SEC runner-up Missouri, Oklahoma St in Cotton Bowl
Missouri and Oklahoma State came so close to conference titles
and being in the Bowl Championship Series.
The No. 9 Tigers and No. 13 Cowboys, who in the past have been
in two leagues together, will instead play each other Jan. 3 in the
Cotton Bowl, a pretty nice consolation a day after both missed
shots at conference championships.
”Playing in the Cotton Bowl is a great reward for our team,”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Sunday after the matchup was
announced. ”Certainly you want to be in a BCS bowl because it
means you won a conference championship. … This location and
venue, this is a great opportunity for the team and our fans.”
After this season’s game, the Cotton Bowl will become part of
the annual rotation for semifinal games in the new College Football
Playoff. The game is played in the Dallas Cowboys’ massive stadium
where the first national championship in the post-BCS era will be
held next season.
Oklahoma State (10-2) was on track for a Big 12 title and a spot
in the Bowl Championship Series before a 33-24 loss at home to
Oklahoma on Saturday.
Missouri (11-2) is coming off a 59-42 loss to Auburn in the SEC
championship game in only its second season in that league.
”We know firsthand just how great of a trip this is, and how
first-class of an operation the Cotton Bowl runs,” said Missouri
coach Gary Pinkel, who is taking the Tigers to their ninth bowl in
13 seasons there.
Mizzou made its SEC debut in 2012 with its first losing season
in eight years, and went only 2-6 in league play. The Tigers this
season were SEC Eastern Division champions with a 7-1 conference
When Gundy cast a vote last week for some organization’s coach
of the year honor, he voted for Pinkel.
Oklahoma State and Missouri were in the old Big Eight Conference
together and then moved together from there to the Big 12. The
Tigers have a 29-23 lead in the overall series and won five of
their nine Big 12 meetings from 1996-2011, though Oklahoma State
won the last three.
”I don’t know if it seems weird” playing Missouri, Gundy said.
”We are still familiar with them. We played them so many years in
a row and have watched them play. They’re very similar to the way
SEC teams have won nine of the last 10 Cotton Bowls, all over
Big 12 teams. The lone exception in that span was the 2008 game
when Missouri, then in the Big 12, beat Arkansas 38-7.
Oklahoma State is in its 11th bowl in 12 years, including Cotton
Bowl losses to Mississippi in 2004 and 2010, the latter being the
first time the bowl was played in the NFL stadium after leaving its
namesake stadium at the State Fair of Texas.
The Cowboys’ only other Cotton Bowl was a 34-0 win over TCU in
the 1945 game, a year before Missouri beat Texas in its only
appearance in the game other than six seasons ago.
In last year’s game, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel set a
Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards as Texas A&M wrapped up
its first SEC season with a 41-13 victory over Oklahoma. The Aggies
had lost twice as a Big 12 team in the Cotton Bowl the previous