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Sugar Bowl: Both Oklahoma and Alabama enter off season-defining games

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Alabama
New Orleans, La.
Jan. 2, 2013

Both Oklahoma and Alabama are here because of the results in each team's final game of the season.

The Sooners beat in-state rival Oklahoma State to hit double digits in wins. After the Cowboys scored with 1:46 to go, Blake Bell hit Jalen Saunders on the clinching touchdown with just seconds to go. The win vaulted Oklahoma six spots in the BCS Standings and couple that with the Sugar Bowl's impending relationship with the Big 12, they got the invite to New Orleans.

Alabama, well, we all know why Alabama's here, right? It's Chris Davis's return. Without the benefit of the SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide finished third in the BCS and the first at-large selection.

Did we expect this matchup of college football blue bloods? Not at all. Most thought the Crimson Tide would be in Pasadena. And that factor could be the key to the game.

Alabama is clearly the better team. If the Crimson Tide doesn't come out flat or with thoughts of being much further west, Alabama shouldn't have any issue. If Alabama needed any motivation, it could do much worse than looking at Saban's first Alabama Sugar Bowl appearance. In 2009, Utah beat Alabama 31-17.

The biggest key for Oklahoma? It's whoever plays quarterback. Coach Bob Stoops hasn't revealed if Bell or Trevor Knight (who was injured in the first half of the Oklahoma State game) will start. Don't be surprised if both see significant playing time.


A Sooner Schooner or an elephant? The schooner likely doesn't have the horsepower to get away from a stampeding elephant. This could turn out poorly.


Graham: Alabama 34, Oklahoma 13. I'm not buying into the theory that Alabama is going to be unmotivated for this game. It's AJ McCarron's last game and he's going to want to go out with a bang. Alabama is a far superior team to Oklahoma and they're going to show it.

Nick: Alabama 37, Oklahoma 20. Will the Crimson Tide play like drunk dogs? No. Not at all. I'm afraid that while this is a matchup of two of the most historic college football programs, this is a mismatch. Though I thought that about Arizona State and Texas Tech and we saw what happened there.

Sam: Alabama 30, Oklahoma 14. Alabama’s loss to Auburn was certainly devastating, but Nick Saban is too good of a coach to have his team not come back wanting to show how good they are. Oklahoma’s wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma State down the stretch were impressive, but they don’t match up with the Crimson Tide well at all. Alabama will win pretty easily.

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