With his transfer to Oklahoma, Jalen Hurts had to know that there was a distinct possibility of facing his alma mater, Alabama. A showdown could come in the College Football Playoff.
Alabama has made the four-team playoff field every year since it came into use. Oklahoma has been a fairly regular participant as well, and faced the Crimson Tide in the semifinal game last year.
That isn't to say that Hurts is bitter about how things played out at Alabama. It would be hard to find someone who handled that type of situation better, especially considering he stayed for the full 2018-19 season when it looked like he would ultimately lose his job to Tua Tagovailoa.
Remember, if not for Hurts being on the team, Alabama may very well have lost the SEC Championship to Georgia, and could have missed the College Football Playoff altogether.
Considering how the last two Oklahoma quarterbacks have fared, the move to Norman clearly signals that Hurts has the NFL on his mind. He is definitely aware that the potential for a postseason game against Alabama is there.
While he hasn't gone on the record to state that he wants this to happen, someone he played for says that it has to be the case.
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley, an Alabama staffer from 2016-18 and the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide last fall, said as much in a USA Today article:
“I’m sure in the back of Jalen’s mind, he would like to see the Oklahoma-Alabama matchup happen,” says Maryland coach Mike Locksley, who was Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2018 – and who badly wanted Hurts to transfer to Maryland. “I think that came into play when he made the decision to go there.”
Hurts led Alabama to a 26-2 record as starter over two seasons, during which he was first team All-SEC as a starter in 2016. Hurts' Crimson Tide lost to Deshaun Watson and Clemson in his national championship during his freshman season, and were on the ropes in the same spot against Georgia the year after.
At halftime of the game, Saban made the risky decision to go with Tagovailoa, the talented but little-used freshman back-up. He led the Crimson Tide to the title game win, and was ultimately named starter the following season over Hurts.
If this comes to pass, we may get a direct Hurts vs. Tagovailoa match-up this winter.