Likely Bowl Bids - Latest News

Well ccmachine already detailed the options pretty well in this post a couple of days ago, so read that for good bowl information. I'm here to provide a few quotes and news nuggets from the past couple of days and then try to break them down with a little analysis. 

Most Likely Scenario - Texas beats Nebraska

Texas would travel to the National Championship Game and the Cotton Bowl would select Oklahoma State as they are next in the Big 12 pecking order behind the BCS. Oklahoma State is close to Dallas, and as ccmachine pointed out, "The attraction that a Les Miles vs. Mike Gundy match-up would bring is off the chart." 

Nebraska would then get selected for the Holiday Bowl, in all likelihood, as most reports in the media and indications are that the Cornhuskers would get a berth here with a loss to Texas.

“If Nebraska loses in that game, we believe Nebraska would be a better selection for us than Texas Tech,’’ [Holiday Bowl Chairman of the Board] Baber said.

“(The Raiders) need to root for Nebraska to beat Texas,’’ he said. “That’s probably the best chance of them being here.’’

This leaves several options for the Sooners, more after the jump...

Gator Bowl

They seem likely to fill at least one of their bids with Florida State:

What hasn’t yet been reported is the ACC’s side. Just spoke with two members of the league office, and they said if the Gator Bowl is correct in interpreting its contract – and it seems that the Gator Bowl is correct – then it would be allowed to select FSU assuming Virginia Tech goes to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (which it will).

They do have the option of choosing a Big 12 or Big East school, but as an ESPN blogger points out, they are likely to choose West Virginia:

The one near certainty seems to be West Virginia to the Gator Bowl, regardless of whether the Mountaineers beat Rutgers this weekend. The Gator Bowl, like any postseason game, wants to sell tickets and wants the Mountaineers' dependable traveling fan base.

Given that it seems like the Gator Bowl wants to lock things up soon so they can sell tickets, and OU getting to the Gator Bowl would likely result from an upset in the Big 12 Championship Game, I think it's probably safe to rule out this bowl for now. Additionally, I haven't heard OU's name be floated at all for the Gator Bowl.

Alamo Bowl

"Currently, we think our pool of Big 12 teams is Texas Tech and Oklahoma," Alamo Bowl CEO Derrick Fox wrote in an e-mail. "And our Big Ten pool is Michigan State and Minnesota.

The Alamo Bowl has basically whittled their choices down to Texas Tech and Oklahoma. However, it seems like they'd like to take Texas Tech, and they even bring up the dreaded "head-to-head":

“They’re one of the best traveling schools we’ve ever invited,’’ said Rick Hill, the Alamo Bowl vice president of marketing. “They brought record numbers, and had one of the best ESPN walking-off-the-field quotes from Mike Leach: ‘We’re not playing worth a damn,’ and just kept walking.’’

“Texas Tech did an outstanding job the last time they were here,’’ Hill said. “They won head to head against Oklahoma (this season). They finished strong. They’re a team that was a very high-profile team last year. Our fan base locally has seen them a lot and been impressed.’’

However, the allure of the Sooners could land OU in San Antonio. The VP of marketing points out that other than in 1999, the Alamo Bowl has never had the option of selecting the Sooners, and they may want to do that given the fan base and the spanking of their rival Oklahoma State.

Sun Bowl

The Sun Bowl appears likely to select California if Oregon beats Oregon State in the Civil War this weekend, but USC would likely fall to them if Oregon State can pull off the upset.

Matching up against this Pac 10 squad would be likely the leftovers of the Alamo Bowl. The Sun Bowl is probably going to try to pick a team from the area (OU or Tech), and this effectively eliminates Missouri. 

The biggest rumor is that the Sun Bowl would try to create a "Stoops Bowl", but that's something the brothers have indicated they don't want:

Mike Stoops said a bowl matchup between Arizona (7-4, 5-3 Pac-10) and Oklahoma (7-5, 5-3 Big 12) would be "something we would try to avoid at all costs."

"I don't think it would be fun for either one of us," Mike Stoops said at his weekly campus news conference on Monday. "I think it would be very uncomfortable for probably everyone.

Sun Bowl reps were in attendance for OU's beat down of Oklahoma State (as were the Alamo Bowl reps), and therefore it's likely that one of those two bowls will select OU after seeing the dominating performance:

"We've had the Sooners twice in our bowl and they're great people, friendly people, great tradition -- you couldn't have anybody any better," Sun Bowl chairman emeritus Jimmy Rogers said.

And final word from the Sun Bowl reps:

"There's a pretty good chance we're going to get Oklahoma on the other end. If that were the case, and if coach (Mike) Stoops didn't want to play his brother, we'd honor that," he told the Star.

Least Likely Scenario - Nebraska Beats Texas

This would throw a huge wrench into things. Nebraska would get the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl, and Texas would likely get an at large bid sitting at 11-1 overall and likely still ranked high enough to be in the BCS pool. This means that the Holiday Bowl, sitting in position to select the next Big 12 team after the Cotton Bowl, would suddenly have to choose between Missouri, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma.

But who would the Holiday Bowl choose? It's doubtful that it would be Missouri. Between Texas Tech and Oklahoma, I would suspect they would probably choose Texas Tech. They have only selected a team with 5 losses three times. The last time was in 2002 when they took an 8-5 Arizona State Sun Devils team. They seem to go for the best possible matchup record-wise. However, Sooner fans would probably travel better to San Diego than Texas Tech fans.

If Tech goes to the Holiday Bowl under this scenario, OU would wind up in the Alamo Bowl, that much is obvious from what the Alamo Bowl reps have said.

Overall Odds

The Sooners are most likely to wind up in the Sun Bowl, as the Alamo Bowl seems to be leaning towards Texas Tech. If Nebraska manages to upset Texas, the Sooners would most likely wind up in San Antonio, with an outside shot at the Holiday Bowl. I'd put it at about 65% odds for Sun Bowl, 30% odds for Alamo Bowl, and about 5% odds for Holiday Bowl.

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