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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.

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