The Sixth BCS Bowl Game: The Cotton Bowl

Kyle EggemeyerCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2008

Who is the only team to beat No. 2 Florida this year?

The Ole Miss Rebels.

Who is the only team to beat No. 3 Texas this year?

The Texas Tech Red Raiders.

These two teams will be playing in the AT&T Cotton Bowl held in Dallas, Texas on Jan. 2.  This will be the last Cotton Bowl played in the classic Cotton Bowl Stadium, as they will be moving to Dallas Stadium for next year's game.  This is a must watch game that should help determine which is more dominant: Big 12 offense or SEC defense. 

11-1 Texas Tech and 8-4 Ole Miss is an intriguing matchup.  Texas Tech's national title run came to an end after a crushing defeat by Oklahoma in Norman a few weeks ago.  The Red Raiders still appear to be recovering emotionally from that loss, as demonstrated by their close call with the Baylor Bears last week.

On the other hand, the Rebels capped off a five-game winning streak last week with a win over Mississippi State after starting the season with a dismal 3-4 record.

Both teams have handed a top-ranked team their only loss on the season, and both teams have also had their stumbles.  Either team could potentially be part of a BCS bowl if they were to have only been members of weaker conferences; Texas Tech has Oklahoma and Texas taking up both Big 12 bids, and Ole Miss has Florida and Alabama taking up both SEC bids. 

Texas Tech and Ole Miss are quality teams who are victims of a flawed system, and therefore they are meeting in a NON-BCS bowl game.  I can guarantee this game will provide more excitement than at least one BCS game, namely the Orange Bowl.

While we cannot change the BCS, we can realize that just because a bowl is not considered of BCS status, it doesn't mean we the fans cannot think of it as a BCS game.  Forget about the status and look at the matchups.  I would rather watch a good Cotton Bowl than a crappy Orange Bowl any day. 

This is a great game to end the 73-year-old tradition of the Cotton Bowl being played in the Cotton Bowl Stadium.  Congratulations to both teams on outstanding seasons, and I wish both Texas Tech and Ole Miss the best of luck.