Two of the most successful college football programs during the BCS era (and way before that as well) are Oklahoma and Ohio State. The Sooners are going to play in the Sugar Bowl, Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. Both can claim at least one win in each of the BCS bowls if they are victorious this year.
Since the BCS began in 1998, Ohio State has played in nine BCS Bowl games, more than anyone else. They’ve won the Sugar Bowl twice (beating Texas A&M in the 1998 season and Arkansas in the 2010 season, although the latter had to be vacated), the Fiesta Bowl three times (including once in a national championship game before the rotation between major bowl games stopped) and losing one of them, the Rose Bowl once and also played in two more separate national championship games, losing them both.
Oklahoma have been to eight BCS bowl games: They played in the 2001 Orange Bowl, which was was also the national championship game, beating Florida State. They played in the Rose Bowl once (beating Washington State), the Sugar Bowl once, losing to LSU in a national championship game. A year later they were in the Orange Bowl again, playing for another national title, getting blown away by USC.
At the end of the 2006 and 2007 seasons they played in the Fiesta Bowl – losing once to Boise State, the biggest BCS busters of them all, and a year later to West Virginia. After two years they finally broke their Fiesta curse, beating UConn, who got there on the merit of being in an AQ conference.
This season? Ohio State are probably the favorites in their game against Clemson, but might be going to it with less motivation than expected. They were one win away from probably reaching the national championship game, but lost to Michigan State in the Big Ten conference championship. For Clemson, it’ll be a chance to erase the humiliating evening against West Virginia from two years ago.
Oklahoma are in a different kind of mood, a happy one. They beat Oklahoma State to deny their state rivals a chance to win the Big 12 again, finishing with a 10-2 record. This sends them to the Sugar Bowl against an Alabama team feeling quite disappointed by losing on the final game of the season. As we’ve learned in previous years, heading into a bowl game feeling you could have done more often ends with another defeat.