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Oklahoma football: Top storylines for the Cotton Bowl

by Jason Kersey Published: December 8, 2012

Here is a look at the top storylines heading into the Cotton Bowl:

* Conference realignment: Texas A&M was a founding member of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, but is now wrapping up its first season as a Southeastern Conference member. The Aggies won one Big 12 title in 1998 and was 5-11 against Oklahoma during their time as conference bedfellows. Texas A&M was impressive in its first SEC season, losing only to top-10 teams Florida and LSU, and pulling the upset of the year when it went to Tuscaloosa, Ala., and shocked defending national champion Alabama.

* Student vs. Teacher: Kevin Sumlin spent five seasons on Bob Stoops' OU staff; the last two, he was co-offensive coordinator. This will be Stoops' first bowl game against one of his former assistants who became a head coach. Stoops is 10-4 in regular-season games against former assistants (Stoops was 6-4 vs. Mike Leach, Texas Tech, and 4-0 vs. Mark Mangino, Kansas). Interestingly, one of OU's 2012 losses was to a former Stoops boss; he was defensive coordinator under Bill Snyder at Kansas State.

* Brandon Williams Bowl: Williams was a five-star running back prospect when he came to Oklahoma as part of its 2011 recruiting class. As a true freshman last season, he rushed for 219 yards on 46 carries. But the Brookshire, Texas, native left OU in December and joined the Aggies; he said he wanted to be closer to his young daughter. Texas A&M tried to get Williams a waiver for immediate eligibility this season, but the NCAA denied the request.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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