We're talking about the BCS Championship game here, so why wouldn't there be controversy? Well, if I'm right we're about to see some major controversy as Oklahoma takes on and eventually takes down 'Bama in the BCS National Championship game in Miami this coming January.
Why the controversy? Well, just a few weeks back I picked West Virginia as the Big 12 Champion over Oklahoma and that means a head-to-head win over the Sooners in Morgantown. But this is the BCS and formulas and computers matter more than on the field results.
Don't think so? Just look back a season ago to see how 'Bama made the national title game despite losing to LSU in the regular season, or how about the other team in my BCS Championship game matchup, Oklahoma. They've managed to not win the Big 12 before and make the National Championship game.
The reason I've got them in over the Mountaineers is they'll finish the season with a slightly better formula thanks to the non-conference matchup with Notre Dame in Norman. The Mountaineers "best" matchup is against Maryland in their non-conference slate, so I say advantage Sooners.
Let's also set one thing straight here, I don't see any single team running the table this season. LSU and 'Bama have difficult schedules and play each other so someone has to lose at least once and more than likely one will lose twice. Florida State is prone to losing a game it shouldn't as of late (Virginia last year anyone?) and that could well come on a trip to Blacksburg, VA to take on the Hokies of Virginia Tech. Oregon and USC will knock each other off, and the Big Ten is loaded with trap games for both Michigan and Wisconsin and even if they enter the B1G Championship game undefeated, one has to lose to the other, right?
Having said all of that, what about this matchup makes me think Oklahoma prevents back-to-back championships for Nick Saban and Alabama? It's all about the original Stoops Bros. being back together again in Norman.
The Sooners were at their best in the past when Boob and Mike Stoops were coaching together and they'll be better off defensively this season with Mike at the helm of the group. Combine a better defense with one of the most explosive offenses in the country and you have the recipe for a national championship team.
Landry Jones is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate who is coming back to OU to do one thing – win a National Championship. It's one of the few things he hasn't already done in Norman. Jones already holds 13 school passing records and a few more are sure to fall this season as well.
But it's not just Jones that makes me think this team is capable of winning it all. Dominique Whaley is back at tailback and he was a standout last year before a broken ankle derailed him late in the season. Add in the fact that the Sooners have a great wide receivers group led by Kenny Stills and the Penn State transfer Justin Brown and you can see the skill positions are loaded. They also have an experienced offensive line that returns three starters.
Luckily for Mike Stoops his challenge isn't to make this a dominate defense out of the gate, they just need to be steady and not over-complicate things this season. This was the Big 12's best scoring defense last season and if they can hold opponents to around the 20 point mark again in 2012 they'll be a perfect compliment to an offense that is more than capable of hitting the 40 points per game mark this season.
As for taking down 'Bama, I'll take the experience of OU over the inexperience of the Tide any day of the week. True enough, by the time these two teams meet in Miami the Tide's youngsters will have plenty of experience thanks to a brutal SEC schedule that includes Missouri and Tennessee as their crossover games. However, that's just my point, they may well end up being a beat down bunch heading into a game against a crazy talented and hyper offense like Oklahoma and you have to be on your best game with your best players if you want a chance at stopping this offense.
I like the chances of Oklahoma's more experienced defense being able to slow down the Tide's more pro-style offense than the chances of a young secondary like 'Bama has against the pass happy Sooners.
Besides, history isn't exactly on their side either. Only Nebraska in 1994 and '95 have gone back-to-back in the past 56 years. It's clearly not easy to repeat as National Champions and I don't know about you but I like having history on my side.