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Was the Sugar Bowl's selection of Oklahoma over Oregon purely a business decision?

by Jason Kersey Modified: December 11, 2013 at 9:30 am •  Published: December 11, 2013

NORMAN — The Sugar Bowl selected No. 11 Oklahoma to face No. 3 Alabama in its game, a decision that surprised some, who believed tenth-ranked Oregon would have been a better choice.

An Alabama-Oregon game would’ve matched up the teams many believed were destined for a meeting in the BCS National Championship Game. The Ducks, though, lost at Stanford on Nov. 7, and then were routed 42-16 at Arizona on Nov. 23.

Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan was asked Sunday night on a media conference call about the possibility that OU’s selection was a “business decision.”

“Well, business always enters into the discussion as you sit and analyze your possibilities as our board did this past Thursday night, but obviously there are a lot of other variables that come into play,” Hoolahan responded.

“I think when you take a look at the way Oklahoma performed, and their last games particularly on the road and this particular game this weekend against No. 6 Oklahoma State, it’s hard not to be impressed with the way they’ve been performing of late.

“I think it was a very difficult decision needless to say. There were other highly capable and attractive teams out there in the pool that we looked at, and when it came down to it, we just felt convinced that this was going to be the best decision for us at this particular time.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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