For the last month, I have posted about Oklahoma’s chances at the College Football Playoff. As the rankings were released last night, the biggest takeaway was that the Big 12’s Playoff hopes are dead. The winner of Bedlam has no chance with Colorado jumping Oklahoma from #9 to #8.
What does this mean? It just means that the Sooners shot themselves in the foot in week one. Without a loss to Houston, Oklahoma would have as good of a résumé as any team not named Alabama or Ohio State. Out of the two loss teams in the running (Colorado, Penn State/Wisconsin), Oklahoma lacks multiple Top 25 wins, and a 13th game. Two major data points that the committee takes into consideration.
Sugar Bowl vs College Football Playoff
An ongoing argument has been if Oklahoma should want to make the Playoff only to face the Alabama, Crimson Tide. Many can agree that nobody belongs on the same field as Alabama this year, but one can not look past what the College Football Playoff did for the Sooners’ recruiting in the 2017 class. What would another chance at the Playoff do for the 2018 class? This is the major difference between the two, because a loss does not effect a program as much in the Playoff as it would in a New Year’s Six bowl.
The winner of Bedlam is likely to face Auburn in New Orleans. What does this mean? It means that the Big 12 has another chance to take a punch at the mighty SEC. For Oklahoma, this is huge. The Sooners have struggled in the Southeast part of the country for recruiting, and could make a resounding mark on prospects from the 2018 and 2019 classes with a win in the Sugar Bowl.
So, Sugar Bowl or the College Football Playoff? For this year, it may not matter. A win in the Sugar Bowl or a loss in the Playoff will make the same impact in recruiting. The margin of error with a Sugar Bowl is much smaller as it would be in the Playoff, but Oklahoma has a huge chance to continue building their incredible run on the recruiting trail with a win in Bedlam on Saturday, and furthermore January 2nd in New Orleans.