Game day is almost here. One game could either make OU’s season or back up the cries of Oregon Ducks fans bitter they were snubbed of a BCS berth. Regardless, Oklahoma has been awarded the opportunity to play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the last Sugar Bowl in the BCS era. OU has the ability to truly reclaim some of its power its lost since the days of Sam Bradford. What do the Sooners need to do, though, to win tomorrow?
It’s quite simple, they must embrace the underdog role.
Against the Baylor Bears, the Sooners found themselves leading early, but offensive struggles gave the Bears too much time to get out of a funk and open it up on a miserable Thursday night for Sooner fans. Oklahoma was a huge underdog in that game, and they are in this one as well. Even though Bob Stoops does not see the Sooners as an underdog, Oklahoma’s group have a herculean task.
If they can make Bama stumble around like they made Baylor for a quarter, they have a shot. However, it’s not going to take one punch. The Sooners have to take swings all night, the offense has to be in the rhythm, and while the defense has been sensational for a lot of the season, they have to play like it is their last. OU does not have much to lose. No one really believes in them, they have to go out of their shut up the doubters who have been on their case all season long.
It is just a weird feeling for Sooner fans to not be the favorite. For so long, Oklahoma has been the team to beat. Every school gives OU their best fight, and when Oklahoma loses, “upset” is a commonly used phrased.
However, this season, the Sooners have been doubted. Against Baylor, Vegas was more than correct. Though, the Sooners overcame a lot to take Bedlam and knock off the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Thursday night, the Sooners have to embrace their role. They don’t need to necessarily be the better team than Alabama. For 60 minutes, they just need to make more plays and leave everything out on the field. They have nothing to lose in this game. Sure, the people who believe Bob Stoops cannot win a BCS game will come out of hiding, but against Alabama? Making this a close game is a task in itself. Winning, though? It may be the biggest upset of the season.
OU just needs one great game. Not a good one, but a great one. Can they do it? Well, it’s been ten years since Bob Stoops and Nick Saban met in this same game, and Stoops finally has a chance at redemption. This is Stoops’ biggest bowl test, outside of the championship games he’s taken OU to in his tenure.
Come Thursday, though, Oklahoma has to play lights out for four quarters and use all of the doubters as motivation.