Oklahoma football: Should Sooners feel good or bad about Bama win?

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Baker Mayfield
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Baker Mayfield /

No one understands the gut-wrenching, bottomless feeling the Georgia players and fans are going through in the aftermath of the national championship game loss to Alabama than the Oklahoma football fandom.

A week ago, Georgia players proudly paraded around field at the Rose Bowl holding up dummy newspapers with the banner headline: “Later Sooners!” after their semifinal victory over No. 2 Oklahoma. On Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the tide turned, so to speak, and it was Alabama’s turn to celebrate, with national championship ball caps, tons of confetti and newspaper headlines proclaiming “Title Wave.”

Trailing 13-0 at halftime with an offense that barely registered a pulse in the opening 30 minutes, and 20-10 after three quarters, Alabama owned the fourth quarter and overtime session in posting a 26-23 come-from-behind win over Georgia and claiming its fifth national championship in the last nine seasons.

The longer the College Football Playoff championship game played out, the more it looked and felt like deja vu all over again and a painful reminder for Sooner fans of the Playoff game with Georgia the week before and how quickly merriment can turn to misery. Only this time it was Georgia that gave up the big lead, yielded a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds of regulation and had its heart ripped out in overtime.

Speaking as one heartbroken but forever loyal Sooner fan, I watched Monday night’s national championship game from start to finish, unlike many OU fans who were just to disgusted and distraught over what could have been to endure the pain all over again by watching any team other than Oklahoma compete for college football’s Holy Grail in the final game of the season.

I have to admit that my feelings were mixed about which team I wanted to win. I went back and forth over this for several days leading up to the Monday night kickoff.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

One side of me wanted Georgia to lose because they had eliminated Oklahoma from national championship contention. But then it dawned on me that it is better to lose to the eventual national champion than it is to the team that loses in the next round and finishes as the runner-up. After all, that was the way I rationalized Oklahoma’s loss to Villanova in the 2016 NCAA Basketball Final Four.

Then there was the thought that if Georgia were to win the national championship by beating Alabama, it would create even more anger and despair just knowing that the Sooners could have and probably should have beaten the SEC champion Dawgs, and that Oklahoma was that close to playing for an possibly winning an eighth national crown.

As Monday night’s game wound down to its dramatic finish, I found myself more and more siding with an pulling for the team in the red and gray uniforms to hold on and pull out the win.

But that didn’t happen. Alabama prevailed – as most of America thought it would – outlasting SEC-rival Georgia with a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime.

Somehow, someway Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide always manage to find a way to come out on top. Perhaps Clemson was really lucky last season, and thank goodness for that or we would be looking at three-time defending national champion Alabama.

Alabama not worthy of being in this year’s College Football Playoff because they weren’t a conference champion? I can list for you three teams that would beg to differ with that reasoning.

The problem is: Now we have to endure the entire college football offseason hearing about how great Nick Saban is and about the Crimson Tide dynasty. Any question who the 2018 preseason No. 1 is going to be?

Now I wish even more that Georgia would have won. Oh, well, so much for another college football season.