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Sneak Peek: 2014 Sugar Bowl

Alabama v Texas A&M Getty Images

WHO: 11-1 Alabama (SEC) vs. 10-2 Oklahoma (Big 12)

WHAT: Sugar Bowl (80th Year)

WHERE: Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana

WHEN: Jan. 2, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. ET

WHY: How much energy will Alabama have for this game after coming so close to playing for the SEC championship and a chance to play for their third straight BCS championship? That is the big question for the Crimson Tide, a program well aware of the perils that can come with a lack of interest in the Sugar Bowl. The last time Alabama played in the Sugar Bowl the Crimson Tide were upset by an inspired Utah team. That 2008 Alabama team was one win away form playing for the BCS championship but a loss to No. 2 Florida dropped No. 1 Alabama three spots in the polls and sent them to New Orleans to play the BCS busting Utah. Alabama dug an early 21-0 hole in the first quarter and was unable to climb out of it.

This Alabama team is on a different level from that past Alabama team though. That was Nick Saban‘s first true winning team since taking over the Alabama program. Now Alabama is a proven winner who knows how to prepare for all types of game situations. A lackluster start will not be allowed by Saban this time around as they hook up with Oklhaoma for just the fifth time in history. The Sooners will play the somewhat unfamiliar role of heavy underdog in the Sugar Bowl as well. Although they did not win the Big 12 championship, Bob Stoops and the Sooners are looking to carry the Big 12 banner after Baylor lost to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl.

Given the history of verbal exchanges by Stoops and Saban this game has plenty of subplot behind it, but when it comes to X’s and O’s it looks as though Alabama has the advantage everywhere you look. The quarterback situation is much more stable for Alabama with Heisman finalist and Maxwell Award winner AJ McCarron. McCarron makes few mistakes and could benefit from a standout performance in his final game since he will skip out on the Senior Bowl. The duo of Blake Bell and Trevor Knight will give Oklahoma some options but Alabama’s defense can be difficult to fool. Auburn managed to find some holes but unless Bell or Knight transform in to Johnny Manziel it should not be expected either have a great night. The runnings games may be even between Alabama’s TJ Yeldon and Oklahoma’s Brennan Clay, which means this game will be determined mostly in the trenches. This is where Alabama’s advantages come in to play on offense.

If Oklahoma can avoid falling behind early on, the Sooners have a chance to hang with Alabama for a while, but the Tide should manage to pull away in the second half.

PREDICTION: Alabama 34, Oklahoma 17

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9 Responses to “Sneak Peek: 2014 Sugar Bowl”
  1. irishdodger says: Jan 2, 2014 2:48 PM

    This game will be the ugliest of the BCS bowls. Saban can name his score. After one regular season, OU still doesn’t have an offensive identity & neither QB has seized the starter’s role.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 2, 2014 2:51 PM

    I love that Johnny Football had to be mentioned here… since he accounted for 17% of the total yds that Bama gave up this year and almost 30% off all the TDs Bama gave up….

    Had Bama not played A&M this year, they would have easily been the best defense in the country….

  3. guinsrule says: Jan 2, 2014 4:19 PM

    You never know in these bowl games. Aside from the Championship game, they’re just exhibitions. The biggest concern for the players has to be not spending their off-season rehabbing an injury or worse, jeopardizing their pro career in one last meaningless game.

  4. CBFAN says: Jan 2, 2014 4:31 PM

    This was one of the more perplexing match-ups this year. Bama by a mile.

  5. irishdodger says: Jan 2, 2014 7:26 PM

    OU’s defense cannot stop the Alabama run game. Whoever starts at QB for OU will throw at least two interceptions.

  6. irishdodger says: Jan 2, 2014 8:47 PM

    There’s the first INT…and on the first drive no less.

  7. CBFAN says: Jan 2, 2014 9:56 PM

    I was dead wrong here. OU Making a great game of it

  8. ukeone says: Jan 2, 2014 10:38 PM

    OKLAHOMA 31 (end of 1st half)
    alabammers 17

    …with ‘bama ‘MISSING a measly 27 yard FG’ as time ran-out (no surprise there…remembering the Iron Bowl massacre most fondly)! The tide looks just a bit ‘confused’ (not at all like the ‘potential title contender’ they still claim to be). “I hope the deer-piss wears-off quickly, fellas (as the short-term side-effects appear to be most devastating…especially when mixed with your moonshine).” Let’s hope the 2nd half is a little more challenging for Oklahoma (as the tide is starting to look ‘a lot’ like last year’s Notre Dame), or ESPN’s ratings will go down.

    GO SOONERS!!!

    Roll TURDS Roll!!!

  9. Professor Fate says: Jan 3, 2014 12:28 AM

    My best hope was that OU would make a game of it. Sure is sweet to see all the “experts” who claimed ‘Bama would cruise eat a fat slice of crow.

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