The Allstate Sugar Bowl is one of the most prized BCS Bowl Games that teams strive to reach. But when you are a powerhouse football squad like the Alabama Crimson Tide, anything less than a shot at the National Championship constitutes as a disappointing season. Nonetheless, the Tide will have to lace up their shoes and get ready to face an Oklahoma team that would love to knock off a distracted, or maybe just disappointed, Alabama squad.
Just over a month ago Alabama was cruising along like always, beating teams by huge margins with stifling defense and an impressive offense led by Heisman-hopeful AJ McCarron. Then, on what some consider to be the most historic play to ever happen in college football, the Auburn Tigers took back a 109-yard field-goal return to win the game in the closing seconds. That loss would be Alabama’s first in over a year, which just so happened to be enough to push them out of contention for an SEC or a National Title shot. In the following days, the sports world and the Internet would recount that historic return and how it would affect the BCS projection.
When the New Year comes, Alabama has to shake off that loss to Auburn and focus on the task at hand. That task will be to beat a 10-2 Oklahoma team that’s coming off their own stunning win over then-ranked #6 Oklahoma State.
It was already mentioned the importance that AJ McCarron has on the Crimson Tide offense. McCarron has thrown for 2,676 yards on the season and 26-touchdowns. Those numbers would be good enough for a campaign that would be McCarron in fourth place in the Heisman Trophy ballots. Joining McCarron in the backfield is sophomore TJ Yeldon, who is just an absolutely beast that has ran for 1,163 yards and 13 touchdowns on 190 attempts. Yeldon has put up more than one thousand yards in both of his first two seasons for the Crimson Tide.
The Sooners are led by Black Bell, the junior from Wichita, Kansas that has thrown for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns. This was Bell’s first year as the starter for Oklahoma, and you can bet he’d love to end it with a Allstate Sugar Bowl win. Brennan Clay is also in the backfield for the Sooners, and he has ran for 913 yards and six touchdowns on 158 attempts this year.
Alabama certainly had it’s fair share of distractions in the last month. Not only did they have to deal with the epic loss and all of the backlash that came with it, rumors blew up the college football circuit when it was announced that Nick Saban might consider leaving Alabama for the vacant Texas position. Now that Saban has committed to staying at Alabama, he’d love a win in a bowl game to continue building on his legacy.
The Crimson Tide are as much as a two-touchdown favorite in this one. And despite all that has gone wrong as of late, you can’t help but see that this team is extremely powerful in nearly every aspect of the game. Two touchdowns might be a bit of a long shot in such an important bowl game. But if any team has the power to do it, it’s certainly Alabama.