After three long weeks, it’s finally here. LSU’s first College Football Playoff. It seems as if plenty of LSU fans are brushing off Oklahoma. Why’s that? I spoke to Jack Shields of Crimson and Cream Machine to see how a Sooners team preparing for its fourth Playoff in five years is feeling going up against an LSU team with just as many Playoff wins.
1. How many different SEC teams do you think Oklahoma will have to lose to before they win a College Football Playoff game?
I think it’s less a question of ‘how many different SEC teams?’ as it is ‘which SEC team?’. LSU, Florida, Georgia and Alabama seem to have the Sooners pegged in national championship situations, but I think a program like Tennessee (if it ever returns to national prominence) is the perfect candidate to trip up and let Oklahoma through the door.
In all seriousness, OU is a year or two of quality defensive recruiting away from having the type of team that can truly contend for a natty, but I think the streak of playoff losses ends within the next few years (just not this year).
2. Did LSU inadvertently put Lincoln Riley on the hot seat since his transfer QB didn’t win the Heisman this year?
It begs the question – “Has Lincoln Riley’s magic finally run out, or was he just lucky all along?”
Honestly, the fact that he was able to put Jalen Hurts in a position to finish as a Heisman finalist is perhaps his greatest accomplishment to date. We all love Jalen, but Oklahoma’s offense will be better in 2020 with Spencer Rattler behind center, as Riley will be back to doing everything he wants to do with his offense.
3. Rank the grinches: Boris Karloff, Jim Carrey, Alex Grinch.
1. Boris Karloff 2. Alex Grinch 3. Jim Carrey. Oklahoma’s Grinch ascends to the top spot if he somehow helps OU pull out a win on Saturday. Jim Carrey’s an incredibly talented human being (I highly recommend Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond if you haven’t seen it), but the 2000 Grinch movie was hot garbage.
4. Oklahoma won the Big 12 for the fifth straight year this season. But since there are only 10 teams in the Big 12, doesn’t that make it only four straight titles?
I’ll take your word for it. My degrees are in sociology and sports management, so I can’t really lend any practical knowledge to any given discussion. I liked College Calculus so much I took it three times.
5. Do OU fans panic every time they see Marcus Spears on ESPN?
He was a BAMF, but honestly, all of our fan bases’ memories of that game revolve around two things – 1. Jason White being hurt and 2. Your fan base.
I’ve lived in the Gulf region and other areas of the South, and I’m well aware of the fact that the LSU faithful can be a tad antagonistic. However, my experiences have never been that bad, and I think a lot of this particular experience for OU fans was tied to the game taking place in New Orleans. I’m guessing that Bourbon Street served as a steroid of sorts for the Tiger faithful, but I suppose I’ll find out when the Okies return from their trip to Atlanta.
6. Let’s take a second to come together and laugh at Texas.
The best part of this decade has been watching UT fans slowly evolve (or devolve) into Aggies after such a long period of gridiron ineptitude. Throughout the entirety of this past offseason, they’ve acted as if winning the 2018 Red River Shootout/Rivalry/Showdown was more important than winning the subsequent Big 12 Championship game. They’ve also tried to claim that winning bowl games outside of the CFP is more important than making the CFP. This is all coming from fans of a program with 915 all-time wins.
Needless to say, times have been rough, and it’s caused them to resort to mental gymnastics in order to make themselves feel better. After another decade of this, they’ll resemble Oklahoma State fans. They might even have to start a wrestling program just to brag about it.