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Oklahoma football: With SEC bathing in a superiority complex, Sooners could pull the plug

COMMENTARY — Why the stakes in the Oklahoma-Texas A&M Cotton Bowl showdown Friday in Arlington, Texas go well beyond conference pride.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 3, 2013

Five years later – and five SEC national titles later – the SEC argued the counter, saying an Alabama-LSU rematch was proper. And this time, the voters switched policy, bypassing one-loss Oklahoma State for a rematch.

And reigning in the runaway mine train that is the SEC's reputation is even more important with the four-team tournament coming with the 2014 season. The propaganda already is being groomed for the SEC to get two of the four slots annually.

“We hear a lot during the year about how our conference has this, how we're stronger or weaker on defense, or stronger on offense,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “I don't think there's any question we feel like we play a high brand of football in our league. And we want to represent the Big 12 strongly.”

There's even more at stake in this game: A&M's move to the SEC has opened the city gates to Texas recruiting. SEC West schools now can tell Texas kids they'll be playing in their home state every other year. And A&M can pitch the best-conference line to blue-chippers from Brownwood to Baytown.

“It's a lot of pride going against an SEC team, representing the Big 12, let ‘em know we can play with anybody,” said OU cornerback Demontre Hurst.

The only way to stem the SEC avalanche is start beating the SEC monsters. And this bowl season has gotten off to a good start. The SEC is just 3-3 in bowls, with Clemson beating LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Louisville beating Florida in the Sugar and Northwestern beating Mississippi State in the Gator.

Notre Dame could do the most damage to the SEC's status with a Big Bowl upset of Alabama, but OU can help while also retaining some Big 12 honor with a victory over the SEC school that got away.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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