Oklahoma football: Tennessee is a must-win for OU


"Propaganda (noun) – information, especially of a biased misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view."

That’s the word Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops used when asked about the SEC at a caravan in the summer of 2013. He referred to “SEC Propaganda” that is fed out to people, making the SEC look better than it actually is. Specifically, Stoops called out the bottom teams of the SEC, asking, “how well are they all doing?”

Bob Stoops received a lot of criticism for his comments, especially from people living in the southeast part of the country. Stoops was able to silence his critics when his Sooners defeated the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Now, Stoops gets another chance. The 2-0 Tennessee Volunteers take a trip to Norman this Saturday night, and the game will be broadcasted nationally on ABC. The 2-0 Oklahoma Sooners are looking to continue on their fast start, and to make a statement in front of the nation. In my opinion, this game is a must-win game for the Sooners. Why? For two reasons.

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First, in an era where 13 people decide your fate, you have to make the most of your opportunities in primetime television.

This is the inaugural season for the College Football Playoff. No more computers, rankings, or coaches’ polls to decide which two teams meet in the national championship. To get in, you only have to impress 13 people.

With this Saturday’s primetime game on ABC, the Sooners must take advantage of this opportunity and impress other fans, the media, and most importantly, the committee.

If Oklahoma drops this game, it’ll be a tough task to make a case for the Final Four with a one-loss season in a conference seen as mostly weak this year. Bob Stoops has to win this game to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive, but also to back up his claims.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Stoops isn’t exactly an idol in SEC country. His comments from 2013 were followed with backlash, poking fun at his BCS record, and lots of other criticism from folks in the southeast.

Stoops proved them wrong in the Sugar Bowl, but he has to win on Saturday night to make his point even stronger. What most people don’t realize is: when Stoops criticized the SEC, he wasn’t making fun of the top. In fact, he acknowledged that the SEC had won seven straight national titles and gave credit to the top teams.

He was simply stating that the bottom half hadn’t done much in recent years and simply rode on what the top teams had done. This list of bottom teams include: Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississipi State, Vanderbilt, Missouri (prior to 2013), and TENNESSEE.

Many people twisted Stoops’ words into him saying all of the SEC was bad. They brought up the national championship games vs. LSU and Florida to try to prove their point, but the thing is: Stoops never criticized the top of the SEC. Only the bottom.

Those criticisms were completely invalid based on what Stoops actually said. Stoops has to win this game in order to actually back up exactly what he said.

It should be another entertaining game in Norman on Saturday night. For the Sooners, it’s a must-win, not only for their playoff hopes, but also to prove the SEC isn’t elite from top to bottom.

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