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First Look: Cotton Bowl Classic

Having jumped ship to the SEC earlier this year, Texas A&M finds itself facing an old foe in this year’s AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Aggies will head to Arlington, Texas, to face Big 12 runner up, and former annual adversary, Oklahoma. The matchup comes just a little more than a year after the two sides met in their final Big 12 encounter in Norman, Okla.

The Essentials

Date: Fri., Jan. 4

Game time: 8:00 PM ET

Location: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

BCS Rankings: Texas A&M (No. 9), Oklahoma (No. 11)

Texas A&M – Record: 10-2, 6-2 SEC ATS: 6-6-0 Streak: Win 5 Bowl Record: 14-19 (.424)

Oklahoma – Record: 10-2, 8-1 Big 12 ATS: 7-5-0 Streak: Win 5 Bowl Record: 27-17-1 (.611)

Road to the Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M

Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel led the Texas A&M Aggies to a 10-2 record, including an unthinkable victory over then-No. 1 ranked Alabama.

Texas A&M’s move to the SEC this season could have started smoother. First, an opening day game against Louisiana Tech was postponed in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. Then, when the Aggies finally took the field in Week 2, they came up short to conference rivals Florida.

Kevin Sumlin’s side picked up its first win in Week 3, heavily beating SMU of Conference USA. The team’s first conference win came in Week 5, a 58-10 demolition job of Arkansas.

In Week 8, A&M suffered its second defeat of the season, this time falling to division rivals LSU. With a 5-2 record, the Aggies hardly looked like world-beaters.

That would change. A&M would go on to win its final five games to finish 10-2. In the midst of that winning streak, the Aggies went into Tuscaloosa and knocked off No. 1 ranked Alabama, an amazing result that sent shockwaves throughout the FBS.

Although Alabama would go on to win the division and conference, booking a place in the BCS National Championship Game in the process, nobody would forget that Week 11 victory. Nor would anybody forget the quarterback that orchestrated it all; Johnny Manziel, who may well be a Heisman winner by Saturday night.

Road to the Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma

Landry Jones and the Oklahoma Sooners fell short of Kansas State in the Big 12.

Favorites to win the Big 12 ahead of the season, Oklahoma came up one result short of being crowned champions.

A24-19 defeat at home to Kansas State would ultimately prove the difference between first and second place in the conference. With both sides finishing 8-1 in conference play, it was the Wildcats victory that decided the champion. That game took place in Week 4, so neither side was certain of its importance at the time.

Oklahoma would rebound from that loss to Kansas State with wins over Texas Tech and a rout of Texas in the Red River Rivalry Game.

The Sooners were handed their second loss of the year in Week 9 as Notre Dame visited Norman. The Sooners’ high-octane offense was held to just 13 points as the eventual No. 1 ranked Irish marched on its way to an unbeaten regular season and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

Following that loss to Notre Dame, Oklahoma would go on to win its final five games, including a 51-48 overtime nail-biter against bitter rivals Oklahoma State.


When the two sides hook up in January it will be for the 40th time all told. The Sooners own a 19-10 advantage in the all-time head-to-head between the schools.

A&M joined the Big 12 in 1996 and left for the SEC this year. During that period, the Aggies tallied a 5-11 record against the Sooners.

The last time these two sides met was on Nov. 5, 2011, a game that saw Oklahoma run out 41-25 winners. That victory marked an eighth win in nine games for the Sooners.

A&M has had little luck during Bowl season. Last year’s 33-22 victory over Northwestern in the Meieke Car Care Bowl of Texas snapped a five-game losing streak in Bowl action, a streak that was part of a 9/10 and 12/14 losing trend.

Oklahoma has fared much better, and will arrive in Arlington with a three-Bowl winning streak.

The Sooners have appeared in just one Cotton Bowl game previously, a 10-3 win over Arkansas in 2002. The Aggies have been to 12 Cotton Bowls, winning only four. The last win came in 1988, a 35-10 victory over Notre Dame. Six straight Cotton Bowl losses followed. A&M’s most recent appearance was in 2011, a 41-24 loss to LSU.

Opening Lines

Bookmakers opened with Texas A&M as favorites, despite a poor Bowl history. The spread opened at 4.5-points. The over/under opened at 72.

Stay tuned to BettingSports.com for more on the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic ahead of kickoff on Jan. 4.

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