Underdog Sooners face ‘Bama tonight; Will the ‘underdog’ title be an advantage?
OKLAHOMA – It’s not often a powerhouse college football program is a two touchdown underdog in a BCS bowl game.
But that’s what the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners are facing against 3rd-ranked Alabama in tonight’s Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Alabama has won three of the last four BCS National Championships. They’ve earned all the respect in the world.
But are the Sooners being disrespected with that point spread?
According to the OU Sports Information Department, Oklahoma has been an underdog just 23 times since 1999.
Eight of those came in Stoops’ first two seasons.
Oklahoma has been a double-digit underdog just twice in the Stoops era.
In 2001, the Sooners were 10.5-point underdogs to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
OU won that game and their 7th national title, 13-2.
Against No. 12 Oklahoma State in 2009, the unranked Sooners were winding down a five-loss regular season, yet they shut out the Cowboys in Norman, 27-0.
This season, OU was a 4.5-point underdog in Manhattan, but beat Kansas State 41-31.
Two weeks later, OSU was favored by 10.5 points, but the Sooners rode out of Stillwater with a 33-24 victory, ruining OSU’s Big 12 Championship hopes.
The Sooners are 4-2 all time in Sugar Bowls.
They have faced Alabama twice in bowl games, losing the 1963 Orange Bowl to the Crimson Tide 17-0, but finishing in a 24-24 tie against ‘Bama in the 1970 Bluebonnet Bowl.