Sallee: Pac-12 Championship To Have Impact On Oklahoma, Baylor Matchup

CBS Sports Writer Says Big 12 Either Needs Style Points Or Will Be Playing In De Facto Quarterfinal

Taz and the Moose
December 04, 2019 - 11:44 am
Nov 16, 2019; Waco, TX, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate the game tying touchdown by Oklahoma Sooners fullback Brayden Willis (81) against the Baylor Bears during the second half at McLane Stadium

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Barrett Sallee believes Friday's Pac-12 Championship game will have an indirect impact on the fate of the Big 12 Championship. 

The Utah Utes are set to face Oregon in the first conference championship meeting of the loaded collegiate slate. Utah is on the outside looking into the College Football Playoff picture, ranked fifth ahead of No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Baylor, who meet Saturday afternoon. 

After the Sooners' thrilling 34-31 victory in the first meeting between both teams this season and the current implications, Sallee told Tazz and The Moose the rematch is the game he's looking most forward to this weekend. 

"It's basically a de facto quarterfinal," Sallee said on Wednesday. "Think about this, Oregon and Utah is basically going to the clubhouse like a golfer that's three groups ahead in the Masters. They're going to the clubhouse so Baylor and Oklahoma are going to walk onto the field, knowing they're either playing a quarterfinal because Utah lost or they need style points because they're going to know exactly what Utah did in its win."

Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts struggled in the first half in the Nov. 14 meeting against Baylor. He threw for 80 yards and a touchdown before Oklahoma mounted a surreal 25-point comeback and Hurts finished with 411 total yards and four touchdowns. Baylor compiled two outstanding wins since the devastating loss, including a dominant 61-6 statement win against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Both teams are forced to follow up the display Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has in store against the powerful Utes defense.

"That's going to be so fascinating to me," Sallee added. "Because of the fact the Pac-12 Championship game is a Friday, the Big 12 is going to have so much intrigue based on the outcome of Utah-Oregon on Friday night. Honestly, I would love it if Utah wins ugly on Friday just to see how Baylor and Oklahoma approach that game knowing they probably need some style points. Oh man, it'll be so much fun."

The CBS Sports writer believes it will be Utah, led by quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss, to squeeze into the final playoff spot. 

"I give Oregon a pretty decent shot over Utah. I do think Utah wins," Sallee said. "I think Oklahoma wins the Big 12 Championship game. I think Baylor will cover and Utah will get in as a result. The situation I just laid out is going to play out. Utah winning, maybe a little bit ugly, and Oklahoma and Baylor needing style points but that actually hurting them because it causes too many mistakes. As a result, Utah's win over Oregon looks pretty solid and the Utes get in."