Former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M put their 10-2 records up against each other in the 77th Cotton Bowl on Friday, January 4th.
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel and Outland Trophy winner Luke Joeckel, Junior OT, lead the Aggies who moved to the SEC after the 2011 season. A win at Alabama put Manziel and the Aggies in the conscience of all college football fans.
QB Landry Jones, a preseason favorite to win the Heisman, leads an Oklahoma team that was the preseason pick of the Congrove Computer Rankings to win the national championship.
"We hit a home run today," Tommy Bain, Chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic said when the teams were announced. "When our Team Selection Committee met for the first time a few weeks ago, we circled this matchup as the one we most wanted, and the cards fell in our favor today."
This is the first-ever Cotton Bowl meeting between these storied programs. The Sooners are making only their second appearance at the Classic. Oklahoma defeated Arkansas, 10-3, in the 2001 season Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma comes into the bowl season ranked 7th in bowl winning percentage with a 27-17-1 (.611) record and tied for 3rd in bowl wins with 27.
The Aggies have made 12 previous Cotton Bowl appearances but have lost their last 6 in this game dating back to a 1987 win over Notre Dame. They are 4-8 all-time in Cotton Bowls and 14-19 in all bowl games. They last played here in the 2010 season, losing 41-24 to LSU.
"Oklahoma is a BCS caliber team, and the Aggies are one of the hottest teams in college football," Fin Ewing, AT&T Cotton Bowl Team Selection Chairman said. "The 2013 Classic (2012 season edition) is chalk full of great story lines and should be a great matchup of high-powered offenses."
Oklahoma leads the all-time series against A&M, 19-11, with the Sooners winning last year’s meeting 41-25 in the final battle as conference foes. The Aggies are coming into the Classic on a five-game winning streak.
Jones is a four-year starter with close to 4,000 passing yards this season. He’s OU’s all-time passing leader with 12,379 yards. Manziel became the first freshman to capture the Heisman after becoming the first SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000. He entered the bowl season ranked second nationally in total offense behind Baylor’s Nick Florence.
Kickoff of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 4th and will be nationally televised on FOX.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com project Oklahoma as the winner by 2.83 points.