Cotton Bowl Preview

January 6, 2012

This game should have been played on New Year’s Day.

I’m not sure who the bowl organizers think is going to get excited to watch a college football game on a Friday night almost a week after most of the other games have been played.

The only reason that I’m going to watch is because I don’t have much of a social life. Don’t worry, it’s by choice.

Here is the preview for tonight’s game.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

Kansas State vs. Arkansas

Those who do tune into this game may be in for a treat. High powered offenses will rule this game, and a lot of points can be expected. In addition, the argument can be made that one of these teams should’ve played in a BCS bowl.

Kansas State could’ve gotten a BCS bowl bid and no one would have even thought twice about it, but unfortunately for the Wildcats that is not the way things worked out. Instead, Bill Snyder’s team will play its game after all but the most important BCS bowl (weird, right?). Kansas State has surprised pundits all season, so do not be surprised if they do so once again tonight. The Wildcats could have a hard time stopping Arkansas’ powerful passing attack, as they give up over 267 yards per game through the air. However, for as bad as their pass defense may be Kansas State’s offense has shown the ability to keep up. The Wildcats are deceptively balanced on offense thanks to quarterback Collin Klein’s improvement throwing the ball. If Kansas State is to win this game, Klein will need to be nearly perfect.

Based on yards per game, the Razorbacks have the best offense in the SEC. Based on points scored per game, they are second best. Although statistics only tell part of the story, the point is that Arkansas tore up a lot of defenses in a conference that prides itself on having tough defensive squads. In this game, the Razorbacks are going up against a pass defense that was chewed up and spit out by Oklahoma earlier this season, which is a good sign for Hogs fans. Tyler Wilson has done a good job at quarterback this season spreading the ball around to multiple receivers and limiting mistakes. One thing that Arkansas does need to worry about is getting behind early. Against Texas A&M the Razorbacks fell behind by 17 points at the half but managed to come back and win. Kansas State did not struggle closing out games this season like the Aggies did, so Arkansas will need to come out strong in the first quarter.

In what I anticipate to be a high scoring game, I have the Razorbacks simply outscoring Kansas State. In addition to good offensive play, a few key stops by the Arkansas defense will prevent Kansas State from pulling ahead late. I have Arkansas for 28 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 44-35 Arkansas

– K. Becks

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