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College Sports: Oklahoma over Ohio State for playoff position should be a ‘no-brainer’ if both win, but nothing is certain after 2014

Chuck Carlton, Big 12 beat writer for and The Dallas Morning News, answered your questions about the league in a live chat Wednesday. Below are highlights, edited for clarity: 

Should Oklahoma over Ohio State for a spot in the playoff (assuming Georgia loses) be a no-brainer? OU would’ve avenged its lone loss, and it didn’t get blown out by Purdue.

Carlton: It should be a no-brainer under those circumstances, the key word in that phrase being “should.” You never quite know with the selection committee. Just ask TCU which went from third in the next-to-last rankings in 2014 to sixth after winning by 52 points. The worst loss argument should carry the day and actually has precedent in the CFP selection process (remember Iowa-Ohio State?). But let’s say Oklahoma avenges its loss to Texas a close, competitive game. Then that night, Urban Meyer and Ohio State hang 50 on Northwestern. That shouldn’t be a factor — but it still might.

Would a one-loss Alabama get into the playoff over one-loss Oklahoma and one-loss Ohio State?

Carlton: Unless it’s just a blowout loss to Georgia, yeah, don’t bet against Alabama being the fourth team in the playoff. The Tide has simply been so dominant this season and has been given so much respect by the committee that you figure it would get the fourth and final spot. The rationale would be that Alabama is still the most complete team, ahead of Oklahoma and Ohio State, regardless of the championship game result. And there’s precedent for Alabama making the playoff without a conference title to its credit.

How much have the Longhorns and Sooners changed since their October meeting at the Cotton Bowl?

Carlton: Well, let’s check in with Mike Stoops. Oh, my bad. Yes, Ruffin McNeil is now calling defensive signals although the defense is even worse if that’s possible. The Sooner offense and Kyler Murray are even better. Plus, the Sooners have the tangible goal of a possible CFP berth as added motivation — not that they need it. Texas has probably found more of a run game with Tre Watson and the offensive line has come together. Plus, Texas players probably believe more and know how to win more that they did earlier.

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