1. Social media- Thanks to the social media age in which we live, OU players have heard the incessant chatter that the Sooners have no chance to beat Alabama. Believe what you choose, but remember that the game will be decided on the field and not via a keyboard.
Lacoltan Bester was a part of a couple of OU's biggest trick plays this season.
2. Running Game- If OU runs the football successfully, the Sooner heartbeat grows stronger. If Oklahoma fails to stop the run, then Thursday night in the Big Easy will be a deliberate, methodical and figurative slow death.
3. Trickeration- If OU embraces it and game plans for it, big plays can happen. Making timely big plays in unconventional fashion while getting some 'chunks' against a strong Crimson Tide defense will be at a premium and are momentum changers. Let's see a 'trick play' in the first quarter because getting Alabama to start 'thinking' trick plays is also effective.
4. Against all Odds- The Sooners weren't supposed to win in Manhattan. Stoops' Troops were expected to lose in Stillwater. The coaches believed otherwise and, more importantly, so did the players and what happened? OU must be loose, fearless and revel in the opportunity that is the Sugar Bowl.
5. Line of Scrimmage- It won't be for the weak of heart surviving the body blows that will ensue. Who has it within them to endure 60 minutes of Hell and come out on the other side a better man? Biggest key to the game is winning the war on the line of scrimmage. Admittedly, that's not a revelation.
6. Up Tempo- If the Sooners can offensively engage 'Bama with an uptempo attack, good things can happen. Plus, using a variety of offensive 'looks' may create confusion for the Tide. Anxious to see the variety of formations that OU will utilize offensively.
7. Eliminate Self Destruction- Commit no senseless penalties, especially those of the non-contact variety. Protect the football at all costs. The Sooners cannot afford to give, arguably, the best team in college football any post holiday gifts.
I mentioned not one player in these ramblings because this game isn't about one player but, instead, it's all about one TEAM. One team with the will to overcome all odds no matter what it takes. In a best-of-three series, the odds of Saban's all star squad winning two out of three would likely be astronomical. However, in a one game playoff...a one-game series of sudden death football... anything can happen. (Just ask Mike Tyson about Buster Douglas.)
Happy New Year and Boomer Sooner!
Jim Ross @JRsBBQ
Editor's Note: Jim Ross is an Oklahoma native living in Norman. JR is a two time, New York Times best selling author, former NFL and XFL broadcaster, and a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Check out JR's BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Mustard, All Purpose Seasoning and Beef Jerky. All are made in Oklahoma and available at the four, Norman Homeland stores and in Lawton at the three, Country Mart stores. JR's can also be ordered online at http://www.wweshop.com.