Oklahoma State (10-2, 6-2 Big12) vs. Arizona (7-4, 4-5 PAC10)
December 29, 20109:15 PM ET ESPN
History: Ok, let’s just get right to the question that you’re all surely asking- No, the Alamo Bowl does not have a basement. It does, however, have its fourth sponsor in the seventeen years that it’s been a part of the college postseason. The game has had an interesting history; it has hosted the Iowa Hawkeyes on four different occasions, last year it was the “make sure no one is locked in a closet” game, and our new conference brothers gained the appropriate hatred for TTUN en route to one of the more interesting finishes in college football bowl history.
Historically a match up that includes a Big Ten squadron, this is the first year that a team from the PAC10 joins the festivities on the riverwalk. Little known fact- the 1993 National Championship Game between Minnesota State and West Texas State was held in the Alamo Dome.
During the season, we give toOSU a hard time for their reliance upon their generous benefactor, energy magnate T. Boone Pickens, kidding our Cowboy readers that their team exists only due to his copious bags of cash. If you think that we’re not going to continue this trend in our preview, you obviously haven’t been reading this website.
43 year old coach Mike Gundy’s offensive prowess is well known (tops in the NCAA), and the 2010 version of the Cowboys did not miss a beat, especially at receiver. After sending Dez Bryant to the professional Cowboys, Stillwater’s squadron replaced him with Justin Blackmon, who managed 100 yards in each of the 11 games he played in (missing one due to a DUI). Blackmon also has 18 scores (NCAA best) on 102 catches for 1665 yards on the season.
Defensively, the Cowboys are a bit more of a mystery, although they managed a pick-six against Oklahoma, as well as one of the most awesome interceptions I’ve ever seen.
TBPU/Buckeye Connections: Interestingly enough, in their last trip to the Alamo Bowl, the Cowboys were introduced to the Shot-Ginn. Thanks again to Vico for the highlights.Arizona
For the second straight game, the Cowboys will be squaring off against one of Youngstown’s finest, this time Arizona’s coach Mike Stoops. After beginning the season with four straight wins including an upset of Iowa and Ricky Stanzi (Real American), the Wildcats suffered through four straight losses against the top of the PAC10 and arch rival Arizona State to end their 2010 calendar.
You may not have heard Colin Baxter, but like Buckeye Mike Brewster he was a finalist for the Rimington award for the nation’s best center. An anchor for the Wildcats for the last 49 games, he provides protection for a powerful passing attack that highlights All American Juron Criner, the PAC10’s leading receiver. Criner has been the unifying force for the Wildcats, who have used three junior quarterbacks throughout the season.
Mike Stoops teams have historically relied on hard-nosed, aggressive defense, and this year’s Wildcats are no different. Anchored by PAC10 first teamer and team defensive MVP Brooks Reed, Arizona has achieved 33 sacks on the season, including a key sequence against the Hawkeyes.
Arizona/Buckeye connections: Other than the Youngstown item mentioned earlier, the Buckeyes are also 3-1 against the Wildcats, with the only loss coming in 1967. Since I don’t have any video and so forth to link to, I’ll take this opportunity to point out that both Nichole Richie and Kourtney Kardashian attended UofA, as did the head coach of the Screaming Eagles team mentioned earlier.
Who Are We Picking?
- Eric- T. Boone Pickens University
- Jay- TBPU
- Jeff- TBPU
- Jim- TBPU
- Joe- TBPU
- Mali- TBPU
While Stoop’s defense has always been stalwart, I believe that the hurry up offense of the Cowboys will be a challenge for Arizona in similar ways that the Oregon Ducks’ attack did.