SI: Tua Tagovailoa might’ve never happened if Oklahoma beat Georgia

Oklahoma had the makings of a legitimate national-championship team last season.

The Sooners, of course, fell short of the title game after losing to Georgia in the Rose Bowl. But how would have an Oklahoma win changed the college-football landscape?

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples suggested an alternate timeline in which Oklahoma beats Georgia and plays Alabama for the national title.

Alabama, who won last season’s College Football Playoff, and its offense went stagnant against the Bulldogs defense. It got to a point where Tide coach Nick Saban put in freshman Tua Tagovailoa over 2017 starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.

The move paid off in a big way.

But what if the Sooners’ defense had been there and not the Bulldogs’ unit? Hurts might’ve not left the game, says Staples, and maybe that would’ve been a good thing for a Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma team.

From Sports Illustrated:

Oklahoma’s offense would have scored its share against Alabama’s defense. The game would have been close at halftime, which means Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban would not have reached the desperate point he reached down 13-0 in the actual national title game.

Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, likely could’ve out-dueled Hurts or Tagovailoa. The Sooners’ offense wasn’t the team’s biggest issue, however, last season.

It’s an interesting question following a wild season of college football. Tagovailoa became an overnight sensation and Alabama won another national championship.

Maybe the Sooners could have prevented it, but after coach Lincoln Riley’s debut season, it doesn’t seem like Oklahoma will be short on chances to compete for championships.

The post SI: Tua Tagovailoa might’ve never happened if Oklahoma beat Georgia appeared first on Diehards.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.