One of the major advantages of playing a bowl game in Texas is the impact on recruiting. Oklahoma State features a roster full of players from Texas, and more than half of OSU's 22 known commitments for the class of 2011 call the Lone Star state home.
When the Cowboys take on Arizona in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29, OSU's program will get plenty of regional attention in Texas.
â€œThe location is really good for us,â€ OSU coach Mike Gundy said. â€œA large percentage of our team is from the state of Texas, the majority of our recruiting is done in the state of Texas so there are some real advantages of playing in the Alamo Bowl.â€
The Alamo Bowl is also a good location for OSU fans with the Pokes having solid alumni bases in Dallas, Houston and throughout the state.
â€œWe'll have a great following down there,â€ Gundy said. â€œWe have a big fan base in central Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.â€
It was a breakout season for quarterback Brandon Weeden. After entering the season with zero collegiate starts, the junior led the Cowboys to a 10-2 regular season record and earned All-Big 12 honors.
OSU was a great example of a squad getting the most out of its roster with relative unknowns such as Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon becoming among the nation's best at their positions.
â€œI think before the year started, we knew we had a chance to be special,â€ Weeden said. â€œWe knew we had guys that could make some plays, but to be at this magnitude, maybe not. But we knew we had a chance to be here. We fulfilled our expectation, but we alsoÂ exceeded it as well.â€
The Cowboys were picked to finish in the lower half of the Big 12 South by several national analysts but finished the season with a share of the division title.
BALL SECURITY STRUGGLES
Arizona has had trouble taking care of the ball against winning teams this season. The Wildcats have nine turnovers in five games and enter the Alamo Bowl with a minus-0.60 turnover margin against FBS winning teams, according to cfbstats.com.
Arizona has six turnovers gained and nine turnovers lost in those five games against Iowa, Oregon, Toledo, USC and Stanford.