Baker Mayfield, No. 2 Oklahoma Beat No. 10 TCU, Punched CFP Spot

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As TCU quarterback Kenny Hill's collegiate career draws to a close, Saturday's matchup against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game proved to be a representation of Hill's time as a Horned Frog, a game that resulted in a 41-17 loss to the Sooners. Oklahoma is 7-1 in title game appearances and is seeking its third consecutive Big 12 title. Mayfield surpassed 4,000 passing yards and crossed the 40 touchdown barrier this season, which does not indicate National Football League success, but that kind of production should be noted.

Title game history: The Big 12 championship game is back for the first time since 2010, before TCU joined the conference.

The Sooners continue tapping into their talent - most of it unknown to outsiders before the season - in ways they dreamed of back in July and August.

"I'm really proud of our group for not listening to all the noise on the outside and we've played pretty good ball here at the end", Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said.

"We had a insane coach like coach Ruffin McNeill That'd probably tell you why", Lampkin said.

"The most exciting thing about today was we controlled our own destiny", said Mayfield, who was selected as the game's Most Outstanding Player. "I mean if you need to get back in the playoffs". The Sooners' spot in the top four would make it their second playoff berth since the format was introduced in 2014. The second-guessing about the return of the championship game will be loud and persistent.

Even TCU coach Gary Patterson acknowledged, when asked this week, that "probably the best (outcome) for the Big 12 is Oklahoma to win".

Two of Oklahoma's three lowest penalized games of the season came against TCU.

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A 26-yard field goal by TCU's Cole Bunce with four seconds remaining before halftime cut the Sooner lead to seven points, and gave the Horned Frogs a shot of momentum going into the locker room, knowing that they were going to receive the ball to open the second half.

"We feel extremely focused and confident", left tackle Joseph Noteboom said.

"We just wanted another chance at them", TCU offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom said. "We got a stop and played a lot of great, complimentary football in that [third] quarter to separate ourselves". The tweet says someone associated with Oklahoma football forced the original video to be taken down.

Mayfield has been the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy for the past few weeks, and after his play on Saturday, there is little reason that he won't be raising the trophy come December 9. The first half stats were virtually identical for both teams.

"We did not tackle Rodney Anderson at all in the first half", Patterson said.

"The biggest thing we talked about at halftime was we had to tackle better", Riley said. He also added 65 yards rushing on just six carries (a 10.8-yard average). The 41 points are the most TCU has allowed this season. Even Oklahoma was scoreless in the second half against the Frogs.

The defensive-minded Patterson is in his 17th season at TCU, making him the second-longest tenured FBS coach behind Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (19th season). He took over when Bob Stoops suddenly resigned this summer after 18 seasons. Both mistakes led to Oklahoma touchdowns.

Oklahoma has split its previous two games played in the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.



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