The AllState Sugar Bowl features an unlikely match-up as few envisioned Bob Stoops’ Sooners being eligible for a BCS bowl game. Oklahoma earned a spot opposite Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, though, thanks to its surprising win over in-state rival Oklahoma State in last weekend’s Bedlam Series showdown at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. The opening Sugar Bowl Betting Line 2014 from Carbon Sports is not giving the Sooners much of a chance against the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban’s troops are presently listed as a -16 college football odds favorite in the January 2nd bowl (8:30pm ET, ESPN).
No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners vs No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide Odds (-16): If the rumors are true, and who really knows whether they are or not, the 2014 Sugar Bowl could be Nick Saban’s Alabama swan song. Texas Head Coach Mack Brown could step down at any moment and the scuttlebutt has Saban taking over in Austin. If that is, indeed, the case, Saban can get used to facing the Sooners, and, in all likelihood, wearing them out.
Stoops carries the moniker ‘Big Game Bob’, but there are quite a few games in the recent past where his Sooners folded on the big stage, particularly against SEC competition. To be fair, Oklahoma is 3-1 in its last four bowl appearances, but the program is 7-7 in bowl competition under Stoops’ watch. The Sooners, who are 1-5 in their last six BCS bowl games, also brought Stoops’ bowl record to 1-4 against SEC teams with last year’s 41-13 Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M.
Conversely, Nick Saban, since leaving Michigan State in 1999, has excelled in postseason play. LSU went 3-2 in bowl games under Saban and it won the 2003 National Championship by defeating Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide are 5-1 in bowl action with three national championships since Saban took over the program in 2007.
Notable Trends: Alabama is 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in its last six games as a favorite with a spread between 14 and 17.5 points.
Sugar Bowl Betting Line 2014: Provided by CarbonSports.ag
No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners +16 (-110)
No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide -16 (-110)