Updated: Jan 9
I got into a debate with my cousin today, who like myself is a very big Oklahoma fan. He played college football as well, and from time to time we like to go back and forth with things since I was an O lineman and he played D-End.
Like most of the Sooner fanbase, and others out there, he believes that the Sooners were just out talented against LSU. To hear tell, there isn't one position group that's worthy of being on the same field as LSU the other night.
If you've gone through any of the videos we've been posting about the Peach Bowl, no doubt you've seen my opinion that's backed up with video evidence that the Sooners missed a ton of opportunities, both offensively and defensively.
Midway through the second quarter there have also been three no calls that have gone the Tigers way. First being the no-call pass interference on Stingley when he tackled Jadon Haselwood. How in God's name that wasn't a flag we'll never know.
Second is the prayer of a pass Joe Burrow throws up as he's getting walloped by Ugwoegbu. Tre Brown has tight coverage on the receiver who goes out of bounds of his own free will, and then comes back in to catch the pass which is highly illegal. Again, upheld by the refs saying he was "forced out". What's particularly baffling about this call is not three plays earlier, when Haselwood got tackled, it's somehow incidental contact, and then when our player, Brown, barely touches him, it's forcing him out.
Third is the no-call I outlined on the right guard for LSU holding on Bryan Mead. If any one of the first two calls go the Sooners way, then it's a much different game. Most likely on the missed PI, you go down and tie the game, and on the illegal touching no call it's a no catch, and they have to punt. With the game tied 14-14, it's a much different game.
Riley had the Tigers number offensively, the Sooners just didn't execute. In my opinion he just didn't have the trigger man to get it done. While I think that Jalen Hurts is a great young man, he's just not on the level as Baker, Kyler or Joe Burrow for that matter.
The sense I get from the Sooner fan base right now is that while everyone's disappointed in the outcome of the LSU game, they can't wait for the debut of Spencer Rattler as the triggerman for Riley's offensive machine.
People are talking about how with Haselwood, Stogner, Bridges, Wease, and now Theo Howard on campus, this offense is going to look so much different, and that the Sooners will be again a force to be reckoned with. Wait a second...
These narratives don't match up. On one hand you can't say that the Sooners were so out talented that they didn't belong on the field, and then turn around and talk about how the offense is going to become light years better with a gunslinger taking the snaps.
In my opinion, there were two position groups that were head and shoulders above the Sooners in that game. Quarterback and Wide Receiver.
Joe Burrow played better than any college quarterback I've seen play in a half in recent memory. He finds the mistakes you make in coverage quickly and executes. His accuracy is second to none, and he just knows where to go with the football.
As for a group of four wide receivers in Jefferson, Moss (TE), Chase & Marshall, they just made plays on the ball, and in a lot of cases against coverage that wasn't all that bad.
Conversely, Hurts wasn't able to put the ball on Lamb, Rambo and Haselwood consistently enough to give them a shot at making plays. Hurts missed throws that Burrow was making look routine.
My point in all of this is Joe Burrow is the Sooners QB in this game, and Jalen Hurts is the QB for LSU, is the narrative still that LSU is just supremely more talented than the Sooners? I don't think it is.
I think that the four stud wide receivers who are true freshmen would have been making plays all over the field for the Sooners along with CeeDee Lamb. I think that the Sooners would have been able to pressure Hurts enough to get past the theoretical Hurts led Tiger squad.
Long story short, I think this talent gap/chasm narrative is a bunch of BS, or horsecrap, whichever you want to call it. Yes the Sooners have to get better, but to suggest they are a mid major talent wise is overblown. My hypothesis is if the teams simply swapped quarterbacks, it's a whole different ball game, and I doubt LSU even makes the playoffs.