Oklahoma Football: Do the Sooners Match Up Better Against Alabama or LSU?

John PattonContributor IOctober 9, 2011

How would Landry Jones and Oklahoma fare against Alabama or LSU?
How would Landry Jones and Oklahoma fare against Alabama or LSU?Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With apologies to Wisconsin, Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma State and Clemson, six weeks into the college football season, it looks as if Alabama, Louisiana State and Oklahoma are the nation's three best teams.

That doesn't mean they'll top the list at season's end, but right now, when pondering BCS title game scenarios, the Crimson Tide, Tigers and Sooners stand out.

We know LSU will be visiting Alabama on Nov. 5 in what should be the regular season "Game of the Year." And unfortunately for the loser of that contest—be it by one point or 20—it probably will be out of the championship hunt.

So, who would the Oklahoma Sooner rather face?

Neither of the two options is all that enviable, but let's look at a few facts when comparing the most talked about parts of each team: OU's offense and the defenses of the two Southeastern Conference big boys.

Quarterback Landry Jones, receiver Ryan Broyles and the high-powered Sooners entered the week ranked 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 555 yards and 42.5 points a game.

As impressive as that is, note Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu and the LSU Tigers have beaten two teams (No. 3 Oregon and No. 6 West Virginia), while Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron and the Crimson Tide have topped one team (No. 7 Arkansas) with higher-ranked offenses.

Entering Saturday night's game against Vanderbilt, Alabama was ranked first nationally in points allowed (8.4), while LSU ranked ninth (12.5). Note that each team will see those averages lowered after their performances against the Commodores and Florida, respectively.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, is No. 11 nationally in average points scored (42.5), prior to putting 55 on the Texas Longhorns early Saturday afternoon.

So, the major question is: Can the Sooners do what previous OU teams—1-3 against SEC teams in bowl games since 1999—couldn't and beat a power from the country's top conference?

The answer probably lies with how well Oklahoma's offense can fare against the defenses of the Tide and Tigers.

It is too early to make a definitive statement. After all, there is still a lot of football to play.

But an early guess would suggest the result of the Alabama and LSU games would end up looking awfully similar for the Sooners; something along the lines of a 24-13 victory for the SEC team.

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