Baylor and Oklahoma will face each other for the second time this season, this time in the Big 12 football championship game.
The first meeting was decided after a second-half, 24-point comeback; the second — set for Saturday in Arlington, Texas, at noon — will decide a Big 12 Champion and (possibly) what team will fill the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Bears, currently 7 in the CFP rankings, and the Sooners, currently ranked 6, both boast 11 and 1 records this season.
Earlier this year
Baylor seemed to have the game won before opening the door to an Oklahoma offense led by former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. But it was OU’s defense, which had been struggling and has been said to have kept them from becoming a championship team in the past, that kept them in the game with key turnovers. The Sooners’ final turnover of the day was a game-sealing interception with Baylor driving, ready to score for the tie or win.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 3, 2019
Coaches on the Rise
Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Sooners coach Lincoln Riley are both in their third season as head coaches at their respective universities.
Rhule was awarded the Big 12 2019 Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year year award. He also became the first coach to turn a team from 1 and 11 (in 2017) in his first season, to 11 and 1 in two seasons. Ahead of the championship game, Rhule wants to focus on one thing.
Riley took over OU’s football program in 2017 following the retirement of Bob Stoops. He lead Oklahoma to two Big 12 Championship victories and two College Football Playoff berths. Riley echoed a similar sentiment as his counterpart.
Coming into the Game
Baylor ended the regular season on November 30 with a 61 to 6 slaughtering of Kansas.
Oklahoma comes off a rivalry game win against Oklahoma State, 34 to 16.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 1, 2019
The Sooners, the team that couldn’t quite do it on defense, finished the regular season with defensive turnovers on the final play of four-straight games. We’ll see if that remains true on Saturday.