Just saying it demands respect and it usually makes opponents from other conferences (especially the Big Ten) shudder. However, the Big 12 believes it is on a level playing field with the SEC — the winner of the last six BCS Championship Games.
So after Oklahoma navigates a tough schedule, including a road victory in Morgantown, a tough game with Texas and avenges a loss with Oklahoma State, the Sooners will be a clear-cut pick for the title game.
That may not sound like a huge shocker, but whom the Sooners will face and eventually lose to in the big game is a surprise.
Bob Stoops and the Sooners won’t be able to overcome the SEC dominance and will lose a tough-fought game against Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs. Will a BCS Championship silence Richt’s critics. Hell yes.
Richt has led Georgia to an SEC championship, but never to the big game, and the win will give the Bulldogs their first title since Herschel Walker was a freshman.
Think I’m crazy? Maybe, but here’s the logic behind this pick.
It starts on defense. Todd Grantham has developed a unit that meets all the criteria of a championship team.
The Bulldogs are loaded with experience, including some serious run stoppers like nose tackle Josh Jenkins. The three down linemen allow Georgia’s linebackers to swarm all over the field. Just watch the havoc Jarvis Jones creates this fall and tell me this team can’t be on top at the end of the year.
It’s not clear if Georgia’s corners will be up to the task, but safeties Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo are two of the best in the nation.
Oklahoma’s offense will come at Georgia mostly through the air with Landry Jones, but the relentless pressure will be too much and result in costly turnovers.
While the Bulldogs’ defense is keeping it close, the offense will respond and allow quarterback Aaron Murray become the biggest legend since Walker. Murray’s strong arm and accurate passes will be too much, even for an Oklahoma defense that should be better under new coordinator Mike Stoops.
It should come as little surprise that Georgia’s tougher opponent will come a month earlier in the SEC championship. The Bulldogs, who drew a much easier schedule, get revenge in a return to the conference title game against LSU.
Georgia will ride the momentum of upsetting the rival Tigers in Atlanta to its first championship in more than three decades with a 28-17 win over the Sooners. And for at least two years, Mark Richt won’t have to worry about job security.
Order that championship gear right now Georgia fans … this prediction is gold.