There was one game on Saturday that mattered more than the others, and while it had an impact on the College Football Playoff picture, this season’s Bedlam wasn’t just about national titles. In the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State final round, the Cowboys dispatched the Sooners to the SEC, 27-24, ending any playoff hopes OU had.
While the in-state rivals will certainly meet again, Mike Gundy and Okie State will be in no rush to give the Norman Traitors another shot at the title. It’s a level of pettiness that’s only healthy in fandom and should be celebrated given OU’s motivation to compete in conferences.
Perhaps the most karmic moment occurred late in the fourth quarter on a third-and-12 in OSU territory when OU trailed 27-21. Dillon Gabriel threw a fade into the back right corner of the end zone, and receiver Drake Stoops was ambushed, literally attacked, with the referee staring right at him.
It was the kind of no-call that immediately raises the antennae of conspiracy theorists. The Big 12 crew gives Oklahoma a swift kick in the groin in the biggest spot possible? Secure. Earlier, coach Brent Venables kicked a field goal, but like last week, no one thought they would make it, even when OU got the ball back with 1:46 left and only needed three more to get to OT.
The Sooners couldn’t do that as the Cowboys earned a stop on fourth and fifth to seal the game. After a few kneels, the Stillwater crowd spilled onto the field and is probably still spilling drinks on campus.
It was a typical rivalry game with twists and big plays, but Ollie Gordon II’s two-touchdown, 136-yard performance will forever be etched in Poes lore. It was Gundy’s 100th Big 12 win, and after the game he told ESPN that the win ranked at the top of his Ws in the currently defunct series.
“It’s a big game” Gundy said. “And it’s good for the people of Oklahoma State to end Bedlam with a win. Period.”
From a football perspective in 2023, the Sooners disappear from the CFP list with their second loss and give Texas and Oklahoma State, who are at the top of the conference, every chance of a spot in the Big 12 title game. To be fair, the way the Sooners and Gabriel played, they aren’t winning anything significant.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, are three games away from repeating their role as spoilsports against the other deserter, unless the Longhorns also fall into self-destruction. While a Big 12 title and a middle finger to Texas — the team that fades with your longtime SEC rival — would be nice, it doesn’t get any sweeter than Saturday.
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Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels ended up being let down one too many times by their respective defenders. In two games that looked like serious shootouts after one half, they quickly turned into referendums on why USC and LSU can’t be taken seriously.
The Tide knocked Daniels out of the game and turned the final quarter into a formality for a 42-28 win over LSU. The Huskies put the Trojans into a deficit they couldn’t overcome and rode UW’s Dillon Johnson to the win. The running back had a career night with 256 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.
Alabama and Washington made enough plays on both ends to further their march toward the CFP, but don’t be fooled into thinking Michael Penix Jr. and Jalen Milroe are in the same hemisphere as Williams and Daniels. Although Brian Kelly and Lincoln Riley are in the second season of a new job, both will be kicking themselves for wasting the final years of these extremely talented quarterbacks.
That was also Kelly and Riley’s problem: there is always an Achilles heel, and it is always glaring. It’s also funny how perception varies between the two visored coaches. Either way, it doesn’t matter, at least not this year.
https://deadspin.com/oklahoma-state-rivalry-game-2023-1850993558 Of all the winners on Saturday, Oklahoma State was the biggest