OK, so, here we are: a few weeks away from crowning the winner of the MNC, and as of today Florida is a +3 favorite. To be honest, I would not be surprised if the odds get to +7 due to the loss of Granger and Murray. So, in preparation, here are my five reasons Oklahoma will win, along with my score prediction.
1. OU is a dangerous underdog; in 2000, OU was a 10 1/2-point underdog against Florida State and won the game 13-2. The most recent OU underdog bowl win was in 2005, against then-No. 6 Oregon in the Holiday Bowl (coincidentally also the Sooners' last bowl win).
2. The OU defense has shown a tendency to show up against good offenses with time to prepare, be it with holding the opponent to a low score or having a good night as far as takeaways go. For example, with the Texas Tech game, OU had a week to prepare and held Tech to seven points in the first half.
3. The SEC lacks amazing offenses, the majority of the teams in the SEC had a first-time starter at quarterback and it showed. This has helped fuel the belief in the fact Florida has a better defense when, really, the competition has been lacking.
4. Oklahoma is very good in the Orange Bowl (yes I recall 2004, four turnovers will do that to you)—now this is an intangible, but out of 19 appearances they have won 12 times.
This could be attributed to the fact the Sooners really enjoy leaving the frozen tundra of Oklahoma during the winter to go to a warm place like Florida, which also has beaches, similar to a bird migration.
5. The OU run game—since the TCU and Texas games, Oklahoma has significantly improved in running the ball, the offensive line is playing with a attitude, and, like they have something to prove, Brown is in all honesty the best true runner on the team.
Murray will be missed, but Mossis Madu is a excellent back and is a very adept receiver, as he showed in the spring game in which he was the leading receiver. Look for OU to dominate on the ground and keep Florida's offense off the field.
My final score prediction is 41-17, Oklahoma over Florida. Oklahoma will dominate the turnover margin.