“I think that’s irrelevant,” OU center Gabe Ikard said when asked about the Big 12 going up against the SEC.
But no one in an OU uniform is denying what the SEC has produced over the last seven seasons — seven national championships spread among the Crimson Tide (3), Florida (2), LSU (1) and Auburn (1) with a chance to win another next month.
“Obviously the SEC has dominated college football with how ever many it’s been in a row with being the national champion from there,” Ikard said. “But what it comes down to is two teams playing each other. It comes down to the team that prepares the best and executes the best on Jan. 2 is going to win the game. It doesn’t matter that they’ve played an SEC schedule, we’ve played a Big 12 schedule, that’s irrelevant.”
What is relevant is the third-ranked Crimson Tide. They would’ve needed a rental truck to haul on the praise OU heaped on them Monday.
The Sooners fully recognize the talent, recent success and tradition Alabama possess. The Tide have won three of the last four national championships under head coach Nick Saban, running their total to 10 since 1961.
“It’s pretty obvious what they’ve been able to do to everybody over the last three, four, five years and this year even they’re No. 1 in the country up until the last second of the regular season and deservedly so the way they’ve played,” OU Stoops said. “You see talent everywhere, physical players, Coach Saban and his staff do a great job coaching them. It will be a big challenge but one that our players have earned and will be excited about.”
Is that byproduct of the conference it plays in or simply a tradition rich school that knows how to assemble championship level teams?
That debate goes on year round. But OU doesn’t want to enter the discussion. It’s fine just representing itself.
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