Guide to Big 12 bowls: OK State vs. Purdue

Heart of Dallas  

(6-6) Oklahoma State vs. (7-5) Purdue 11am CT Tuesday, Jan. 1 | Cotton Bowl – Dallas, TX

Oklahoma State: Ended the regular season on a sour note, losing to arch-rival Oklahoma in overtime, then to Baylor by one possession. What’s remarkable about OSU’s 2012 run is its ability to lose a quarterback to injury and have the fill-in pick right up where the previous left off. Wes Lunt began the year under center but was out after six snaps of OSU’s third game, against Louisiana. J.W. Walsh then stepped in, started the next three games, and provided a performance that would help garner him Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors. Lunt was back in the mix by late October against TCU. Then Clint Chelf came into the mix when OSU played then-3rd-ranked K-State, and has started every game since.

For what had all the potential of being offensive dysfunction, the Cowboys instead had the fourth-most productive offense in the NCAA with nearly 45 points per game. Amid all the passing, Joseph Randle led the Big 12 in rushing, 1,351 this year, with seven games over 100 yards. OSU had the best red zone offense in the league, putting up points on 61 of 66 visits inside the 20. A big reason for that is kicker/punter Quinn Sharp, the Big 12’s co-special teams Player of the Year. He led the nation with 25 fieldgoals, led the nation in kickoff touchbacks for a third straight year, and also led the Big 12 in punting with an average of 45.8 yards per boot.

Cowboys in Bowls: At 14-8 overall are one of just three Big 12 schools with a winning all-time bowl record, joining Texas and Oklahoma. OSU is 1-2 in January bowls, winning its first last year, a 41-38 overtime win over Stanford in the BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Cowboys are 5-4 in bowl games played in the nearby state of Texas.

Heart of Dallas Bowl: The third game of what began as the TicketCity Bowl, bringing New Year’s Day college football to the familiar and traditional Cotton Bowl stadium on the State Fair grounds of downtown Dallas. The Big Ten has been a part of each of the past two bowls, losing both, including to Texas Tech in the inaugural 2010 game. The Heart of Dallas is a non-profit organization that hosts sports and entertainment events that benefit Dallas charities. Included on its Board of Directors are Big 12 Commissioner, Bob Bowlsby, and Fox Sports Southwest VP/GM, Jon Heidtke.

Purdue:
Won its final three games of the regular season to reach six wins and become bowl eligible, knocking off Iowa and Illinois on the road then Indiana at home. It was enough to earn a berth in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but not enough to save head coach Danny Hope’s job. He was fired shortly after the season’s completion. Purdue acted quickly, hiring Darrell Hazell from Kent State, who will lead the Boilermakers into Dallas and make his debut. Purdue finished behind Big Ten champion Wisconsin in the Leaders Division.