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College Sports: Oklahoma jumps Georgia to earn College Football Playoff berth

For the second consecutive season, Oklahoma is heading to the College Football Playoff for a chance at its eighth National Championship in program history.

The Sooners defeated Texas on Saturday 39-27 to earn their fourth straight Big 12 Championship. The win was enough to jump Georgia, who bravely fell 35-28 to No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship game.

OU will face that same Crimson Tide squad in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29. Clemson and Notre Dame will meet in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington.

Oklahoma’s victory was also enough to stave off a late charge from Ohio State, who soundly defeated Michigan and Northwestern in back-to-back weeks to take home the Big Ten crown.

“My opinion doesn’t matter and I’m not on the Committee,” Lincoln Riley said on Saturday when asked if the Sooners had done enough to get into the CFP. “We’ve given it everything we have. We have left everything that we’ve got out there this season. We got a great résumé.”

Oklahoma’s 12-1 record is impressive, but it’s not necessarily what earned the Sooners a playoff spot over 12-1 Ohio State and 11-2 Georgia.

Led by Kyler Murray, the Sooners deploy one of the best offenses in college football history. They’re averaging 8.8 yards per play through 13 games and have 7,513 yards on the season — nearly 700 more than Alabama’s vaunted attack.

Murray broke Baker Mayfield’s school record for total offense in a season (4,945 yards) in one less game. The Heisman contender is also on pace to break Mayfield’s FBS single-season quarterback efficiency record.

Oklahoma will match up against the undefeated Crimson Tide and then, with a win, would face the winner of Clemson and Notre Dame. Do the Sooners have what it takes to win a national title?

“I absolutely feel like it,” Riley added. “I know how close we were to it last year, to being right there in the last one, and I have every bit as much confidence in this team, this offense, this defense and special teams as I did sitting on this stage last year at this time. I know we can. I have zero doubt.”

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