As long as it remains unclear what’s happening with Mack Brown at Texas, and as long as Nick Saban waits to sign his next extension at Alabama, there will be a cloud over the Crimson Tide’s preparations for the game.
Also, we’ve seen it so many times before. We’ve actually seen it happen to OU before. That is, when the game feels like a consolation prize, it’s hard to get very motivated. Well, Alabama never wanted to be playing in the Sugar Bowl the same way OU wasn’t wild about having to play Boise State one year at the Fiesta Bowl and West Virginia the next and it showed. The Sooners were just plain bad and lost both games.
Then you’ve got all the things Bob Stoops has said about the SEC, all of which have been incendiary but also correct, yet it’s hard to believe Alabama must care much about it. After all, he was never talking about Alabama.
But, just maybe, his team will play inspired football in the name of backing up its coach, knowing full well how big a Sooner win would be on the college football landscape.
To say nothing of the fact that any underdog — right, it doesn’t happen often, by OU is a clear, clear, clear underdog — should be only too happy for a game like this.
Unless you’re playing for a national championship, you want to be the underdog in January. It’s never done anybody any good to pick a fight with a bottom-dweller. You can only lose. But try to knock somebody off a top perch and its hard to finish any lower than where you began,
Really, this is a game to be celebrated. Win it and it will feel like a national championship just as long as Saban remains on the Tide sideline. Lose it and, whatever, this team was never supposed to go 10-2 in the first place and certainly wasn’t after losing at Baylor.