Outside a faction of fans that reside in the greater Norman, Okla. area, there aren't many who believe Oklahoma has a chance to upset Alabama in the Sugar Bowl next month.
The argument could be made that the Sooners don't even deserve to be a BCS at-large, that they only received it because of the bowl's relationship with the Big 12 beginning next year.
Of course, the BCS is designed to be manipulated; "deserving" isn't exactly a common word in its vocabulary.
In any case, Oklahoma will be playing in its ninth BCS game, the second-most for any school all-time.
If Oklahoma can somehow pull off the upset against the Tide—VegasInsider.com has Alabama as a 15-point favorite—it would go down as one of the best BCS wins for the program. But would it be the best?
|Oklahoma's BCS appearances|
|2011 Fiesta Bowl||UConn||W 48-20|
|2009 BCS title||Florida||L 24-14|
|2008 Fiesta Bowl||West Virginia||L 48-28|
|2007 Fiesta Bowl||Boise State||L 43-42|
|2005 Orange Bowl||USC||L 55-14|
|2004 Sugar Bowl||LSU||L 21-14|
|2003 Rose Bowl||Washington State||W 34-14|
|2001 Orange Bowl||Florida State||W 13-2|
The Sooners don't have an exemplary record in BCS bowls, going 3-5 and losing all five in a row between 2004-09. Oklahoma's three BCS wins have come against UConn in the Fiesta Bowl (2011), Washington State in the Rose Bowl (03) and Florida State in the Orange Bowl (01).
With all due respect to the Huskies and Cougars, they don't even compare to the Seminoles, who OU defeated to win its first BCS National Championship.
At the time Oklahoma played Florida State, the Seminoles had won at least 10 games every year from 1987 to 2000 (via sports-reference.com), including 23 of their previous 24 games. Nine players off the 2000 FSU team were drafted into the NFL, including that year's Heisman winner, quarterback Chris Weinke.
Florida State had one of the best scoring offenses in the country, yet Oklahoma did not allow a single offensive point in the 13-2 win.
Hard to top, right?
Beating Alabama would have to challenge that game, though. The stakes aren't as high, but the Sooners don't have a Heisman finalist on roster (like they did with Josh Heupel in 2000-01) in either quarterback Blake Bell or Trevor Knight. They're also banged up on both sides of the ball. Fullback Trey Millard, defensive lineman Jordan Phillips and linebacker Corey Nelson are three of the big names who have been lost for the year.
Alabama has the best coach in college football in Nick Saban, and 'Bama is one wild Iron Bowl finish away from competing for its third straight BCS National Championship.
If Oklahoma upsets the Tide, it would go down as easily one of the best wins for the program in recent years. But the best?
Close, but not quite.
Florida State, like Alabama, was still in "dynasty" mode at the time. The 2001 Orange Bowl was for the national title, and as ugly as the game was, that simply can't be topped.
Nevertheless, a possible win over the Tide next month would go down as one of the more impressive victories for head coach Bob Stoops in his career.