It’s hard to believe the college football season is winding down, but with it, the NFL heats up as teams make the chase for the wild card and playoffs, and college basketball arrives granting us two Big 12 Conference teams atop the early-season national rankings (#1 Kansas and #2 Texas).
With only conference championship football games left to play, several college bowl games have already started to make team selections or extend invites, based on their conference affiliations.
Cotton Bowl (Big 12 v. SEC)
Oklahoma State (9-3) v. Ole Miss (8-4)
This match-up represents the “could-have-beens” from the 2009 season. Both the ‘Pokes and Cowboys disappointed their legions in season full of high expectations. It remains to be seen who will step up in the bowl game’s first showing outside of the actual Cotton Bowl (this year’s game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington). More background here.
Hawaii Bowl (USA v. WAC)
Southern Methodist (7-5) v. To be determined opponent (potentially Nevada OR Hawaii, if they beat Wisconsin this weekend)
It was a momentus occasion in Dallas’ Highland Park neighborhood on Tuesday. And, it should be. After an absence of more than 20 years from post-season play, the Mustangs will make their first bowl appearance since 1984. As their AD said, “There is life after death,” referring to SMU’s harsh death penalty ruling from the NCAA in 1997, which closed the football program for two years. With former Hawaii coach June Jones running the show in Dallas these days, a match-up with his former team would be intriguing. More background here.
Other Relevant Bowl Game Possibilities
Other Texas-state and Big 12 Conference teams in the college bowl game hunt, with their likely destinations or invites, include: Texas (BCS national championship, with a win Saturday; potential BCS at-large with loss), TCU (Orange Bowl [BCS]), Texas Tech (Alamo Bowl), Texas A&M (Independence Bowl), Houston (Liberty Bowl), Nebraska (Holiday Bowl; potential BCS, with an upset Saturday), Iowa State (Texas Bowl), Missouri (Insight Bowl), and oklahoma (Sun Bowl). A more comprehensive list of bowl projections can be found on ESPN, for example, here.