Cotton Bowl Matchup: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Missouri Tigers
Date/Time: January 3rd, 7:30 ET
Point Spread: Missouri -1
The Missouri Tigers had a magical season this year, and though silly rules about a maximum of two teams from any conference making the BCS kept them out of the biggest games of the season, they’ve got a nice consolation prize here in the Cotton Bowl against a team which they used to share the Big XII with, the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The Cowboys blew their chance at the BCS when they were beaten by the Oklahoma Sooners on the last week of the season. There was really no excuse for either of the team’s losses this year, and Okie State really should be playing not just in the BCS, but in the BCS National Championship Game as we see it. We aren’t all that sure why Head Coach Mike Gundy isn’t looked upon as one of the best coaches in the country. He consistently does a lot for the Pokes in spite of the fact that they never strike us as having the most talented team in the Big XII. The offense rolled all season long even though there was never a defined quarterback for this offense. Both QB Clint Chelf and QB JW Walsh split reps this year, and we expect that they are going to do so again in the Cotton Bowl. We aren’t sure about this secondary, though. The Cowboys had some bad games defensively this year, and a lot of it had to do with the deep ball. WR Dorial Green-Beckham has to be licking his chops about his prospects of getting loose in the secondary against this unit.
Mizzou certainly would have been playing for the National Championship had it won the SEC this year, but just the fact that it got to the SEC Championship Game was stunning in and of itself. There has to be a real concern about stopping the run for the Tigers, as they allowed the Auburn Tigers to literally run right through them a few weeks ago in the SEC title game, and this is a somewhat similar offense which the Cowboys run. Still, every other challenge we have seen out of Missouri this year it has been able to pass, and a lot of those games have been tests passed with flying colors. Even when QB James Franklin was injured, this team was still rolling, save for the one loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks which probably ultimately didn’t make much of a difference in the end. Green-Beckham, who we mentioned briefly earlier, has 22 catches for over 350 yards in his last four games, but more important is the fact that he has a whopping seven touchdowns in that stretch as well.
This should be a game which is a heck of a lot of fun. The Tigers haven’t played in a bowl game like this since playing in the Cotton Bowl in 2007 when they killed the Arkansas Razorbacks. They’re only 1-2 SU and ATS in bowl games since that point, though. Okie State is 15-8 SU all-time in bowl games, and it has won and covered each of its last three trips to bowls.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.