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Predictions 101 — Cotton Bowl

Texas A&M v Alabama Getty Images

No. 10 Texas A&M vs. No. 12 Oklahoma
Fri., Jan. 4 – 8 p.m. ET, FOX
Arlington, Texas – Cowboys Stadium

In time the Sooners’ outrage over being knocked out of the BCS by Northern Illinois will subside. The players aren’t really affected by the payouts that really make the BCS the BCS. (Well … let’s assume they aren’t being affected by the loss of revenue.)

Seriously, what’s not to like? You get to play at the most impressive football stadium in the world, against the Heisman Trophy winner, who plays for a former conference rival that ditched your league to go play with the arrogant kids in the SEC. Geez, where do we sign up?

There will be some big time star power in Jerry’s house. Of course, it starts with Aggie quarterback “Johnny Football” Manziel, the redshirt freshman that made a habit out of making history.

With Manziel at the helm, Texas A&M (10-2) is poised to become a fixture among the game’s elite programs. Quarterbacks who can account for 4,600 yards (3,419 passing and 1,181 rushing) and 43 touchdowns were previously limited to fantasies.

But Manziel’s ultra-experienced counterpart, Sooner signalcaller Landry Jones is more than capable of stealing the show to run his record to 4-0 as a postseason starter.

To do that, Jones and his cohorts up front will have to account for Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore on every snap. Moore has been a terror in opposing backfields, finishing the regular season with 20 tackles for losses, including 12.5 sacks.

While leading Oklahoma (10-2) to season that was only marred by losses to undefeated Notre Dame and Big 12 champ Kansas State, Jones caught fire down the stretch, passing for 500 or more yards in two of his last three games. He expertly spreads the football around and there’s no reason to expect him to not be able to trade blows with the Aggies.

We see the determining factor being the Texas A&M offensive line’s ability to handle the Oklahoma front seven. The Sooners are better equipped to defend against the pass than the run. Manziel & Co. can do both, but their machine becomes even more dangerous if the ground game gets going first.

Opening point spread: Texas A&M by 3

The pick: Texas A&M 36-34

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4 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Cotton Bowl”
  1. southernpatriots says: Dec 4, 2012 2:17 AM

    John: Another very good analysis and good prediction. Landry for the Sooners has been hot. Manziel has been white hot. A real good defense can slow him down and render his less effective as it usually can a great offense, but he can break free with a run or pass to make the difference on a critical 3rd down to keep a drive going.

    Aggies 38 – 31.

  2. rsmeans says: Dec 4, 2012 2:25 AM

    Oklahoma has always been overrated and not an elite team since 2000. Their days in the sun are gone forever. It is Texas AM whose days among the elite are just starting that has a gripe. TAM 49 Oklahoma 21.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 4, 2012 10:37 AM

    I feel this is a very close game. Both teams have very good offenses. The Aggies defense has shown the inability to stop a very good passing attack though (La Tech), but OU is 81st in the country agaisnt the run and the Aggies are 13th in the country running the ball. Manziel is a freak on 3rd down… Against Mizzou the Aggies converted 13 of 14 3rds downs while he was in the game… The Aggies lead the nation in 3rd down conversion percentage, but OU is very good there as well.

    Like JT said… if the Aggies establish the running game early, it will be a long day for the Sooners. But you can’t have too big a lead against a team that throws it as well as the Sooners.

    Might come down to who has the ball last…

  4. afsgtret says: Dec 6, 2012 4:41 PM

    28pts. bet you wont ever get a job as a oddsmaker in vegas. thats crazy when 2 good teams meet each other. vegas started at a@m at -3. if you are that sure you better drop a bundle on A@M.

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