Despite a lightning delay that pushed the start time back by an hour and a half, a record-setting crowd came out in droves for the matchup between the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners. The 87,979 that packed into Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday night was a new record for the venue, and the tenth-largest crowd to ever witness the crimson and cream in person.
After making the College Football Playoff in 2015 before losing to eventual National runner-up Clemson, the hype reached a fever pitch for the Sooners entering 2016. They had a Heisman Trophy candidate both at quarterback in Baker Mayfield, and at running back in Samaje Perine. Then, they lost their season-opener to the upstart Houston Cougars in a technical neutral-site game held in NRG Stadium in Houston.
With the nature of the College Football Playoff existing to allow for a minor slip, the Sooners still had a chance of making it back if they ran the table. But the Ohio State Buckeyes came out and jumped out to a 35-17 halftime lead over the Sooners.
While there will be figurative rest for Oklahoma with a week off following the Ohio State game, things could come off the tracks for the Sooners quickly. They’ll get the Red River Rivalry on October 1 against the upstart Texas Longhorns, who have ascended to No. 11 in the polls, before traveling to Fort Worth to take on the high-octane offense of the TCU Horned Frogs. There’s a legitimate chance that after anticipating a Playoff berth at the beginning of the year, the next time the Sooners return home, they could be looking at a 1-4 record.