Oklahoma Sooners, Alabama Crimson Tide: Tradition Personified


Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops with his team during the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It was no big secret that in the last year of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), college football fans were expecting to see phenomenal match ups. The BCS selection show rewarded us with several.

We have the Fiesta Bowl match up, Baylor taking on the University of Central Florida. The Rose Bowl is bolstering the Stanford Cardinal against the Michigan State Spartans. Also, the Orange Bowl has an interesting match up in Clemson and Ohio State.

And after an improbable returned touchdown due to a missed field goal, we’ll see the Florida State Seminoles take on the Auburn Tigers in the National Championship Game.

Many of the schools we will see in bowl games have long-standing football tradition. Stanford has tradition, Ohio State has tradition, Florida State has tradition.

Traditions will collide in the Sugar bowl when the Oklahoma Sooners face the Alabama Crimson Tide. When you think of top-tier programs, Alabama and Oklahoma are always in the conversation. Their bodies of work speak volumes.

Both OU and Alabama have a tradition based on winning and each team bolsters some of the best statistical numbers in college football. Alabama’s 14 national titles are the most of any school and double the amount of OU’s seven national titles.

The University of Oklahoma is ranked second in the number of conference titles having 43 under their belt where as Alabama has only 27, which is still an impressive number. Oklahoma and Alabama are both virtually even in win percentages in bowl games (OU showing a .598, Alabama having a .602) with Oklahoma having a decent advantage in overall winning percentage of .719 when compared to Alabama’s .714.

The Sugar Bowl is a huge game on many levels.  Alabama has won 3 out of the last 4 national title games. The Crimson Tide also had aspirations of winning a 4th title in 5 years, however a devastating play on a 107 yard touchdown on a missed field goal destroyed those aspirations.

Oklahoma has much to prove. The past few years, the Big XII has been viewed as weak by the national experts. Oklahoma did well in bowl games with Landry Jones at the helm, leading to victories over the Connecticut Huskies, Stanford, and Iowa Hawkeyes. OU was tripped up by Johnny Manziel’s Texas AM squad by a score of 41-13. Oklahoma will be looking for revenge on the SEC.

In recent years, Alabama has methodically added to their tradition, where as OU continued to play as solid football as you would expect from an elite program.

Of course there is a “but”: but, Oklahoma has not made a national title appearance since their defeat at the hands of the Florida Gators in 2009.  The national perception is that the Sooners are in a David and Goliath match up.

Alabama is a dynasty, OU is a good program. Both schools are storied traditional powers, the highest ranking of the schools in that category playing in the BCS. We find out who shows up to play football on January 2, 2014 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.