NORMAN — No. 11 Oklahoma will play Jan. 2 in the Sugar Bowl against third-ranked Alabama.
The Sooners (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) were selected for the elite, Bowl Championship Series game after upsetting Bedlam rival Oklahoma State 33-24 Saturday.
Alabama (11-1, 7-1 SEC) won the previous two national championships, but missed this year's BCS title game because of a last-second Nov. 30 loss at archrival Auburn. That defeat also cost the Crimson Tide a spot in Saturday's SEC Championship Game, won 59-42 by Auburn over Missouri.
This will be the fifth meeting between Oklahoma and Alabama, two of the most successful programs in college football history. The Sooners lead the all-time series 2-1-1, with OU winning the two most recent meetings in 2002 and 2003.
When the teams met those years, though, Alabama's program was in a bit of a decline. Coach Nick Saban restored the Crimson Tide to prominence after taking over in 2007, and has led Alabama to three of the last four national titles.
Saban also coached LSU to a 2003 national championship, won — coincidentally — won in a 21-14 victory over Oklahoma in that year's Sugar Bowl, the most recent of OU's six all-time appearances in the game. The Sooners are 4-2 in those contests.