2013 Cotton Bowl Preview

January 4, 2013
By K. Becks

Four games remain. 20-11 overall. 385 points. Two point lead. 57 possible points remaining.

That is where I sit in Bowl Mania right now. Based on the fact that almost everyone near the top of the standings has at least 35 more possible points remaining than I do, I need to correctly pick some upsets if I am to win my group.

Here is the preview for the game taking place on January 4th.

AT&T Cotton Bowl (Friday, 8 PM ET)

#11 Oklahoma vs. #9 Texas A&M

The Cotton Bowl isn’t a bad place to end up for any team in college football, but when you think about where both of these teams could’ve ended up, Dallas pales in comparison. Texas A&M is playing in Jerry’s World as a result of being the fifth highest ranked SEC squad, which is incredible considering that it is still a Top 10 team. Oklahoma was dropped from BCS consideration in favor of Northern Illinois, which did not perform well in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day. However, despite these things both teams should be ready to play, as this is a former Big 12 rivalry that neither school wants to lose.

Oklahoma did not look dominant by any stretch of the word in 2012. Although the Sooners reeled off five straight victories to end the regular season, they did so in unconvincing fashion, winning only one of those games by more than a touchdown. Oklahoma has been inconsistent as a result of its offense, which only seems to play well when quarterback Landry Jones is hot. The good news for the Sooners is that Jones was playing well heading into the break, throwing for an astounding 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns in the final three games. If Oklahoma is to win this game, Jones and the rest of the senior leaders on the offense must play one of their best games of the year.

Texas A&M’s players have already racked up a lot of individual awards, so it might be difficult to see how such a young team would get excited for what is essentially an extra game on the schedule. However, first year head coach Kevin Sumlin won his SEC Coach of the Year award for good reason; he will have his team ready for this game. The Aggies are only eight points from being undefeated, and it would be silly to think that the team doesn’t know that. They will come into this game with an air of confidence behind Johnny Manziel, who will look to become one of the few Heisman winners in recent memory besides Robert Griffin III to actually play well in a bowl game after winning the award the same season. They know that the roles have been reversed, as Oklahoma played the bully for so long and now Texas A&M has assumed that position.

Kansas State didn’t make my decision any easier, but I have to go with the upset in this one. The Sooners are senior-laden and I think that they want this game just as much if not more than Texas A&M. I see Landry Jones finally coming up big in a game I predicted he would do so and leading Oklahoma to a close victory. This one will be an offensive shootout without a doubt. I have Oklahoma for 19 points in Bowl Mania.

My Pick: 45-41 Oklahoma

- K. Becks

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