Perhaps Oklahoma owes Tennessee a thank you.
The Sooners earned the No. 4 bid in the College Football Playoff on Sunday and will play Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31, looking for revenge after a 40-6 loss last year. One of the games that got Oklahoma to where it is now was a road win against Tennessee in September, committee chair Jeff Long said Sunday.
Long indicated that the Sooners offense and defense certainly stood out on their own statistically. But so did that 31-24 victory in Knoxville.
“That’s a road win early in the season. Again, that had value to the committee,” Long said. “At some point, some people thought that that wasn’t an important win, but as a full body of work, at the end of the season, that’s a very impressive win at Tennessee in front of over 100,000 people.”
“Oklahoma certainly is a strong team and they have victories, as you know, (against) four teams in the top 25 and then three other wins against teams with better than .500 records.”
As for the Vols, they tapped out at No. 23 in the final Playoff rankings after an 8-4 season.