Oklahoma has not faced an SEC opponent since losing to Florida in the 2008 national championship game.
Chances are, this bowl season, the Sooners will get another shot to see how they stack up against college football’s preeminent conference.
SoonerNation breaks down all of OU’s bowl scenarios, and who the Sooners could face in each:
• Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: BCS (Big 12 tie-in) vs. BCS at-large
The scenario: OU, Kansas State, Oregon win out
Possible opponents: Texas A&M, Florida, LSU
The skinny: Alabama’s stunning loss to Texas A&M over the weekend puts Kansas State in the driver’s seat to the title game. Assuming both the Sooners and Wildcats ran the table, Kansas State would go to the national championship and OU, the Fiesta.
Yes, the Sooners have been to Phoenix four out of their last six bowl games. The Fiesta, however, is still obligated to select a Big 12 team because of its tie-in, even if Notre Dame were available.
A&M’s upset of the Tide has cleared way for the Fiesta to still procure new blood. With the Rose Bowl primed to scoop up the Fighting Irish should Oregon advance to the national championship, the Fiesta could expend its at-large selection on any SEC team that didn’t win the league.
That, potentially, could set up a rematch of the ’08 (Florida) or ’03 (LSU) national championship games, or reunite the Sooners with ex-conference foe A&M.
• Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio: BCS (Pac-12 tie in) vs. BCS (Big Ten tie-in)
The scenario: OU, Oregon, Notre Dame win out; Kansas State loses or is edged out by Notre Dame in the final BCS Standings
Possible opponents: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan
The skinny: This scenario puts Oregon and Notre Dame in the title game, Kansas State in the Fiesta, and leaves the Rose Bowl with a hole to fill with no other Pac-12 team likely to be eligible for a BCS bowl.
The Rose could go one of two directions with its pick: take somebody from the SEC; or select the Sooners.
If Nebraska ended up the Big Ten champ as expected, the Rose would seemingly be inclined to reconnect the “Big Red” rivals.
• Allstate Sugar Bowl: BCS (SEC tie-in) vs. BCS at-large
The scenario: OU, Alabama win out; Kansas State and either Oregon or Notre Dame lose
Possible opponents: Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia
The skinny: To get into the national title, the Crimson Tide would need two of the top three teams to lose. But if that happened, the domino effect could send the Sooners to the Sugar Bowl.
In this scenario, either Oregon or Notre Dame would go to the Rose, and Kansas State, the Fiesta (if Oregon’s loss came in the Pac-12 title game, the Fiesta would gobble up the Ducks as an at-large).
The Sugar, which gets to make its at-large selection before the Orange this year, would then snag OU.
• AT&T Cotton Bowl: Big 12 No. 2 or 3 vs. SEC No. 3 or 4
The scenario: OU loses BCS eligibility (drops out of BCS Top 14)
Possible opponents: LSU, Texas A&M
The skinny: A loss down the stretch would probably cost OU a BCS bowl berth. If that happened, the Sooners would likely be headed to the Cotton Bowl, where they haven’t been since ’02.
• Valero Alamo Bowl: Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-12 No. 2
The scenario: OU loses BCS eligibility; the Cotton Bowl takes Texas
Possible opponents: USC, UCLA, Stanford
The skinny: If both OU and Texas finished 9-3, the Cotton might be tempted to take the Longhorns instead and pit them against rival Texas A&M -- even if the Sooners beat Texas and had the better conference record.
An 8-4 finish would also drop the Sooners to the Alamo, where they could face the Trojans for the first time since the ’04 national title game.