If Oklahoma Makes BCS Championship, Numerous Redemption Scenarios Likely
The 2010 initial BCS rankings were released Sunday and the Oklahoma Sooners made somewhat of a surprise debut at #1. OU has been number 1 in the BCS standings more than any other team since the BCS formed in the late 90's.
If you take a look at the teams ranked number 2-6 there would be redemption on the Sooners' mind in every possible match up.
The Sooners have the desire for retribution against four of the top six and the other team Auburn, ranked fourth, would be seeking redemption for the 2004 season where they were left out of the BCS championship in lieu of the Sooners and USC Trojans.
In two weeks most of these scenarios will look much less likely. The Sooners themselves are no lock to make it to the BCS Championship due to inconsistency and two road games against currently undefeated teams.
Then they have a trip to College Station and a Big 12 championship game to get through; however, with that said, let us start counting chickens before they hatch.
Scenario 1: Oklahoma Vs. Boise State
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In a rematch of the game that permanently shook up the BCS, this may very well be the best redemption scenario. Boise State is just one of what seems like many teams that have made made a lot of school history by beating the Sooners in the last decade.
Though, a few teams have called beating Oklahoma their program-defining victory, Boise State is without a doubt the most correct when they do so. In the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos got off to a early lead before the Sooners stormed back to take a lead in the fourth quarter.
Then Boise State went to the back pages of the play book and pulled out not one or two but three different trick plays to not only tie the game but win it in overtime.
Sooner fans everywhere, were sick for two years, as ESPN would not let the Statue of Liberty clip retire and seemed to have it on an endless loop until the three-way tie of 2008 gave them something else Sooner-related to talk about.
Boise State arrived nationally against Oklahoma blowing the hinges off of the door for non-BCS conference teams to get invites to the BCS bowls. The Sooners would like nothing better than a chance to beat the Broncos.
Scenario 2: Oklahoma Vs. Oregon
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If the season were to end today, this would be your national championship match up. In the early days of replay, the Sooners were reminded how imperfect the new system was after an onside kick was ruled recovered by Oregon. The Ducks marched down the field and won the game.
Replays showed that Oregon never had possession and OU recovered the ball. The "replay" sparked debate not only about the usefulness of instant replay but also about the Pac Ten using its own officials for non-conference games instead of the much more common practices of visiting teams bringing their own officials or using officials from a different conference.
Many Sooner fans still get nauseous anytime they see the Oregon 'O'. While it may not be as good of a redemption story for the Sooners as Boise State, many Sooner fans still smart because they believe they were wronged in Eugene.
Scenario 3: Oklahoma Vs. LSU
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There are two reasons why OU would want redemption against LSU. The 2003 BCS championship game loss to the Nick Saban's Tigers and the fact that Les Miles coached the OSU Cowboys team that knocked the Sooners out of the National Championship picture in the final game of the 2001 regular season.
Les Miles actually beat the Sooners twice during his short stint at OSU.
The other reason the Sooners would want revenge is that the 2003 loss has always been portrayed to be a complete drubbing when in fact it was a close game that the Sooners had a chance to tie with a first down on the LSU 13 with 1:13 left in the fourth.
Another revenge side story is that Les Miles coached one of only two teams to beat Bob Stoops in Norman. The other team brings us to the next scenario.
Scenario 4: Oklahoma Vs. TCU
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While this one is much more of a stretch than the others, it is not without merit. The last team to beat the Sooners in Norman was the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2005 season opener.
While this was not one of Stoops' better seasons, he has only lost two games in Norman since he took over the Sooners. Without the loss to TCU, Stoops and his Sooners would be within a stone's throw of the longest home winning streak ever.
The streak would mean a lot to the school and would be a great compliment to the 47-game winning streak that Wilkinson's Sooners accomplished in the '50s.
Scenario 5: Oklahoma Vs. Auburn
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In all the other scenarios, it is the Sooners seeking revenge but in this one it is not to right a tough loss but revenge for a game that never happened that is the motivator.
In 2004, the season finished with three undefeated teams from BCS-caliber conferences. OU and USC were blowing teams out, earning tons of style points that are so important to the polls.
Auburn, on the other hand took a journeyman approach, winning games with mostly with defense and not putting up the huge numbers OU and USC was.
The BCS picked USC and Oklahoma to play and left Auburn out in the dark. It probably would not have mattered much as USC had the best college football player that money could buy and looked unstoppable against the Sooners in a 55-19 rout.
USC has since had to vacate that win due to Reggie Bush's acceptance of money and improper benefits.