Breaking Down Texas’ Bowl Game Scenarios

shipley 2222Longhorn fans, and even the Longhorns themselves, will be watching in earnest as Oklahoma battles Oklahoma State right before Texas takes the icy field in Waco.

Given that Oklahoma faces Oklahoma State at 11 a.m., two-and-a-half hours before the Longhorns face the Bears, both Texas and Baylor should know exactly what’s on the line shortly before kickoff; either a Fiesta Bowl or Cotton Bowl berth. If the Sooners come out the victor, the game in Waco will be for a place in the coveted BCS bowl and sole champions of the Big 12. If the Cowboys win, the game will be for a Cotton Bowl berth and a share of the conference championship.

Who will be the foes?

Fiesta Bowl Trophy

If Texas ends up in the Fiesta Bowl, Northern Illinois’ game Friday night against Bowling Green will decide the opponent.

The Fiesta Bowl has the final at-large selection, and if the Huskies defeat Bowling Green, they automatically qualify for their second-straight BCS bowl and will likely fall to the Fiesta Bowl. If the Huskies lose, the next likely opponent will be the AAC (formerly the Big East) conference champ, which is likely to be Central Florida.


Ironically, if Texas is Cotton Bowl bound, a more desirable opponent will fall into their laps. The Cotton Bowl matches up the #2 Big 12 team against the SEC Western Division runner up. Given that the SEC will have two BCS Bowl berths (Alabama and the SEC Conference Champion), LSU is the likely opponent in the Cotton Bowl.

(NOTE: Despite the Cotton Bowl’s propensity to select only teams from the SEC West, many prognosticators are suggesting Missouri or South Carolina could end up here, which is something to keep an eye on.)

Worst case scenario, if Texas loses to Baylor, no matter the victor of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game, the Longhorns will be headed to Phoenix to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. There the Longhorns will face either Michigan or old Big 12 rival Nebraska. Either would be a compelling storyline, given Texas' late-game Rose Bowl victory over Michigan in 2004, and the mutual hatred between the Huskers and Longhorns.

Many may hope for the more prestigious and closer proximity Alamo Bowl, but given Texas’ overall rank, and the fact that they played there last season, this is highly unlikely.

Regardless of what happens in the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game, the game against Baylor will be for a conference championship. If the Longhorns win, the number 13 will appear in the “Conference Championships” section of DKR in spite of a Cowboys victory.

“I will talk to them about the bowl options that are out there,” Mack Brown said. “It’s up to you all (the players) to be in the best bowl that you can, and I will tell them that beating Baylor is the only thing that helps you.”

Outcomes Bowl Opponent
Texas wins Oklahoma wins Fiesta Bowl Northern Illinois orCentral Florida
Texas wins Oklahoma State wins Cotton Bowl LSU
Texas loses Oklahoma wins or loses Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Michigan orNebraska

Brian Kendall

Part-time journalist turned full-time blogger, Brian is an online staff writer at Horns Illustrated and serves as senior staff writer for digital marketing agency Speak Social. Brian currently resides in Austin and you can read his blog at the following address: