The game went from bad to worse quickly, after the Frogs coughed it up on their opening possession, tightened it up at the half, and then completely fell apart.
Oklahoma jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter but TCU quarterback Kenny Hill led the Horned Frogs on a second-quarter comeback, cutting the deficit to 17-14. But it was all Oklahoma for the rest of the game, as Baker Mayfield was 15-of-23 for 243 yards and four touchdowns, while running for 65 yards. Rodney Anderson added 93 rushing yards and Trey Sermon rushed for 63 yards.
Good OU defense or inept TCU offense? You be the judge.
But over the course of the year, the Oklahoma D has produced considerable evidence that it knows when the big games are. First, there was September’s 31–16 win over Ohio State in Columbus, which sent the Buckeyes’ offense spiraling into a temporary existential crisis. Then there were hard-hitting wins over Texas and TCU that solidified the Sooners’ place at the top of the conference standings. Saturday’s 41–17 win over the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 title game was the latest and most emphatic sign that the Sooners’ supposed Achilles’ heel may not be as exposed as everyone thought: TCU was held to 317 yards, its third lowest output of the year, and were forced into two costly turnovers.
I don’t think there will be, or should be, three Pac 12 teams in the NY6. So maybe this is as much about Stanford and Washington as Washington and TCU? And if that’s the case, the Cardinal holds head to head.
Even with TCU’s lopsided loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, there is no guarantee the committee will drop the Horned Frogs below the Huskies in the final CFP rankings Sunday. The committee, simply put, can and will do whatever it wants and, yes, politics and perception play significant roles in bowl-game selections.
That TCU is a local team, and would no doubt sell more tickets (many more) than UW would, would seem to boost the Horned Frogs’ chances.
But there is a case to be made on the Huskies’ behalf — notably, a strong regular-season finish with its 41-14 Apple Cup victory and a 2-1 record vs. teams currently ranked in the CFP Top 25, with wins over Washington State and Fresno State. (A Fresno State victory in the Mountain West title game Saturday night would surely help UW’s cause.)
John Diarse had one of the greatest touchdown catches you will ever see, and Reagor looks primed to be a super star for years to come. There were some bright spots for the offense this season, now the hope is they shine with a new QB next fall.
After a to-be-determined bowl game, Diarse will leave TCU with a reputation for consistency. He has at least one reception in 26 of his past 27 games. He’ll go into that final game with 33 receptions for 513 yards in 2017. Over two seasons, he has 66 catches for 990 yards.
The one-handed grab Saturday looked as if it might be the biggest of his career. It cut what was once a 17-point Oklahoma lead to 17-14 at 14:07 of the second quarter.
Hill threw the ball to the outside, where, presumably, the only guy who could catch it would be Diarse. With Tre Norwood on him, Diarse turned to the outside, reached out, and pulled the ball in with one hand as he fell to the ground.
The nearest official called the ball incomplete. That call was overturned on replay.
“I remember falling with it and having possession,” Diarse said. “I immediately went to the sideline and told coach ‘that’s a catch.’ But when you have this feeling here and you wish things would have turned out the other way, it doesn’t really hold any weight.”
OU has a really good shot to win it all. Yay.
The Big 12 instituted the title game for the 2017 season with the hope that an extra game would boost its champion into the College Football Playoff. It was a noble, if slightly misguided, endeavor. The conference is still smarting from TCU and Baylor missing out on the playoff because of a lack of a title game in 2014.
But the reason the title game’s reincarnation is a bit misguided is because of the downside. Had TCU won on Saturday, the Big 12 almost certainly would have been shut out of the playoff for the third time in four years.
Now, the conference will have two appearances in that timeframe. And both will be by the Sooners, who made the playoff in 2015 and lost to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Mayfield was the quarterback then and the team had a first-year offensive coordinator by the name of Lincoln Riley.
When Desmond Bane gets cooking, watch out.
Desmond Bane scored 18 points to lead six double-figure scorers and 23rd-ranked Texas Christian extended the nation’s longest active winning streak in a 92-66 rout over Yale on Saturday night at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Horned Frogs (8-0) led by 14 at halftime and never looked back. TCU shot 59.4 percent from the field to win its 13th consecutive game dating to last season.
Bane made 5 of 9 shots, including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers.
We will be keeping a close eye on Alex Robinson’s health going forward, because when he’s right, TCU Basketball is really, really good.
Desmond Bane scored 18 points, Jaylen Fisher had 17 points and seven assists and No. 23 TCU won its nation-leading 13th straight game, beating Yale 92-66 on Saturday night.
Alex Robinson had 13 points, all before leaving the game briefly with an injury in the second half, as the Horned Frogs won consecutive games as a ranked team for the first time since January 1999. They were last in the Top 25 for one week almost three years ago.
Kenrich Williams had his fourth straight double-double and fifth of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help TCU start 8-0 for the second straight season. Williams had double-doubles in all five NIT games when the Frogs won that title last season.