Woman at church Sunday night asked where OU was going. Dallas, I told her, not wanting to explain that the Cotton Bowl game is not played in the Cotton Bowl stadium.
Then she asked where OSU was going. Again, to simplify, I bore it down to bedrock. Dallas.
Hey, she wondered. Are they playing each other? Be still my heart. Nope, no Bedlam rematch, though nothing equally surprising.
Bowl Selection Day brought disappointment to both Sooners and Cowboys. No BCS for OU, a mighty fall for OSU.
The Sooners absolutely can blame an old foe, by the name of Boise State. The Cowboys' villain is not so clear, but I have my guesses.
Boise State's epic upset of the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl six years ago still reverberates through college football. Turned Boise into a power. Made us look differently at mid-majors. Even got the BCS criteria changed so that whippersnappers would have even greater access to the major bowls.
Thus Northern Illinois is Orange Bowl bound, at OU's expense.
Bad for the Sooners, but good for college football. College basketball gives the little guy a chance to shine — really the only thing campus hoops have over the gridiron — and shame on football if it doesn't do the same.
So the Sooners fell to the Cotton Bowl (game, not stadium) against Texas A&M, a matchup only slightly less in stature than an OU-Florida Sugar Bowl would have been.
Let's list the best bowls, based purely on rankings: 1. Alabama-Notre Dame Big Bowl; 2. Oregon-Kansas State Fiesta; 3. OU-A&M Cotton.
Granted, you'd rather be in a BCS game for prestige, and from an intrigue standpoint, Sooners-Aggies doesn't feel like OU-Florida would have.
OU-A&M will have a bizarro feel. Part OU-Texas (neutral field in Dallas). Part Big 12 title game (OU played Nebraska in JerryWorld two years ago). Part Texas Tour (OU's fifth game in Baja Oklahoma this season). Part old-fashioned A&M regular season game, with the Aggie band and yell leaders alongside.