Thursday, January 8, 2009
Oklahoma Sooners: Why they will win the 2009 BCS National Championship?
So it’s finally come down to this—game day of the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship. While there is a bit of controversy surrounding this year’s game—with Oklahoma getting in over Texas and undefeated Utah not being invited to the party—one thing is still strikingly appealing about this matchup—it features two of the best offenses in college football. There’s no need to waste time so let’s get down to the matchup shall we?
I think on paper, many people look at this match up and see how much more talented Florida’s defense is than Oklahoma’s and give them the edge. They see that both teams have prolific offensive attacks, with one having a decisive advantage on the defensive side of the ball and say, let’s go with Tim Tebow and the Gators. My mind is telling me that Florida will win this one, but for once I am picking with my heart.
Why I think the Oklahoma Sooners will win?
My heart is telling me Oklahoma. I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen in love with Oklahoma’s offensive attack. Oklahoma’s offensive balance is probably the best I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The Sooners’ offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has put together a no-huddle attack which has scored the most points in college football history. Part of that has to do with the plethora of offensive talent—the biggest reason being the distributor of the football—Oklahoma’s poised and ultra-accurate sophomore of a quarterback—2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.
For a redshirt sophomore, Bradford put up scintillating numbers this year. In 2008, he completed 302 of his 442 passes(68.3 percent) for 4,464 yards while tossing in 48 touchdowns and just six interceptions. His strength lies in his tremendous footwork and his ability to freeze the defense with his eyes. He can look to his left for most of a play to hold the defenders in that side of the field, then take a quick glance to his right and fire a strike to a number of talented receivers. He’s also blessed with tremendous footwork in the pocket—his feet slide along the grass so smoothly as if he were dancing on glass. Last but not least, the quarterback position is all about processing information and Bradford is one of the smarter players in college football. He can process a high level of information without getting stressed out and always seems relaxed in the pocket. He also puts some beautiful spin on the football, with tight rotation on the pigskin when it is released from his hand.
If Oklahoma is going to win this ballgame, clearly it starts with Sam Bradford and giving him plenty of time to distribute the football and find his playmakers on offense. Oklahoma’s gargantuan and extremely talented offensive line will help to keep his jersey clean all night long. Their five starters on the offensive line average 6-5, 302 pounds! The Sooners’ offensive line boasts one consensus All-American in left guard Duke Robinson. Their offensive line also has two first team All-Big 12 players in center Jon Cooper and left tackle Phil Loadholt. The unit only allowed 11 sacks all season and was easily one of the most dominant in college football. The buffet busters up front blocked for not only one, but two 1,000 yard rushers this season(running backs Demarco Murray and Chris Brown). They also were a key ingredient in the Sooners’ offense lighting up the scoreboard for over 60 points a game over their last five games of the season, a feat no other team in college football history has accomplished.
Another way the Sooners’ offense has been able to attack opposing defenses is by limiting their substitutions with the no-huddle scheme they run. They run the no-huddle very efficiently, not only does it allow them more plays to score more points, but defenses also have fewer opportunities to make substitutions. While Florida’s defense is extremely fast, I think the no-huddle will help the Sooners’ offset that advantage by tiring them. They won’t only be tired, but the Gators’ defense will likely be caught out of position on numerous plays, which isn’t good at all if you’re trying to stop one of the most prolific offensive attacks in college football history.
Everybody wants to talk about how big of a loss it is with Oklahoma having running back Demarco Murray out due to injury. Yes, I agree it is a pretty big loss, because the numbers that Murray put up in his junior season are dazzling—he chewed up opposing defenses for over 2,000 all-purpose yards this year. What many don’t realize is that the Sooners’ offensive unit has arguably the best combination of skill players in the entire country. Everywhere you look there is a game breaking receiver, tight end, or running back.
Losing Murray would be a crushing blow to most teams, but the Sooners have running back Chris Brown, who not only rushed for over 1,100 yards this season, but he also led his team in scoring with 21 touchdowns. Sophomore running back Mossis Madu also might be one of the most overlooked players on this offense, he’s quietly rushed for 463 yards and six touchowns this season on 111 attempts. He’ll definitely get more carries in tonight’s game and the nation will get a chance to see just how speedy Madu is.
Two of the Sooners’ fastest players are receivers Manuel Johnson( 38 catches, 685 yards, nine touchdowns) and Ryan Broyles(42 catches, 661 yards, six touchdowns). Both players have excellent acceleration and can turn on the burners and leave defenders in their wake in a hurry. The best hands on the record-setting Sooner offense belong to the likes of receiver Juaquin Iglesias(69 catches, 1,092 yards, 10 touchdowns) and tight end Jermaine Gresham(58 catches, 888 yards, 12 touchdowns). While both receivers might not be as fast as Johnson or Broyles, don’t be fooled, once they get in the open field they can scoot in a hurry. Gresham might play tight end but he moves like a receiver and is a huge mismatch for opposing defenses. Both players will be playing on Sundays next fall.
This Oklahoma offense is one of the best I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. It truly has been fun to watch them. After they lost to Texas, I hoped and wished they would get their chance to get into the BCS National Championship game and sure enough, I got my wish. For once I would love to see an elite offense(Oklahoma) defeat a great defense(Florida) and modify the old adage in football: “Defense wins championships.” I would love to see that not only does a great defense win championships, but so does a great offense. If my prediction comes true—then I will get another wish—to watch the golden armed gunslinger of a quarterback(Sam Bradford) hoist the Waterford crystal skyward.
Final prediction:In the end, Oklahoma’s prolific offensive attack is simply too much for the Gator’s defense to handle. I don’t think Oklahoma’s defense will be able to stop Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, and the Gators’ lethal offense, but it all comes down to the Oklahoma offensive attack and how it is one of the best in college football history. Sam Bradford and company outscore Tim Tebow and the Gators in one of the best national title games in history.
Oklahoma 49 Florida 42