The Cotton Bowl Game: The Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Mississippi (8-4) vs. Texas Tech (11-1)
Jan. 2, 2009, 2 EST
The Line: Texas Tech -4
This game has been moved from its normal New Year's Day slot to Jan. 2 and gets its own stage of sorts. While much of the American public has to work on this day, I'm not sure the move gets this game the viewing audience it deserves. This is one of the more anticipated games of the entire bowl season, as it pits two of the best conferences and two of the hotter teams in all of college football.
Ole Miss made huge strides in Houston Nutt's first year as Head Coach. The Rebels won their first SEC game in years and pulled off the biggest upset of the year by beating Florida outright as a 25-point underdog in Gainesville. While Mississippi lost four games, they were competitive in all of them and never quit on themselves or their fans.
No one can argue that Ole Miss amassed an impressive record, but only two of their wins came against teams with a winning record. They are going to need to beat one more if they want to be a bowl game winner this year.
Texas Tech held the number one ranking this year and finished with an identical record of the team they beat, Texas, but Texas is playing in a BCS Bowl game and Tech is relegated to a game that is perceived as a notch below.
The Red Raiders may come in with a chip on their shoulder, as their all-world QB Graham Harrell was snubbed from even as much as a trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation, but all-world WR Michael Crabtree won his share of postseason honors. Chances are Tech will be looking to make a statement.
See Mitch's Cotton Bowl pick against the spread.