BIG XII NOTEBOOK: OKLAHOMA
Photo Credit: 
Alonzo Adams | Associated Press, file
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley yells to his team before a play.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley yells to his team before a play.

 

A photo on the Internet of Lincoln Riley taken at the end of the OU-Baylor game Saturday pretty much said it all. The veins in Riley’s neck were bulging.

Yes, it was that kind of day. Final score was Baylor on top: 27-14.

The Sooner’s come-from-behind, true freshman, 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams, nicknamed “Superman” sputtered mid-air against a Baylor defensive plan. After being named PFF’s (Pro Football Focus’) True Freshman of the Week for the fourth straight week in a row, Williams threw two interceptions and was benched. Riley even brought in former first-string quarterback Spencer Rattler to see if he could light a spark, but the Bears kept control of the game.

To further add to OU’s frustration, premier field goal kicker, Gabe Brkic, known for several successful kicks this season of more than 50 yards, missed twice before halftime. Prior to Saturday, he was 17-of-20 and had never had multiple misses in a game. OU’s 17-game winning streak was smashed.

 

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE

OU’s first loss of season put them tied with OSU’s Cowboys at 9-1 overall rank; 6-1 conference standing. Both teams are 6-0 at home and Bedlam is coming up Saturday, Nov. 27, in Stillwater. In between, the Sooners host Iowa State (4-3 in conference) and the Cowboys travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech (3-4 in conference). Providing both the Sooners and Cowboys win, it will be a shootout in Stillwater for which team moves into the top spot.

Baylor’s Head Coach Dave Aranda fully expects the Bears to be in a championship romp with one of the Oklahoma teams. That was his supposed reason for kicking a field goal at the end of the OU-Baylor game last Saturday with a few seconds left on the clock. It was also part of the reason Riley’s neck veins were about to pop.

As AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins wrote, “Baylor fans stormed the field when they thought the game was over, but there had been a timeout, and 3 seconds remained. Pretty much all of Oklahoma’s team had left the field and it took several minutes to clear the field and get 11 Sooners back out for the final snap after officials spoke with an irate Riley.”

Aranda opted for the successful field goal and tacked another three points onto the Baylor’s win. His reason was he might need those extra three points in his pocket in case of a Big 12 tiebreaker. Riley said the Bears’ coach broke a code of sportsmanship.

“Disappointing, no other way to put it,” Riley told sportswriter Hawkins. “Still a whole lot left for this football team. That’s the advantage of winning your first nine games, is you do set yourself up to be able to overcome something like this … We’ll bounce back like we always do and like we fully expect to.”

As for Aranda’s extra three points in case of a tiebreaker – here’s hoping they stay in his pocket.