STILLWATER — For weeks, Oklahoma State's most likely postseason destination has been the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
But recently, more projections are pegging the Cowboys for the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, provided they beat Baylor Saturday in Waco.
The other teams that will most likely affect OSU's chances to climb to the Cotton? Texas and Texas A&M, along with their spat that led to the Aggies' departure to the SEC.
If that happens, Oklahoma is still in line for a BCS at-large berth if it beats TCU, as long as non-AQ team Kent State doesn't beat Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game and snag an automatic bid by finishing in the top 16 of the final BCS standings.
But here's where UT, A&M and bowl politics get interesting.
Even if OSU finishes ahead of the Longhorns in the Big 12 standings, UT is obviously an attractive team for the Cotton Bowl because of its national brand and alumni base in the Dallas area.
A&M could also be available for the Cotton Bowl to select if the Capital One Bowl passes on the Aggies.
A UT-A&M matchup would clearly create national buzz, must-see television and renew a bitter rivalry just a year after it was lost.
But reports from the Austin-American Statesman indicate neither the Longhorns nor Aggies have any interest in playing each other.
“No one really wants that game. It's not going to happen,” one bowl official told the Statesman.
Said another bowl official: “A&M would have a classic case of more to lose.”
So if A&M winds up being the Cotton's SEC team, OSU would be the natural fit to play in that game. And if recent history is any indication — the Cowboys won 38-35 in 2010 on a Dan Bailey field goal as time expired and 30-29 in 2011 following a furious second-half rally — a bowl meeting between OSU and A&M would be a highly anticipated matchup featuring two exciting offenses and possibly the Heisman winner in Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.
OSU could also be an attractive selection for the Cotton Bowl if LSU is available to select from the SEC.
That would pit Les Miles against Mike Gundy a year after that matchup nearly became a reality when OSU fell just short of reaching the national title game.
The suspense and speculation will end Sunday, when all the bowl pairings are announced.
Bowling … where?
By Sunday night, we'll know where Oklahoma State will be playing its postseason football.
Until then, here's the latest roundup of national bowl projections for the Cowboys.
ESPN's Brad Edwards: Alamo vs. Oregon State
CBS' Jerry Palm: Buffalo Wild Wings vs. Michigan State
ESPN's Mark Schlabach: Alamo vs. UCLA
Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel: Alamo vs. Oregon State
ESPN's David Ubben: Cotton vs. Texas A&M
College Football News: Cotton vs. South Carolina
Sporting News: Cotton vs. Texas A&M