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Oklahoma football: Joe C. says Sooners would be happy with Fiesta

by Berry Tramel Published: November 27, 2012

In the Tuesday Oklahoman, I wrote about talks for a possible bowl swap, should the Sooners end up in the Fiesta Bowl. Having been to Phoenix four times in six years, both OU fans and the Fiesta Bowl might be interested in a trade that would bring a different team to the Fiesta and give the Sooners a new vacation spot. You can read that story here.

But I talked to OU athletic director Joe Castiglione again Tuesday, and while he didn’t rule out the possibility necessarily, he also said that he knew of no provisions that could arrange a swap. There was talk of a swap in 2007, with the Sooners, as Big 12 champs, going to the Orange Bowl to play Virginia Tech in what would be a matchup of teams ranked third and fourth, with Kansas moving to the Fiesta from the Orange Bowl. But the conference commissioners nixed that plan. Joe C. said he knew of no change in policy.

That corresponds with what a bowl official told I heard from bowl folks, that a swap is not likely.

Castiglione said he understands why fans might prefer a different locale. Many of the same fans travel to bowl games year after year. “They want to go somewhere new,” Joe C. said. “I get it. I understand it. So do the bowl officials.”

But Castiglione said the Sooners’ experience in the desert — three Fiesta Bowls, one Insight Bowl (which is run by the Fiesta) — has been “great” and “if we get a chance to go to the Fiesta, we’d be thrilled.”

Of course, the only way OU is Fiesta bound this season is if the Sooners beat TCU on Saturday and Texas beats Kansas State on Saturday. That would the Sooners the outright Big 12 champions.

If the Sooners and K-State both win, OU could be looking at the Sugar Bowl without a swap. If the Sooners lost to TCU, it could fall to the Alamo Bowl. Here are OU’s bowl possibilities:

1. Sugar vs. Florida

2. Fiesta vs. Oregon

3. Cotton vs. Texas A&M or LSU

4. Alamo vs. Oregon State or UCLA

The first three are attractive. All three would be bears to win, though I think the Sooners don’t match up very well with Oregon. You generally need good linebacking to beat the Ducks. On the other hand, New Orleans is tough on non-SEC teams. The Alamo would be the easiest to win but would be far down the prestige scale.


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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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