The 2013 version of the Cotton Bowl has everything a BCS bowl game could dream up—except it's not a BCS bowl game.
Alas, the name is only a trivial piece of information. When Texas A&M and Oklahoma square off in this year's Cotton Bowl, it will be one of the most anticipated showdowns of the entire college football bowl season.
Why is the anticipation of the clash between the Sooners and Aggies so high?
Here are five things to watch for that should answer that question.
Just a year ago, the Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Sooners both played their football in the Big 12 Conference.
This season, however, was the first that Texas A&M spent in the SEC. It looked like the two rivals might never play again.
Yet here we are.
Here's what Oklahoma defensive end R.J. Washington said on the subject (Associated Press via Salt Lake Tribune):
"We want to win regardless of who it is and what the circumstances are...It just adds a little something to it, a little cherry on top."
We all know the numbers that Johnny Football put up in the 2012 college football season.
In one word, it's ridiculous.
However, facing the Oklahoma Sooners secondary might be one of his stiffest challenges yet.
Led by All-Big 12 performers Tony Jefferson (FS) and Aaron Colvin (CB), the Oklahoma defensive backfield should give us an interesting matchup to watch.
With two high-powered offenses on display, this Cotton Bowl will be special to watch.
On one side, you have the freshman. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has dazzled and wowed fans to the tune of 10 victories in his last 11 games.
On the other side is seasoned veteran Landry Jones with his cast of powerful receivers. Kenny Stills, Justin Brown, Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard have all tallied over 500 yards receiving this season.
Get your popcorn ready, folks. This should be a dandy.
If the BCS National Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama didn't exist, you'd have to figure that this matchup would be the next best thing.
Texas A&M's only losses on the season were against Florida and LSU. More recently, they won on the road at then-No. 1 Alabama. In fact, some analysts consider them the best team in the country as of today.
Oklahoma is no slouch, either. The team's two defeats have come against current No. 1 Notre Dame and Kansas State. The co-Big 12 regular-season champions have the talent to play with any team in the country.
A number of streaks will be on the line in the 2013 version of the Cotton Bowl.
The last three Heisman Trophy winners have won their bowl games (Mark Ingram, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III).