Oklahoma fans spent the entire offseason chirping about how the program was better off without Lincoln Riley. Leave it to Lincoln’s brother, TCU offense coordinator Garrett Riley, to help get this narrative to bed in one of the most emphatic excitements in years.
The Horned Frogs eviscerated the No. 18 Oklahoma team Brent Venables 55-24 on Saturday. The younger Riley gave Venables defensive nightmares, notching for touchdowns for 73, 68, 67 and 62 yards. It was the Sooners’ worst loss since the 63-28 embarrassment by Joe Burrows LSU in the semifinals of the 2019 College Football Playoffs and their worst conference loss since 2014. Baylor put the Sooners in the woodshed 48-14 from Bob Stoops. And really, this could have been even worse than those gigs if Sonny Dykes hadn’t canceled the dogs.
Now, an Oklahoma team that entered the year as forecast Big 12 title favorites and last season’s top 10 team is ending its first non-pandemic season since John Blake as Sooners coach in 1998 with a 0: Confront 2 start in Big 12 game. Needless to say, stumbling out of the gate in a Big 12 game wasn’t on any Oklahoma fan’s wish list.
Here are more winners, losers, and overreactions from across the country
State of Mississippi: It feels like 2014 in Magnolia State. Ole Miss pulled off a 22-19 upset from No. 7 Kentucky thanks to a forced fumble in the final drive of the game to go 5-0. The Rebels should break into the top 10 on Sunday. Statewide, Mississippi State made its own case for the top 25, destroying No. 17 Texas A&M 42-24 in a game that wasn’t as close as the bottom line. Add another strong start from Jackson State and Mississippi’s top three teams are tied 14-1. Oh, and by the way, the state might have the best passing game and best rushing game in the SEC.
Big 12 undefeated: There are only three unbeaten teams left in the Big 12. Those teams? No. 9 Oklahoma State (sure), TCU (huh), and Kansas (what?!). It’s been a strange year in the conference but all three teams only added to their impressive CVs on Saturday. Oklahoma State proved its high ranking was well deserved with a dominant away win over Baylor. Kansas leaned on its defenses to shock the state of Iowa. TCU had perhaps the most emphatic win of the weekend when they defeated Oklahoma. None of the undefeated teams remaining in the Big 12 have won a straight conference title in the past decade, so we should have an exciting ending ahead of us.
Klemson: Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei proved his impressive performance against Wake Forest was no fluke with an impressive 30-20 win for No. 5 Clemson over No. 10 NC State. Uiagalelei threw for 209 yards and was a key part of Clemson’s running game with 73 yards and three total touchdowns. He avoided mistakes and appears to be forming a strong relationship with Jake Briningstool. If Uiagalelei can maintain that level of performance, Clemson has a legitimate shot at a college football playoff return.
Wisconsin: The Badgers are officially dead after an embarrassing 10-34 loss to Illinois to drop to 2-3. Wisconsin ran six feet. Two! Illinois’ defense is very good, but 208 total yards against a Big Ten West opponent isn’t good enough. With such a crucial loss to Illinois, the rest of the schedule is suddenly thrown into question. Will the Badgers miss a bowl game? Can they survive road trips to Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan State? What is this team? Barely competing for bowl eligibility falls far short of what people in Madison expect.
Washington: I’ve been beating the Washington drum for most of the season, but the schedule is beginning to crumble under close scrutiny. The Michigan State win looks meaningless and nothing like the signature win it appeared to be back then. Stanford does not have a win against an FBS team at the time of publication. UCLA is a good team that should move into the top 15 after beating UW, but it’s hard to wipe out the Huskies, who lost 40-16 in the Rose Bowl. Washington is still a nice story, but nowhere near the Pac-12 contender we envisioned.
Georgia does not repeat: A bad game is a deviation. Two is a trend. Missouri and Kent State might be the two worst FBS teams the Bulldogs play all season, but Georgia let both last well into the fourth quarter.
In the narrow 26-22 win over Missouri, the Bulldogs didn’t score a touchdown until 9:39 into the game. Georgia didn’t take the lead until 4:03 into the game. It had to settle for three field goals from 35 yards or less after struggling to convert in the red zone against an overwhelmed Mizzou defense.
Georgia can pull through most of its soft SEC East schedule, but the fights against No. 8 Tennessee, No. 7 Kentucky and Mississippi State remain. It’s hard to imagine this careless version of Georgia coming through unscathed.
ACC Coastal is the wildest division in football: The ACC Coastal has built a reputation for chaos. In fact, each of the seven members has won the division at least once since 2013, with Pitt being the only repeat winner at that stretch. However, the ACC Coastal’s final year before the divisions’ elimination could be one for the ages.
Georgia Tech shocked No. 24 Pitt – the expected Coastal favorite – with a 26-21 decision the same week the Yellow Jackets fired their coach Geoff Collins. Conversely, Duke and North Carolina are the only undefeated teams remaining in ACC play, aside from one Miami team that has yet to play a conference game. With Georgia Tech on the board, virtually any team can win the ACC Coastal this season. It’s a fitting tribute to the Division.