What to watch for in the Sugar and Orange Bowls

Why Oklahoma and Clemson should worry

By The Conduit

Simply put, the process works, but it works more stringently with a clear goal.

I wouldn’t want to be Oklahoma or Clemson in these upcoming BCS bowl games. It’s going to be a bloodbath where, for the most part, those teams will bleed for someone else’s vendetta.

For example, tOSU finally lost a football game. They get away with a lot, including bench-clearing fights on the field with no serious penalty, among other things. But after going undefeated for two years, rooting for every team Alabama played against this season, then talking about Florida State all week before the Michigan State loss, they’re not going to be playing good ol’ boy football. They’re going to be angry and they’re going ready to hurt someone. That’s not to say they don’t have talent; they have tons of it. So does Clemson. But anger and cruelty is something Clemson simply doesn’t have for this game.

However, the Sugar Bowl is a game where both teams something to prove. Oklahoma has improved tremendously this year, if not under the radar of most college football fans. A dual-threat QB plus a handful incredible receivers (highlighted by the game-winning TD pass against a superior Oklahoma State team) seems like the most perfect solution for any team facing Alabama. But the Sooners are being asked to sign the check Bob Stoops couldn’t cash, regarding the coach’s frequent preseason comments criticizing SEC defenses in particular. Stoops, after all, is very much like Nick Saban, who took a once-great program to unprecedented heights soon after his hiring. While I don’t think Saban’s record will taper as much as Stoops’ record has in the same time frame, I think a lot of people under-value Stoops as a coach. Oklahoma will be well-rested, well-prepared, and hungry to get a victory over a top-tier SEC team.

And it won’t be enough.

I keep hearing speculation about the Crimson Tide’s motivation with the 31-17 Utah bowl game loss in 2008 being the litmus test for what a deflated Alabama team can play like. What I don’t understand is why people think Alabama or the staff would tolerate anything similar to that game anymore, but particularly against a team with as much history and success as Oklahoma. It just doesn’t make sense.

The fact that Alabama players and staff have directly addressed the issues with the effort, intensity and even penalties in that Utah game should sound like a soggy fortune cookie for Oklahoma. Alabama won’t simply be ready to play; they’ll be ready to destroy, to take risks with talent-based calls, and to get every player possible on the field at some point during those 60 minutes.

Simply put, the process works, but it works more stringently with a clear goal.

As long as Alabama sticks to the process, 2014 is going to start with a loss for the Sooners and, if history is any indication, playing a Saban-coached Alabama team both after a loss and with more than a month to prepare is a dangerous proposition.

Well, at least it would be if we had ever seen more football games like that. You see, the only other game that fits that description was against Michigan State, which was the last time Alabama didn’t play for a national championship, and the results were much like what I expect to see Thursday night. It’s the last college football game for AJ McCarron, not to mention Kevin Norwood, Deion Belue, Anthony Steen, CJ Mosely, Cade Foster, Kenny Bell, etc. Enjoy every second of it.

Alabama’s ranked #3 now in the BCS polls. The only thing that would surprise me is if they don’t move up to #2. I can’t wait. Roll Tide.

5 Responses to “What to watch for in the Sugar and Orange Bowls” Subscribe

  1. peachy December 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    So if Alabama loses this bowl game we’re not going to hear Bama fans crying that they only lost because they didnt want to be there, right?

    • The Conduit December 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      If the bowl game was in Auburn I could understand if any team didn’t want to be there.

      Instead, it’s in New Orleans. That’s where I’ll be. You should go to a bowl game. They’re fun.

      Meanwhile, even Auburn fans want to be at http://www.capstonereport.com
      Roll Tide.

      • Crimsonite December 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

        Bamaphobia some Barnturd? If I were you I’d be somewhere else and worried about the Ass Raping that Free Shoes is gonna put on you. ROTFLMAO! RTR!

  2. A fan January 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    Do you feel like a DA when you write all of this garbage and then the exact opposite happens?

    If not, you should.

  3. A fan January 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Missed on the Orange Bowl as well. You can take what you know about football, put it in a thimble, and the thimble would not be full. Blah blah blah smackety smack. Ha.

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