A pair of old Big 12 rivals are set to square off in the Texas Bowl.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys, who still reside in the Big 12, used a four-game winning streak to reach eight victories for the 10th time during Mike Gundy's tenure. The Cowboys have also played well in the postseason, as they own a three-game victorious run in bowl games.
Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M Aggies may be the best 7-5 FBS team, as all of their defeats came to top-10 teams.
This will be the first meeting between the Cowboys and Aggies since Texas A&M left for the SEC ahead of the 2012 campaign.
Texas Bowl Information
Date: Friday, December 27
Start Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
Odds (via Caesars): Texas A&M (-6.5); Over/Under: 53.5
Texas A&M owns the worse record but is favored by close to a touchdown because of its difficult schedule. The Aggies had to play the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers in the SEC West, the Georgia Bulldogs in a SEC crossover and the Clemson Tigers in nonconference action.
They finished the regular season by losing 50-7 to LSU, a game in which they were outgained 553-169.
Oklahoma State is on a more level playing field with Texas A&M, but it could still pose a tremendous challenge. Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard is the main attraction on their roster. He leads the FBS in rushing with 1,936 yards.
The Alberta, Canada, native recorded triple digits on the ground in all but one game and has seven multi-touchdown performances. A year ago in the Liberty Bowl, the junior posted 145 rushing yards on 18 carries in a 38-33 win over the Missouri Tigers.
Hubbard should be the focal point of Oklahoma State's offensive game plan because freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders is dealing with a thumb injury. Gundy confirmed during a recent news conference that Sanders and Dru Brown would split time in the pocket, per 247Sports' Josh Harvey.
"We will play both guys," Gundy said. "[Spencer] just got back to practicing. He got his cast off and got back out there. We need to watch him and see where he is at, but I would fully expect both players to play in the game."
There are no doubts about Texas A&M's quarterback situation, as Kellen Mond will attempt to use the Texas Bowl as a springboard to his senior season.
A&M plays a much more reasonable schedule next season, with just the three top SEC West programs on it, so it could be set for an improvement to 9-3 or 10-2.
Before suffering the loss to LSU, the junior racked up four consecutive 200-yard games in which he did not throw an interception. Mond has not been overpowering, but he does carry experience and he is not dealing with an injury concern, like Oklahoma State is at the position.
The Big 12 side allows 267.1 passing yards per contest and conceded more than 34 points in each of its four defeats.
In total, the Cowboys give up 418.1 total yards per game, which is 68 yards more than Texas A&M allows. If Mond takes advantage of Oklahoma State's poor defense, A&M has a chance to run away with the contest.
However, Hubbard could control his matchup against an Aggies rushing defense that let up 225 rushing yards to LSU and Georgia. Given the explosiveness of both key players, the over feels like the safest bet for the Texas Bowl since it sits at 53.5.
The Cowboys are capable of pulling off the upset since they won four of their last five and own three straight bowl wins, but it may be tough for them to overcome such poor defensive totals.