Why they should advance: Behind Bradford and a devastatingly balanced attack, the Sooners boasted the highest-scoring offense in the history of college football’s modern era with an output of 716 points.
The Sooners also became the first team ever to have a 4,000-yard passer (Bradford), two 1,000-yard rushers (Murray and Chris Brown) and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.
This was hardly the same Oklahoma offense that West Virginia dogged the year before in the Fiesta Bowl.
Best wins: at No. 25 Rutgers (31-3); at No. 21 Cincinnati (28-23); No. 20 Connecticut (66-21); No. 3 Oklahoma (48-28, Fiesta Bowl)
Losses: at No. 18 South Florida (21-13); Pittsburgh (13-9)
Why they should advance: The Mountaineers were actually one game away from playing for the national championship, but fell as heavy favorites in the season finale to Pittsburgh.
White led the offense with 1,724 yards passing, 1,335 yards rushing and 28 total touchdowns. The Mountaineers also had two capable running backs in Steve Slaton and Noel Devine and a bruising fullback in Owen Schmitt.
The Mountaineers weren’t big defensively but they were fast, finishing seventh in the country in total defense and sixth in turnovers.
There aren’t many teams capable of scoring with the ’08 Sooners. The ’07 Mountaineers, however, could score with almost anyone.
Who I would vote for:
The ’07 Mountaineers exposed the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl, but that Oklahoma team was missing an array of starters including Murray, cornerback Reggie Smith, safety Lendy Holmes and defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger.
Bradford was also a first-year starter in 2007. In 2008, he was the Heisman Trophy winner, flanked by eight other offensive players who earned first- or second-team All-Big 12.
With White at the helm, ’07 West Virginia would have been able to put up points on the ’08 Sooners, who weren’t great defensively. But those Sooners would have been too prolific for West Virginia to outscore in a shootout.
Coming up Thursday: (5 seed) 2008 Texas vs. (12 seed) 2010 TCU