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TEXAS A&M vs. OKLAHOMA
Friday, Jan 4, 8:00 pm
FOX A traditional Big 12 rivalry will be renewed in this season’s AT&T Cotton Bowl when the Oklahoma Sooners clash with the Texas A&M Aggies at Cowboys Stadium. Oklahoma came into this season with serious national title expectations, but they crashed and burned early in the year with a stunning 24-19 loss to then-No.15 Kansas State as a 15.5-point home favorite. The Sooners only other loss this season came at the hands of No.1 Notre Dame as 10.5-point favorites at home to finish 10-2 straight up. Texas A&M’s first year in the SEC was certainly a memorable one that was capped off with the biggest upset of the season in college football: a 29-24 shocker over then-No.1 Alabama as a 13.5-point road underdog. Before the season started, this was supposed to be head coach Bob Stoop’s return to the top of the college world and quarterback Landry Jones’ run to a Heisman Trophy. While it is hard to call a 10-win season a failure, both Stoops and Jones fell well short of these lofty expectations. Nonetheless, they still bring a very high-powered offensive attack into this showdown with an average of 40.3 points a game.
The Oklahoma defense remained solid for most of the season, but it took on water down the stretch by giving up 34 points to Baylor, 49 points to West Virginia and 48 points in a thrilling overtime victory over in-state rival Oklahoma State.
The Aggies started the season with a 20-17 loss to Florida as one-point home underdogs but turned that disappointing setback into a five-game winning streak before coming up just short in a five-point loss to LSU. All the while the legend of Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel began to grow week after week. Everyone in the nation knew who Johnny Football was after the freshman quarterback led his team to that legendary victory over the Crimson Tide. Manziel went on to win the Heisman Trophy behind opening-day odds too high to calculate. Fueled by Manziel, Texas A&M has been able to average 44.8 points a game this season, which is the third-highest total in the country. The Aggies’ defense did its part all year long by holding teams to an average of just 22.5 points a game.
If you look over the past trends for both teams as well as the head-to-head matchups, they certainly paint a bright picture for Oklahoma. However, you can pretty much throw all of them out the window in this matchup. Texas A&M has already proven it can stand up to and beat the best teams in the country, while the Sooners have to question how another BCS title run slipped away. This will be a great, hard-fought contest that will undoubtedly go down to the wire. Right now early on I have Texas A&M expected to win by a little more than a field goal. But that said this game could go a number of ways. Right now I will sit back and wait until we get closer to kickoff to make a decision and see where the Spooky Magic takes us. Well when a game is up in the air you always take the points. The game is really not a very strong play but we have been en fuego and honestly have been doing so well will press this some and go with Oklahoma a little more than I should. I also think the game should stay under the number but its more an opinion than anything else. Either way this is the weakest of the bowl games this year for the most part so nothing crazy.