998.
The SEC title game Saturday matches No. 2 LSU vs. No. 4 Georgia. It will be the 11th top-10 showdown in the 28-year history of the SEC game.
The Big Ten seems to produce top-10 showdowns more regularly. This is just the ninth year for the Big Ten title game, but the matchup of No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Wisconsin is the fifth top-10 showdown for the Big Ten title game.
* Arlington is the permanent home of the Big 12 Championship Game, but OU-Baylor will only bring JerryWorld into a tie with Kansas City for the most frequent host of a Big 12 title game. Kansas City and Arlington each five, San Antonio three, St. Louis and Houston two each, and Irving, Texas, once, at old Texas Stadium.
OU has been in four of the five Arlington games and was in all five of the Kansas City games.
* Of OU’s nine previous Big 12 title games, only two were decided by single digits – the 27-24 victory over Kansas State in 2000 and the 23-20 victory over Nebraska in 2010.
Let’s get to the predictions:
Oklahoma vs. Baylor, Big 12 Championship in Arlington, Texas: Sooners 30-28. My Big 12 efficiency metric predicted this score. So I think I’ll listen.
Georgia vs. LSU, SEC Championship in Atlanta: Tigers 40-20. All three Georgia-LSU title games have been blowouts – LSU 34-13 in 2003, Georgia 34-14 in 2005 and LSU 42-10 in 2011. Stick with the motif.
Utah vs. Oregon, Pac-12 Championship in Santa Clara, Calif.: Ducks 22-20. Upset special. The Utes have been impressive since losing at Southern Cal in September. But Oregon has a heck of a team, too, and can secure its first Rose Bowl berth since the 2014 season.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis: Buckeyes 38-10. Ohio State’s roughshod run through the Big Ten has been impressive. The Buckeyes are 4-0 vs. the playoff committee’s top 25, by a combined score of 164-51.
Virginia vs. Clemson, ACC Championship in Charlotte: Tigers 49-10. The Tigers struggled to win the ACC title games of 2015 and 2016, 45-37 over North Carolina and 42-35 over Virginia Tech. But now Clemson is in a groove – they routed Miami 38-3 in 2017 and Pitt 42-10 a year ago.
Cincinnati at Memphis, American Championship Game: Tigers 31-21. Memphis beat Cincinnati 34-24 in the same Liberty Bowl stadium last week. Now the winner goes to the Cotton Bowl.
Hawaii at Boise State, Mountain West Championship Game: Broncos 27-20. The Rainbow Warriors are lucky. The weather in Boise on Saturday calls for a high of 46, with rain. Hawaii will take it.
Miami-Ohio vs. Central Michigan, Mid-American Championship Game in Detroit: Chippewas 35-22. CMU having a nice year under Jim McElwain, the former Florida head coach and possible future Missouri coach.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Appalachian State, Sun Belt Championship Game: Mountaineers 38-20. Appalachian State still dreaming of that Cotton Bowl berth, but the home loss to Georgia Southern is going to cost the Mountaineers.
Alabama-Birmingham at Florida Atlantic, Conference USA Championship Game: Owls 27-22. Lane Kiffin again doing well at FAU. Will Arkansas come calling? His father, Monte, was the Razorback defensive coordinator under Lou Holtz.
Last week: 37-8. Season: 478-150.