Where Will OSU Go Bowling?

There is no doubt, and it is perfectly excusable, for Oklahoma State fans to have their time of mourning, but don't make it too long because now the Cowboys are about to be involved in a highly competitive off the field derby for bowl destinations. The logjam of successful teams in the Big 12 are giving both BCS and regular bowl partners a number of schools and scenarios to consider.

In attendance and obviously impressed with the show on the field and in the stands on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium was Orange Bowl committee member Jeff E. Rubin. An attorney with the Miami law firm of Talianoff, Rubin, and Rubin, Jeff Rubin has been involved with the Orange Bowl since 2004.

I spoke with him briefly on the field and he acknowledged that the Orange Bowl was very interested in Oklahoma State, win or possibly lose. He also met with Oklahoma State officials on Saturday morning to discuss mutual interest and what the projected fan interest would be with a trip to Miami for the 7 p.m. contest on Jan. 3.

David Knisely, not a committee member but a member of the Orange Bowl and a scout, was in Kansas City to watch Missouri beat Kansas 35-7 and he told the Kansas City Star that Missouri was in the running for the Orange Bowl as well.

The competition is on and now it is really in the number of fans that would be willing to travel to the Miami area. A hang up could be Stanford, which is expected to be in the top four of the BCS and thus would have to be picked by one of the BCS bowls.

The Cowboys and their fans had their hearts set on a trip to Dallas for the Big 12 Championship Game. However, it is now Nebraska and Oklahoma, barring a strange BCS outcome, that will have that honor. Oklahoma is 10-2 overall and so is Nebraska.

The Big 12 Champion will be 11-2 and heading to the BCS and the Fiesta Bowl. The loser of that game sees its record drop to 10-3 and possibly down the bowl pecking order, especially considering how close everybody is (three-way tie for the Big 12 South Division) and the Nebraska-Missouri tie in the North Divison.

Oklahoma State and Missouri will both be sitting at 10-2 when the bowl selections are made and both hoping that they make the top 14 in the BCS, which allows them to be considered for a BCS at-large berth.

At least one projection for the BCS standings that will be released later Sunday shows that the computers will like Oklahoma State more as the projection has Oklahoma 10th, Oklahoma State 12th, Nebraska 13th, and Missouri 14th. All four schools are in the desired range to gain an at-large spot in the BCS bowls.

Tostitos Fiesta: Big 12 champion vs. UConn or West Virginia
AT&T Cotton: Texas A&M vs. LSU
Valero Alamo: Oklahoma State vs. Arizona (same matchup as next season's opener)
Insight: Big 12 champion loser vs. Michigan
Holiday: Missouri vs. Washington

Now here is our best guess scenario at how the Big 12 bowl selections shake out, if Stanford does not get the automatic BCS bid.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Either Nebraska or OU vs. Big East champion, either Connecticut or West Virginia
Other BCS bowl bid: This would be the Orange if they can squeeze it. They would like a well followed Big 12 team. Oklahoma State vs. ACC champ Virginia Tech or Florida State would be nice.
AT&T Cotton Bowl: The Cotton is eyeing Texas A&M and with the Nebraska-Oklahoma loser fresh from a trip to the venue, then A&M might get LSU or Alabama. A&M and Bama has been the dream matchup for the Cotton Bowl and for A&M regent and former Bama head coach Gene Stallings. Cotton could have loads of options as they know Nebraska or OU fans would return in droves to see their team face either Alabama or LSU.
Valero Alamo Bowl: This could be where the Big 12 championship game loser falls or it could be A&M if Cotton opts for Big 12 championship loser. This would appear to be Stanford or Arizona. OU vs. Arizona would be good.
Insight Bowl: This could be the Cowboys trip to the Phoenix area as Oklahoma State or Missouri drops here if they don't get a trip to Miami and the BCS shakeout could put them here any way. The Dec. 28th game will likely draw Big 10's Penn State, Northwestern or Michigan as the other squad.
Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl: If Texas A&M falls, it would be to here and the likely opponent is Washington of the Pac-10. This could possibly be the slot for Baylor if the Big 12 gets two BCS bids.
Texas Bowl: Either Baylor or Texas Tech vs. likely Big 10 opponent Illinois
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. likely Big East opponent Syracuse
Dallas Football Classic: Texas Tech vs. Northwestern

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