Oklahoma State-Arizona: Could the Cowboys Make the Wildcats Remember the Alamo?

Lake CruiseAnalyst IDecember 17, 2010

Sept. 25, 2010: Arizona Wildcats cheerleaders perform in Tuscon at the half.  They'll be in San Antonio with the Alamo Bowl entourage.
Sept. 25, 2010: Arizona Wildcats cheerleaders perform in Tuscon at the half. They'll be in San Antonio with the Alamo Bowl entourage.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Shootout at the OK Corral, the football version of the movie, is coming to San Antonio. There will be two teams with potent passing attacks in the Alamo Bowl this year.  In town are the Oklahoma State University Cowboys and the University of Arizona Wildcats.   

Riding their offense’s horses into town from Stillwater, Oklahoma, they wear orange and black.  You know what they say about black-wearing Cowboys...“They can ball.”  They are the favorites in the Alamo Bowl, the villains—the Clanton clan riding into Tombstone, Ariz., looking for the Earp family. 

They’ll meet up with the underdogs, the Arizona Wildcats.  The 'Cats are the Earps.  The Clantons and the Earps, Wyatt Earp in specific, are known for their shootout in Tombstone. 

San Antonio is known for one of history’s most famous shootouts.  “Remember the Alamo.”  Being a football shootout, this Big 12, Pac-10 Conference collision could indeed be called the “Battle of the Alamo.” 

A football team called the Cowboys is coming to take over the Alamo City.  It’s probably a different team, though, than the one you’re thinking of.  At 10-2 (6-2), Oklahoma State University is bringing the No. 1 offense in the nation (Football Bowl Subdivision). 

The University of Arizona Wildcats 7-5 (4-5) boast the No. 9 passing attack in the FBS.  Quarterback Nick Foles is capable of engaging in a shootout.

National Coach of the Year, Chip Kelly, gave a lot of praise to him:

“I haven’t seen a quarterback play like that in a long time,” Kelly said.  The quote came after Foles lit the Oregon Ducks up for 448 yards passing in the loss to Oregon.

Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, is in his first year on the job.  Is it too soon to ask for a raise after three months on a job?  I’d do it, if I was Holgorsen.  Billionaire T. Boone Pickens, the famous OSU philanthropist, can afford to pay him more than OSU.

Holgorsen oversees three of the most talented players and spread attack offenses in the world. 

The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL had a Hall of Fame Big Three in Troy Aikman, Michael Irving and Emmett Smith.  The OSU Cowboys have The Big Three of the Big 12 Conference in Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter.

Weeden is the first quarterback at Oklahoma State to throw for over 4,000 yards.  Setting a school record with 32 touchdowns, he was a minor league pitcher.

Playing pitch and catch quite often, Weeden and Blackmon form one of the most lethal combinations in college football.  They both suffered injuries against OU, but should be back and healthy in the Alamo Bowl.

An outstanding student, Kendall Hunter is class personified.  He’s a classy alley runner, too.  He bowled defenders over on his way to winning the Big 12 rushing title for the second time.

Arizona faced the best offense in the nation, perhaps, in Oregon.  The Ducks handed them a 48-29 defeat.  The University of Washington Huskies had a better Pac-10 record than the Wildcats, but Alamo Bowl officials picked Arizona.

Why? Maybe because Arizona is closer to San Antonio.  Or could it be the fact Washington lost to the 'Cats, 44-14?  Probably both.  That’s a sound whipping.

“Whopping” is one of the most overused words when it comes to large amounts of yards or scores in football.  But, whopping is totally appropriate when discussing the yardage amassed by the Oklahoma Sooners against the Cowboys this year—588.

In the Bedlam Series game, Oklahoma walloped the Midwestern Cowboys with 468 yards passing.  Ring the alarm.  The Arizona Wildcats are ninth in the nation in passing offense. 

At 8 p.m. CT on Dec. 29, on downtown’s outskirts, the Alamodome will be rocking with a bunch of Oklahomans passing through town.  Arizona will be represented as well.

Before then, I’d imagine a bunch of people will attend the functions including the Scholarship Awards Luncheon (Dec. 15) and Team Day at Sea World.  The pep rally at Arneson River Theater on Monday the 27th should be entertaining.

Although they’ve been to five straight entertaining bowl games under Gundy, OSU has lost their last two.  To Oregon in the Holiday Bowl and Mississippi in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, they faltered.

They appear to have the advantage over Arizona.  The Wildcats are 7-5.  OSU lost to Big 12 behemoths—Nebraska and Oklahoma.  Gundy's brother, Cale, started at quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners in the 1990s.  He is now OU’s running backs coach.

Preseason experts picked the Cowboys to finish somewhere in the middle of the conference.  They finished in a tie for first place with Oklahoma and Texas A&M.  Oklahoma won the tiebreaker, the Big 12 Championship Game and the BCS bid.

There wasn’t any tiebreaking necessary in the Pac-10, where No. 2 Oregon dominated and faces Auburn for the national championship. The Wildcats finished fifth in the conference.

Big 12 champion Bob Stoops’ younger brother is Mike Stoops, Arizona’s head coach. 

I have a feeling Gundy has seen enough of the Stoops brothers for this season.  Bob’s Oklahoma Sooners knocked the Cowboys out of the Big 12 championship race by winning in Stillwater in the last game of the regular season.

“Fatigue may have played a role in that.  It all just kind of piled up,” Gundy said about the loss.  His offense bogged down or scored quickly, and that left the defense on the field a lot.  It was a summary of the reasons for both their losses.

I could go “Reasoning on the Riverwalk” all week with both OSU and AU fans in San Antonio.  Here are my reasons, meanwhile, for picking the team I picked to win this game.

Prediction: Offensive minds like Holgerson and Gundy will be doubly dangerous to defensive coordinators with three weeks to prepare a scheme.  Gundy is looking to rebound from back-to-back bowl losses.  Advantage, Oklahoma State. 

The Cowboys are the No. 14 ranked team in the BCS; Arizona is unranked.  This will be the fifth consecutive bowl game for the Cowboys—a school record.  OSU will win it in a wild one, 45-35.