When the college football season began, few people could have predicted that Clemson would be the top-ranked team in the country entering championship weekend or that defending national champion Ohio State would be on the outside looking in. But even fewer people – and by “fewer people,” we mean “pretty much no one” – could have predicted that Iowa would complete its first undefeated regular season in 93 years.
The Hawkeyes, however, are not in the College Football Playoff. Not yet, anyway. They play Michigan State (11-1) in the Big Ten Championship this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
“There’s one more hurdle – and that’s the thing,” CBS Sports Network college football analyst Houston Nutt said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “When you look at Oklahoma, they’re done. Hey, it’s over. They done won the Big 12. They’re setting real nice. They’re in. And so the other teams that are having to play one more game (are) not all the way in yet.”
Indeed, both the Hawkeyes and Sooners have played 12 games. Iowa is 12-0 but has not made the playoff. Oklahoma is 11-1 but has – or at least, we assume it has. Is that an unfair advantage for Oklahoma?
“Yes, yes,” Nutt said. “Yeah, I been saying that for a while. I think everybody ought to have the same deal where everybody plays that championship game. One more game. I know they play all nine of their conference opponents and they use that as the deal, but when you go top to bottom, it’s not as tough as, say, the Pac-12 or, to me, the SEC, when you truly go from the top to the bottom. Now there’s one more game. There’s one more game, and OU is sitting really pretty, really nice. And again, I’ll be the first to say OU is playing at a very high level. I think they’re going to be very, very tough to beat.”
Oklahoma fell short in the Red River Showdown, losing to Texas, 24-17. The Sooners have since won seven straight games by an average of 32.6 points per game. In the final three weeks of the season, they beat Baylor by 10 points, TCU by one point and Oklahoma State by 35.
“Samaje Perine, and (Joe) Mixon and Baker Mayfield is rolling, their defense looks good – I have a lot of respect for Oklahoma,” Nutt said. “But you asked me the question should they be playing one more game? No question. Everybody should be having one more championship weekend this weekend.”