The No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners entered Saturday’s matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks as an overwhelming 38.5-point road favorite and left Lawrence, KS, with a meager 35-23 victory. A win is a win, but this will not help their case for a College Football Playoff bid in the long run.
OU came out extremely sloppy in the first half and the Jayhawks took advantage by putting their visitors from Norman on upset alert early. KU entered the half with a 10-0 lead, marking the first time the Sooners have been shut out in the first half since 2014. Behind the brilliance of freshman quarterback sensation Caleb Williams, Oklahoma managed to pull ahead in the second half but couldn’t quite put the Jayhawks down for good until their final drive.
This is going to be another mark against an OU team that while still undefeated, has struggled to put inferior opponents down all year long. They barely survived what quickly turned into a bad Tulane team in Week 1, only beat a middling West Virginia team by a field goal in their Big 12 opener three weeks later, and now needed to come back against the worst Power Five program of the last decade.
The first official College Football Playoff rankings release is quick approaching on the first Tuesday of November. With a resurgent Ohio State dominating opponents on top of an undefeated Michigan lurking, the Sooners need dominant wins in their final four Big 12 contests or risk being skipped over and left out in the cold.