Oklahoma out of BCS, will play Texas A&M in Cotton Bowl

Oklahoma, squeezed out of a BCS at-large bid by upstart Northern Illinois, will instead play in the Cotton Bowl on January 4, 2013, an OU athletic department source told The Oklahoman. Texas A&M will be OU's opponent.
by Jason Kersey Modified: December 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm •  Published: December 2, 2012


photo - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops waves to the crowd after a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (TCU) at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Oklahoma won 24-17. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops waves to the crowd after a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (TCU) at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Oklahoma won 24-17. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

—Oklahoma, squeezed out of a BCS at-large bid by upstart Northern Illinois, will instead play in the Cotton Bowl on January 4, 2013 inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, an OU athletic department source told The Oklahoman.

The Sooners' opponent in the Cotton Bowl will be Big 12 expat Texas A&M — with Heisman Trophy frontrunner Johnny Manziel as its quarterback — the source said.

The Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) finished tied atop their conference standings with Kansas State, resulting in a shared championship. But the Wildcats earned the Big 12's automatic BCS berth because of their 24-19 win in Norman on Sept. 22.

MAC champion Northern Illinois will finish with a top-16 ranking in the final BCS Standings, thereby ensuring its berth in — and Oklahoma's exclusion from — a major bowl game, according to a Sports Illustrated report Sunday afternoon.

The Sooners' exclusion comes from rules designed to provide worthy mid-major FBS programs with opportunities to compete in the biggest bowl games.

Automatic qualifying conference champions — winners of the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — are ensured spots in one of the BCS bowl games: the Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls.

If one of the other conference champions is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings — or in the top 16 while also being ranked above an AQ conference champion — that program is ensured an automatic berth.

On Friday, BCS-No. 21 Northern Illinois beat then-No. 17 Kent State in Friday's Mid-American Conference championship game. The same night, Stanford beat No. 16 UCLA.

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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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