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Why Ohio State fans should be happy Oklahoma won

Tom Jackson • Jan 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Last night, I stayed up late watching the scholar athletes at my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, defeat Alabama 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl. Since OU was a 17-point underdog, the outcome was a real pleasure for Sooner fans.

But there's reason for fans of The Ohio State University to be pleased, too.

Last year during the offseason, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops (an Ohio native) took some heat for commenting that the gap between the Southeast Conference and conferences such as the Big 12 alluded to by many sportswriters is "propaganda."

But Thursday's game demonstrated that teams from other conferences — such as, say, the Big Ten — can play with SEC teams if they show up. I hope some of the OSU fans who remember the stinging defeats from Florida and Louisiana State got to see the shocked expressions on the faces of the Alabama fans Thursday night. 

Oklahoma and Ohio State, by the way, will play in 2016 and 2017.

The series record between the two football behemoths is 1-1. Ohio State thumped Oklahoma, in Norman, 24-14 in 1983. Oklahoma won in 1977, 29-28, in a very exciting game in Ohio decided by an Oklahoma field goal in the final seconds. 

In the runup before the 1977 matchup, bumper stickers on cars in Oklahoma read, "Columbus Day —The day Woody discovered the Sooners." 

Update: Stoops is being discussed as a possible Browns coach.

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