Alright. We’re 4 days away from the Orange Bowl, and while this isn’t a preview of the big game it is a thought experiment.
I have the unfortunate luck of having a member of a non-Alabama SEC member as part of my household, and for the last 3 days all I have heard about is how Alabama is going to throttle Oklahoma.
Now, while this is a fine opinion to have, never once in the argument was it brought up simply that Alabama is the better team. No. It’s always “Alabama plays in the SEC. They play defense” or “Oklahoma plays in the pussy-ass Big-12, so all of their stats are inflated”. Alabama it seems has taken the rest of the league hostage and the other 13 teams have contracted Stockholm Syndrome, and therefore have fallen in love with their captor.
Myself, I have never been a supporter of other Big-12 teams for the simple sake that my preferred school resides in the same conference. For instance; I used to subscribe to the belief that The University of Texas being “good” was good for Oklahoma because it would boost the Conference and hence attract better players. I thought that, so I’ll be honest. I wanted Texas to be as good as possible, as long as they lost on that fateful day in October. I didn’t outright cheer for them, but I was of the mind that them being good could only help Oklahoma. However, with the way Lincoln Riley has recruited I am now a proponent of the “Fuck Texas” movement, as well as the train they rode in on. Oklahoma doesn’t need them to be a powerhouse like they may have a mere few years ago.
I for one, have never understood why schools fan bases will root for rivals simply because they reside in the same area of the country and therefore the same conference. I have been investigating various message boards over the course of the last few days to see the vibe of this game from the different fan bases.
This is what I have come to find out.
The whole SEC is rooting for Alabama.
Whereas I think the whole Big-12 is rooting for Georgia.
That’s neither here nor there, except for the fact that while perusing the ever-popular message board for everything SEC related SECrant.com (that name should tell you all you need to know, fwiw) I noticed something quite interesting. Like I said before, the member of my family went to a SEC school that was not Alabama, and I described his beliefs above. The funny thing is, when I went to the message boards that were conference wide and not team specific (oh yes, that is a in fact a thing on SECrant.com) they had the same beliefs. However, when I went to the ‘Bama specific boards the vibe was completely different. Take a look for yourself.
You see nothing but “Oklahoma doesn’t stand a chance” or “Alabama will throat fuck them” etc. on the SEC board..But one glaring observation, is this. On SECrant.com you get to pick a “flair” as they call it, or a logo under your username usually reserved for your team allegiance…And
On SECrant.com all of the people saying that about Oklahoma are for the most part brandishing flairs of LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and not Alabama. You know, the team that’s actually playing in the game.
Now. On the flip-side of that, if you go to the Alabama specific board of SECrant.com, the mood is completely different. While they maintain that Alabama will win (as any team specific message board should), they recognize Oklahoma as a threat. And while they notice the Sooner’s lack of competence on the defensive side of the ball, they also recognize just how dangerous the Sooner offense can be regardless of conference affiliation. Now, it’s not shocking to see one blue-blood respecting another blue-blood, but I never thought I would see the day where Alabama fans were the most rationale fans of a bunch.
So here’s my thought experiment.
Actually, hold on just a second.
Let me give you some thoughts of mine on the game for context. Call it a little preview of the preview.
I have the absolute upmost faith in the Oklahoma offense. In fact, I have been looking for takers from the SEC band of heathens around this part of Texas to bet me that Oklahoma won’t score 30 points. In an absolutely SHOCKING turn of events, all of the shit-talking goes out the window once money is involved. That’s neither here nor there, other than the smartest man in the room knows that Oklahoma will score.
That being said, and not to take too much away from the official game preview; but the Oklahoma defense is atrocious. And I mean an absolute shitshow. There isn’t one player on the Oklahoma defense that would start or possibly even PLAY in general for the Alabama team. And that is startling. If these were the Alabama teams of years past, I would feel confident. This Alabama team however….It’s to be determined, but when they fire on all cylinders they may be the best team I’ve ever seen and that’s not a hyperbole. I do think there are gaps in their defense, but that offense is a juggernaut as long as Tua is healthy. Which is frankly absurd. To demonstrate how absurd that offense is; they have 1 QB, 3 WR, and 3 RB and 1 TE that could be first round draft picks in the next 2 years. Nick Saban won 5 titles with mediocre offenses so he decided, “why not get one of those flashy Lamborghini offenses and take that for a spin”. And I’m frankly afraid he may have created a monster. One think going in Oklahoma’s favor however is that I don’t expect Tua to be 100%, and the offense has slacked down the stretch.
So. Do I think Alabama will win this game? It’s likely. Definitively a likelier outcome than Oklahoma winning.
BUT. Oklahoma definitively can win this game.
If Oklahoma gets some breaks on defense, and they play perfect on offense then I see it being close down the stretch. And something Oklahoma has experience in, is winning close games. We’ve never seen Tua have to win a game. Even the National Championship game wasn’t a shootout, and he was merely a backup with little repercussions if he made a mistake. Kyler Murray is battle tested and well seasoned in that realm. Alabama has shown tendencies to struggle against mobile quarterbacks and like I stated above, I have the upmost trust in the Oklahoma offense. They will score.
All of that being said, let’s go back to the thought experiment and save the analysis for a later date.
Let me bring you back to what the rest of the SEC fans have said about Oklahoma…. and ask you this.
Vegas has Oklahoma as a 14 point underdog in this game. If Oklahoma were to lose this game by the points Vegas gave them i.e cover, they would play a closer game against Alabama than ANY SEC team Alabama played besides Georgia. Let me also remind you Georgia ot to play the Tide with a hobbled Tua Tagovailoa.
Not that it matters an iota to a reasonable and rationale fan outside of the 13 non-Alabama teams in the SEC, but what would Oklahoma have to do against Alabama to get respect from the astute fans of Arkansas, LSU and Ole Miss.
Oklahoma took Georgia into double overtime last year, and all I see/hear is “Their offense got shut down in the second-half.” as if a football game was in fact only two-quarters long.
For instance, if Oklahoma loses by the spread I guarantee I will see “Big-12 teams just get killed when they play SEC teams” and ” They’re soft” and the like, while Oklahoma will have finished the most competitive game Alabama played all year while at full health. Hell, the two best teams Alabama played this year in regular season conference play they beat by a combined 53-0. So would Oklahoma be soft if they lose by say, 45-31? or 65-48? That would be the narrative, I guarantee it. But once again, that narrative would come from the SEC teams swearing fealty to the boys from Tuscaloosa and not the team that is actually in the fray.
Frankly though, I couldn’t care less what Arkansas thinks of Oklahoma. I couldn’t care less what Texas A&M and LSU thinks about Oklahoma. Because this is a game between two teams above the peons chirping. If Oklahoma loses and LSU starts to chirp, I’ll kindly remind them that they put up a goose egg. If A&M starts to chirp about the mighty SEC, well they lost by 23. Arkansas? 34. Ole Miss? 55(!).
In closing, Alabama fans. I salute you, and I respect you. You, like the Sooner fans are able to see above the fracas from the peasants of your conference and respect a worthy opponent when you see one. So please, don’t chant SEC-SEC-SEC-SEC when you inevitable score a touchdown on the Oklahoma defense. That chant wouldn’t exist without you, and to stoop to that would belittle the franchise you have built. Instead revel in your own accomplishments, and not those of the SEC, as 90% of those are in fact your own. In lieu of that, enjoy the 13 free blowjobs you can get whenever you like, and let’s have ourselves a time.
And because I couldn’t write a blog about this game without reminding Alabama of this, at least one more time.