Most college football analysts are debating which of the three undefeated teams is most likely to win the national championship. Will it be the reigning champ, Clemson? How about the team that has dominated throughout the year (other than having to fight back in the Big 10 Championship Game), Ohio State? #1 LSU has the most impressive wins against top teams this year. Who will come out on top?
What essentially none of them are considering is other team who squeaked into the playoffs after a convenient series of events and unexpected losses moved them from #10 back into the sacrificial #4 spot. The Oklahoma Sooners, led by Heisman finalist Jalen Hurts, are not likely to make it past LSU with odds-makers putting them as 13-point underdogs. If they can pull of that miracle, they’ll have to face either Clemson or OSU. Their odds of getting back-to-back wins and a national championship: 18-1.
But odds are less likely to hold people back when they have faith, which Jalen Hurts does. He’s had his shares of ups and downs. He won SEC player of the year, then he got benched. He was called from the bench to lead his team to last year’s SEC title, then got benched again for the playoffs. He transferred to OU and was the Heisman favorite after a tremendous start, but a loss to Kansas State and his numbers coming down to earth in the tail end of the season means he’s unlikely to be the third OU quarterback in a row to win the coveted award.
None of that seems to matter to him, though. His focus is on beating LSU and serving his Lord and Savior.
“I understand that God put those obstacles and challenges in my life for a reason,” Hurts said. “He wanted me to feel the pain I felt for a reason. He wanted me to understand the importance of never losing faith — and of always staying true to myself. He had NOT brought me this far just to leave me there.”
During an interview with ESPN, Hurts said he has gained more wisdom about himself through his journey.
“The wisdom that I’ve learned from everything and what I’ve been through. I’ve been most pivotal in who I am and knowing that the journey is far from over.”
They have the offense. Nobody doubts that. But the other three teams also have stellar defenses to go with their dominate offenses. LSU and OSU also have Heisman finalists leading their team. LSU has the favorite in Joe Burrow and OSU has two of the four candidates, quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young. As for Clemson, they may not have Heisman finalists but they have arguably the most complete team in the mix.
The odds may seem to bode ill for Jalen Hurts and the Sooners, but as someone who puts it in God’s hands, he understands odds mean nothing on the field. Faith works well for underdogs, and the Sooners are my sentimental favorites to win it all.
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