Could the Texas Longhorns be headed to the Cotton Bowl?

Tim Heltman: US Presswire

Although the Texas Longhorns may not have had the season they had hoped, when one thinks about it, they have had the season that was expected.

Prior to the year, it was believed that the Horns would finish the season, another of rebuilding, with between eight and ten wins.  Today, with just one game remaining vs. the Kansas State Wildcats this evening, the Longhorns are sitting at 8-3. Again, if one is honest, that’s about what Texas fans expected, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not disappointed.

Nevertheless, if things play out the way that they’re expected to, the Longhorns could find themselves headed to their old home, the Cotton Bowl, this post-season.

Surprisingly, last night’s MAC championship game between the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Northern Illinois Huskies had a lot of impact on the Longhorns’ post-season future. A Kent State victory would have likely sent them to a BCS game, in turn knocking the Oklahoma Sooners out of an at-large bid and down the Cotton Bowl. This would have sent the Longhorns to the Alamo Bowl in all probability. However, this scenario didn’t come to pass as Northern Illinois defeated Kent State in 2OT.

The other game that Longhorn fans need to keep an eye on is the Sooners’ match-up with the TCU Horned Frogs this afternoon in Fort Worth. If TCU pulls off another upset, this too will keep the Sooners out of a BCS game and therefore send them to Dallas to play in the Cotton Bowl, again likely sending the Horns to the Alamo Bowl.

Ironically enough, the outcome of Texas’s own game tonight vs. Kansas State has less bearing on their bowl bid than the Sooners vs. TCU. A win or loss by the Longhorns wouldn’t affect their bowl standing nearly as much as the OU game.

If all happens according to plan (OU wins and Texas loses), and the Longhorns do indeed head to the Cotton Bowl, will they face their old rivals, the Texas A&M Aggies?

Not likely.

With the Aggies most likely headed to the Captial One Bowl, the LSU Tigers would be the Horns’ most likely opponent. Coincidentally, the Horns last Cotton Bowl appearance was a victory over the Tigers in 2002.

The Horns could also face the loser the SEC title game tonight between the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Georgia Bulldogs. The loser of the game could fall to the Cotton, knocking the Tigers out.

Nevertheless, the Tigers would certainly be the most favorable match-up for Texas.

Pretty crazy, but if all goes according to the way it’s expected, the Longhorns could find themselves headed to the Cotton Bowl, and after this season, fans should be very content with that bid.

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