The results are in, and we can all let out a sigh of relief. The Big 12 gets a representative in the College Football Playoffs in the Oklahoma Sooners. Going in at No. 4 means the Sooners will have to face one of the most complete Alabama teams that we have seen in years. According to SBR the leading online betting site, Bovada has the Crimson Tide favored by 14 points in the Orange Bowl.
Oklahoma vs Alabama
There were a lot of questions going into Saturday. Some thought that Oklahoma’s defense might keep them out of the playoffs if Ohio State absolutely destroyed Northwestern. The Sooner offense is prolific and explosive; it’s nothing short of amazing. However, they boast the worst defense to ever compete for a national title appearance.
Pundits are already comparing their future date with Alabama to last year’s Rose Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Sooners scored 14 in the first quarter and then another 17 in the second quarter to go into half-time up by 14. And then in the third quarter, the Bulldogs defense held the Sooners scoreless, allowing Georgia to catch up and get an overtime win.
It was an amazing game. But the Sooners defense just couldn’t get the stops they needed to win the game. Will this happen against Alabama? That is left to be seen. One thing we do know is that it will be another great game that could come down to the wire like the Rose Bowl last year.
The Sooners did have a great 4th quarter against Texas and jumped up from 111th in total defense to 108th. So, they do have it in them to get those stops under pressure. With Tua Tagovailoa possibly out or at least with slightly limited mobility after two weeks to heal up, the Sooners do have a fantastic chance at outshooting Alabama in a shootout—if their defense holds. That said, Bama has the backup in College Football in Jalen Hurts.
Alabama was down when Tagovailoa finally left the game overcome by injury. And Hurts puts up 14 fourth-quarter points; one TD through the air and one with his feet to get the heroic comeback win in the SEC Championship games. He showed that he’s still got it and that we are in for an epic Big 12 vs. SEC clash in the Orange Bowl CFP no matter who is behind center for Alabama.
Georgia vs. Texas Sugar Bowl
It’s funny how things work out. We almost have no need of a segue. The two other teams we were just discussing were selected by the committee to face each other in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. So not only does the Big 12 get into the CFP, but the conference one of the other four most impactful selection committee bowls.
It does seem a bit odd to drop the No. 5 team against No. 15 Texas when they could have arranged a tough No. 9 Washington or No. 11 LSU. But you won’t hear any complaints. Texas is going to want to prove their mettle against the best available competition. And make no mistake; Georgia is just that.
The Bulldogs have opened up as 10.5-point favorites for their showdown with the Longhorns in New Orleans. This is going to be a true test for a resurging Texas team. The Bulldogs are arguably the second best team in the country. A win against Georgia or even a close loss would show the world that the Longhorns are back and one of the most storied college football programs in history is truly relevant once more.
The Longhorns have been dropping over 31 points per game against opponents. But they’ll have to step it up a little in the Sugar Bowl because Georgia has been putting up 39.15 points per game against SEC defenses. On the flip side, Georgia has only been allowing 18.54 ppg so; the horns are going to have their hands full moving the ball.
That said, they can and will. We are going to see another great Big 12 vs. SEC matchup. We should think that the committee’s decision in putting the No.15 Longhorns against Georgia shows their faith in Texas to bring a high-level competition in the Sugar Bowl.
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