“The pecking order is almost determined by the Big 12 standings,” said Chuck Carlton, who covers Big 12 football for the Dallas Morning News. “Not in terms of our coverage, but in terms of who's the loudest, who's the most vocal.
“You have this hodgepodge here in the Metroplex. On any given Saturday, you can see five, six, seven, eight different flags flying on cars in the morning as they're heading somewhere.”
When some of those cars are heading toward Cowboys Stadium in early January, it's a great thing for the area economy. Oklahoma State playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl — played at the actual Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas — doesn't hurt, either.
But for the Cotton Bowl Classic, it couldn't get much better than a game pitting the Sooners with former Big 12 rival Texas A&M, which is wrapping up its first SEC season. A&M's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel, adds even more intrigue and excitement.
“We have always been very successful in putting together the best possible regional matchups over the years,” said John Crawford, a past Cotton Bowl chairman and president of Downtown Dallas, Inc.
“But it also manages to bring in a national audience in some cases, like this year. This is not just a local game that we're teeing up here on January 4. This is a big, nationally televised attention-getter.”