Breaking Down OU's Bowl Scenarios

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners are out of the national championship race, but there are still a host of bowls that could land the Crimson and Cream. Inside, Sooners Illustrated breaks down the percentages of where OU could end up and why.

Alamo Bowl: 40 percent

At the beginning of the season, who would have thunk it? But the most likely destination right now for the Sooners is the Valero Alamo Bowl for a couple of reasons. First, logic dictates that if OU can't defeat Texas Tech or Baylor, it can't go into Stillwater and defeat Oklahoma State. That loss would be the Sooners' third, putting them tied for third in the conference along with Baylor, assuming they defeat Iowa State. So, they'll split their final two and the decision for the second Big 12 bowl will come down to OU, at 6-3 in the conference, and Kansas State, at 7-2. Although Cotton Bowl reps lick their chops at the fan base and tradition of OU coming to Jerry World, they reward the Wildcats, and OU gets selected with the third conference bowl.

Fiesta Bowl: 35 percent

This is a close second in likelihood because Bedlam really is such a toss-up this year. The Sooners have all the talent and capability in the world to go and steal yet another one on the road at Boone Pickens Stadium. Last year, OU was the lower ranked team and won there when many doubted it would happen, so there's reason to believe it could happen again. Plus, OU has won eight in a row in a series they lead 82-16-7. There's also no reason to believe OU will lay an egg against Iowa State. If these two things happen, and it seems likely, given that Bedlam is essentially a pick-em game with a 3-point line favoring OSU, then the Sooners would force a three-way tie and earn the automatic Big 12 bid into the BCS.

Cotton Bowl: 18 percent

Again, this percentage is based on the scenario that OU splits its final two games and ends up in a tie for third in the conference just one game behind Kansas State, with OSU winning the conference and heading to the Fiesta Bowl. However, instead of selecting the Wildcats, the Cotton Bowl elects to take the 9-3 Sooners and pit them in a battle against an SEC team, most likely South Carolina. This is a possibility, but it just doesn't seem all that likely. Because the Wildcats have a better conference record and better overall record by just one game, they take that better team. It's just under a one-in-five chance, though, still that OU heads to Arlington.

Sugar Bowl: 5 percent

This is an intriguing possibility and one that, while it's not very probable at all, could happen if all the factors turn out right. Say the Sooners win out and force that three-way tie, Houston drops a contest to Tulsa and TCU doesn't get into at-large range, the Sugar Bowl could work out a deal with the Fiesta Bowl that would send Big 12 Conference Champion OU to the Sugar Bowl in place for Kansas State. Oklahoma State heads to the Cotton Bowl, and it likely sets up a pair of Big 12-SEC battles. The Sooners could face Arkansas, while OSU would, in turn, face the Gamecocks. The two bowls would have to agree to this, though, and the Fiesta Bowl really likes OU.

Insight or other: 2 percent

The Sooners lose out under this scenario, which seems nearly impossible at the onset. But with how hot Iowa State is coming off their incredible upset of Oklahoma State, say OU slips up at home and then drops Bedlam. Then, the Alamo Bowl potentially has their choice between Baylor (9-3, 6-3 Big 12) and OU (8-4, 5-4 Big 12). Because the Bears have a better overall and conference record, there's a chance Alamo Bowl officials could select them, leaving OU in the fourth bowl slot, the Insight in Tempe. However, the Alamo Bowl has been dying for years to get OU, so it's still possible they could take the Sooners over the Bears.

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