Championship Saturday: Oklahoma, Ohio State make CFP case


By Ralph D. Russo - AP College Football Writer



FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2010, file photo, Texas defensive tackle Kheeston Randall (91) and Oklahoma offensive lineman Ben Habern (61) face off at the line of scrimmage during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 9 Texas are playing in a rare Red River rivalry rematch in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday. It is the first time in 115 years that the border state rivals will play twice in the same season.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2010, file photo, Texas defensive tackle Kheeston Randall (91) and Oklahoma offensive lineman Ben Habern (61) face off at the line of scrimmage during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 9 Texas are playing in a rare Red River rivalry rematch in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday. It is the first time in 115 years that the border state rivals will play twice in the same season. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)


FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) runs with the ball against Maryland defensive back Antwaine Richardson (20) and defensive lineman Oluwaseun Oluwatimi (52) during the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md. Ohio Stat coach Urban Meyer, says Haskins wasn’t a fully legitimate leader until he showed he was willing to run the ball two weeks ago in the narrow overtime win over Maryland.(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)


FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith (6) and Henry Ruggs III (11) celebrate a touchdown reception by Ruggs during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tide hasn't had a Top 15 offense under coach Nick Saban. Enter Tua Tagovailoa. And Jerry Jeudy. And fellow receivers Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and freshman Jaylen Waddle. Plus tight end Irv Smith Jr. Not to mention tailbacks Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)


Before the College Football Playoff field is set, there is one last chance to make a case to the selection committee.

No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Ohio State both need to win Saturday — and they should both be rooting for Alabama.

The Sooners enter Championship Saturday with a chance to make the playoff for a second straight season. Oklahoma faces archrival Texas for the Big 12 title in the first of four Power Five championship games that will decide the four-team playoff field that will be revealed Sunday.

Ohio State plays Northwestern in the Big Ten championship. No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 Georgia for the SEC title and a win by the Crimson Tide could open the door for the Sooners or Buckeyes. No. 2 Clemson is heavily favored against Pittsburgh in the ACC championship game.

In all, there are nine championship games on Saturday: Besides the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 games, titles will be settled in the Sun Belt (Louisiana-Lafayette at Appalachian State), Conference USA (UAB at Middle Tennessee), American Athletic (Memphis at UCF), the SWAC (Southern at Alcorn State) and the Mountain West (Fresno State at Boise State).

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FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2010, file photo, Texas defensive tackle Kheeston Randall (91) and Oklahoma offensive lineman Ben Habern (61) face off at the line of scrimmage during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 9 Texas are playing in a rare Red River rivalry rematch in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday. It is the first time in 115 years that the border state rivals will play twice in the same season. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_121880083-e67a042545cb4bb9ab93b3bdf900e301.jpgFILE – In this Oct. 2, 2010, file photo, Texas defensive tackle Kheeston Randall (91) and Oklahoma offensive lineman Ben Habern (61) face off at the line of scrimmage during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 9 Texas are playing in a rare Red River rivalry rematch in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday. It is the first time in 115 years that the border state rivals will play twice in the same season. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

FILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) runs with the ball against Maryland defensive back Antwaine Richardson (20) and defensive lineman Oluwaseun Oluwatimi (52) during the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md. Ohio Stat coach Urban Meyer, says Haskins wasn’t a fully legitimate leader until he showed he was willing to run the ball two weeks ago in the narrow overtime win over Maryland.(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_121880083-cdca88c749c74bb8a44ad682ac382123.jpgFILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) runs with the ball against Maryland defensive back Antwaine Richardson (20) and defensive lineman Oluwaseun Oluwatimi (52) during the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md. Ohio Stat coach Urban Meyer, says Haskins wasn’t a fully legitimate leader until he showed he was willing to run the ball two weeks ago in the narrow overtime win over Maryland.(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

FILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith (6) and Henry Ruggs III (11) celebrate a touchdown reception by Ruggs during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tide hasn’t had a Top 15 offense under coach Nick Saban. Enter Tua Tagovailoa. And Jerry Jeudy. And fellow receivers Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and freshman Jaylen Waddle. Plus tight end Irv Smith Jr. Not to mention tailbacks Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_121880083-5166c5be22a54cfdb9376278fa222537.jpgFILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith (6) and Henry Ruggs III (11) celebrate a touchdown reception by Ruggs during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tide hasn’t had a Top 15 offense under coach Nick Saban. Enter Tua Tagovailoa. And Jerry Jeudy. And fellow receivers Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and freshman Jaylen Waddle. Plus tight end Irv Smith Jr. Not to mention tailbacks Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football Writer