Alabama football is a clear two-touchdown favorite against the Oklahoma Sooners. There are two ways to view the contest and both show the spread is wrong.
Most of the college football world will be rooting against Alabama football against the Oklahoma Sooners. Annual ‘Bama Fatigue’ makes rooting for a two-touchdown underdog even more appealing to those outside the Crimson and White Nation.
With such opposing fervor and rancor, it is not surprising predictions coming out of Norman and Tuscaloosa are drastically different. For those willing to set aside who they want to win, there are two ways at looking at the Playoff battle. Neither view suggests the 14-point spread is valid.
One perspective is the Sooners offense, led by Kyler Murray and anchored by a very good offensive line, cannot be stopped. It can only be outscored. Throw out the Oklahoma vs. Army aberration and that perspective seems sound.
Kyler Murray is the kind of kryptonite QB that has too often perplexed Saban defenses. If the Tide can neither pressure or contain Murray, a shootout may transpire. Alabama football fans can like the Tide’s chances of a Tide shootout win because of the weakness on the Sooner defense. But, the problem with shootouts is an imbalance in turnovers can lead to a lesser team winning. In that scenario, the spread is too high at 14 points.
The other perspective hinges on the weak Sooners defense and also the OU offensive line being overrated. Without delving into the OU stats – trust us they clearly show the Sooners defense is bad, or as others have said – historically bad.
Then there is the ‘Joe Moore Award’ winning, Sooners’ offensive line. They must be pretty darn good to win the award. Still, consider the quality of defensive fronts they have been blocking against. Outside of the Big 12, it is understood the conference considers defense a distraction. One reason Big 12 offenses are so explosive is the Big 12 defenses are all so bad.
Nick Saban has changed and with him, so has the Alabama football offense. But the Crimson Tide has not succumbed to the ‘last team with the ball wins’ mentality of the Big 12. The Crimson Tide defense will not need extra incentive but they have something personal to prove between themselves and Kyler Murray.
In the second scenario, a belligerent Tide defense holds Murray and the Sooners well below their season average output of points. While that transpires, the Tide offense runs and throws, nearly at will, for an overwhelming offensive explosion. Should the aforementioned transpire, the 14-point spread is not near high enough.
Why does the spread hold at around two touchdowns? A big reason is the unknown condition of Tua’s recovering ankle. If Tua is close to 100 percent and incurs no further injury in the game – a blowout could occur.
Either way the game is viewed, the 14-point spread is wrong. For now, we will hold on to our opinion of which direction it is flawed.