Oklahoma's rout of West Virginia validates CFP rankings

The College Football Playoff committee took a lot of grief this week after ranking West Virginia No. 14 and Oklahoma No. 9 despite the fact that the Mountaineers had just one loss to a ranked Oklahoma State team.

But within one quarter of Saturday’s pivotal Big 12 matchup, the committee had to feel validated. The Sooners jumped out to a 21-0 lead and finished with a decisive 56-28 win.

West Virginia’s Big 12 title hopes — and any College Football Playoff crazy talk — is officially over while Oklahoma will play Oklahoma State for the Big 12 title next week. The Sooners still have an outside shot at the CFP, but they would need several things to happen, including several losses by the teams above them.

Oklahoma defeated West Virginia to set up a Big 12 title showdown against Oklahoma State next week. (Getty)
Oklahoma defeated West Virginia to set up a Big 12 title showdown against Oklahoma State next week. (Getty)

Despite West Virginia’s loss, running back Justin Crawford was a bright spot for the Mountaineers with 24 carries for 331 yards, which was third-most in school history. The Mountaineers rushed for 388 yards on a snowy day in Morgantown and had 579 yards of total offense in the loss. However, they also had four turnovers and seven penalties for 91 yards.

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Oklahoma also used its running game almost exclusively with Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon accounting for 160 and 147 yards respectively. The duo also tallied three touchdowns. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is still trying to make his case for the Heisman, was relatively quiet with just nine competitions for 169 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also had two rushing touchdowns.

Next week’s Bedlam game between Oklahoma, the reigning Big 12 champion, and Oklahoma State will determine the conference winner. Oklahoma State already has a conference loss this season, but beating the Sooners would give both teams a loss with the Cowboys holding the tiebreaker.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!