For the fifth season in a row, the winner of the Iron Bowl will play in the national championship game. For the first year in that streak, though, the loser will also be going to the BCS. Reports have Alabama headed to the Sugar Bowl, which was almost guaranteed, where they will take on Oklahoma in a battle of college football name brands.
BCS bowls set: FSU-Auburn (title), Bama-OU (Sugar), Clem-Ohio St (Orange), MSU-Stan (Rose), Bay-UCF (Fiesta) sources said— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 8, 2013
There was some question about whether Oklahoma would get the bid over Oregon, which in my mind is the better of the two teams. But the Sugar's future business ties with the Big 12, geography and the opportunity to pair two of the sport's most tradition-rich programs ended up carrying the day.
The match-up means that Alabama's run defense must play a better game in New Orleans than it played against Auburn. The Sooners rank 18th in the nation in rushing offense but only 99th in passing offense. That said, Oklahoma is not Auburn when it comes to running the ball -- few teams are. Alabama has to be the early favorite here.