NORMAN — The inclination Oklahoma had played itself into a BCS bowl game with Saturday’s victory over Oklahoma State proved to be right.
Sunday, the Sooners accepted a bid to face Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 2 in New Orleans.
“Two of the more storied programs, when you look at the championships and Heismans and all of that stuff. It’s two great traditions for sure,” OU coach Bob Stoops said Sunday night.
The 11th-ranked Sooners (10-2) and the third-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) have combined for 16 national championships since 1950. The Sooners have seven. Alabama has won nine, including three of the previous four. They’ve also combined for 62 bowl victories — OU 27, Alabama 35 — during their histories.
However, this will be just the fifth meeting between the programs.
OU claimed a regular-season home-and-home series in 2001 and 2002. The last bowl meeting was the 1970 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, which ended in a 24-24 tie. Alabama victory came in the 1963 Orange Bowl with a 17-0 win.
“Yeah, that is odd,” Stoops said when asked why OU and Alabama hadn’t crossed paths more often over the years. “I guess it goes back to the old bowl matchups and where you used to go. That’s probably why. Yeah, pretty unusual when you think of all the great teams each of them have had. In today’s world they probably would have gotten together more often, with the BCS, the way things are now. If they had it back then they probably would have met more often.”
The Sugar Bowl appearance will be Alabama’s 14th. It’s the most of any program in the game’s 80-year history and it was a forgone conclusion after it lost to Auburn on Nov. 30. They finished No. 3 in the BCS standings and the BCS bowl bid was automatic.