And the Big 12 assistant with the biggest salary? Well, he only coached two games.
Diaz, Applewhite and Stoops were the only three Big 12 assistants to rank in the top 25 nationally in pay.
Other Big 12 assistants who top the half-a-million mark include Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel ($550,000), Texas wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt ($525,000), West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson ($501,000), West Virginia special teams coach Joe DeForest ($501,000) and Kansas defensive coordinator Dave Campo ($500,000).
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is the highest-paid assistant in the nation with a salary of $1,309,650.
Here are the highest-paid assistants for the nine Big 12 squads that reported salary:
- Baylor: Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett ($483,994)
- Iowa State: Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham ($375,000)
- Kansas: Defensive coordinator Dave Campo ($500,000)
- Kansas State: Co-offensive coordinators Dana Dimel/Del Miller and defensive coordinator Tom Hayes ($375,000)
- Oklahoma: Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops ($650,000)
- Oklahoma State: Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer ($462,000)
- Texas: Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite ($650,000)
- Texas Tech: Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt ($425,000)
- West Virginia: Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest ($501,000)
Here are some attractive storylines in the Big 12:
Four-star DT still tight with Texas?
This weekend marks the big banquet weekend for Texas, an important event when many commits come to Austin and several targets look to take official visit. With Mack Brown expected to announce his resignation very soon, this weekend could also serve as a time to keep an eye out for Texas commits who choose to reopen their recruiting because of Brown’s departure.
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- Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller feels like Bill Snyder's bowl record (6-9) doesn't represent the type of coach Synder is. Mueller hopes to improve that bowl record against Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, writes Ken Corbitt of the Topeka Capital-Journal.
- A strong performance at the end of the season helped boost Justin Gilbert into the Jim Thorpe award race, writes Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman.
- Oklahoma's strong finish, which included road wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma State, played a key role in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's decision to pick the Sooners. The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber have that and more in this Sooners' notebook.
- "It would be pretty huge, a big moment in my life," says Cyril Richardson about the prospect of winning the Outland Trophy, writes John Werner of the Waco Tribune.
- Quarterback Baker Mayfield has decided to transfer from Texas Tech, reports Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
- The uncertainty around Texas coach Mack Brown continues and he's scheduled to speak with the media during a Valero Alamo Bowl press conference today, reports Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News.
- Brown's career at UT has been one of extremes, writes Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News.
SAN ANTONIO -- Besieged Texas coach Mack Brown said Thursday he has no interest in discussing his job status or campaigning for his job and that he plans to meet with new athletic director Steve Patterson and university president Bill Powers about his future.
Brown, speaking at a Valero Alamo Bowl news conference, insisted nothing has changed.
"There's been a little speculation about my job situation," Brown said. "We're not here to talk about me. My situation has not changed. I have the best president in the country in Bill Powers. He's done a tremendous job. We've lost an iconic athletic director in DeLoss Dodds. He's been my boss for 16 years. We hired what I think is a great athletic director in Steve Patterson.
"Any time the athletic director changes, it changes the game. I will sit down and talk to him and Bill and discuss the direction we're going. I'm looking forward to my meeting with Bill and Steve and then move forward."
Brown, Powers and Patterson are scheduled to meet Friday, likely in the morning, to discuss Brown's future, according to a source.
As of late Thursday night, Brown also was set to visit Roderick Bernard, a Sharpstown High wide receiver who has committed to Texas, in Houston on Friday morning before returning to Austin to meet with several recruits, a source said.
It's unknown if Brown would meet with Patterson and Powers before or after his recruiting trip to Houston.
10. McCoy’s no-look TD pass at Baylor: The epitome of Case McCoy’s moxie magic. On 4th-and-goal down big in Waco, McCoy faked a handoff but the pass was well-covered so he scrambled to his left, but the run was blown up quickly. McCoy turned back and, amid good pressure, fired off a long pass to a wide-open Malcolm Brown for the score. It’s about as a tough a 2-yard touchdown as you’ll find, and McCoy probably had no business making the throw. But it worked.
8. Justin Gilbert pick-sixes McCoy: The phrase “slim margin for error” came up a lot in the final weeks of Texas’ season. This play was certainly indicative. Down 21-10 to Oklahoma State, Texas was driving to trim the deficit before halftime, but Gilbert baited McCoy into forcing a pass to Kendall Sanders along the sideline, then picked it off and ran it back 43 yards. There would be no coming back from 28-10 against Oklahoma State.
7. Jeffcoat finishes off the Sooners: We had to get one of Jackson Jeffcoat’s 12 sacks on the list. This one came on 4th-and-13 late in the fourth quarter against OU. Blake Bell, in the red zone and threatening to possibly cut Texas’ lead to 36-28, dropped back but had no chance. Cedric Reed’s rush forced Bell to his left, where Jeffcoat dropped him for a sack and a 12-yard loss to kill the Sooners’ last-ditch rally. One of many times Texas’ defensive end duo made a big play.
6. Taysom Hill’s first touchdown run: A sign of big, bad things to come for Texas’ defense. Hill faked a handoff on 3rd-and-2 in the first quarter and darted around his left tackle. Adrian Phillips took a bad angle and missed. Sheroid Evans and Josh Turner both dove for Hill’s legs and missed. He scooted 68 yards for the first of his three rushing touchdowns. It was the beginning of the end for defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
5. “Score pass” to beat West Virginia: Arguably Major Applewhite’s best play call of the season. The Longhorns’ first possession of overtime against West Virginia could’ve stalled after Brown was twice stopped on goal-line runs. But they caught WVU by surprise on 3rd-and-goal. McCoy faked a handoff and tossed a short pass to fullback Alex De La Torre for the 2-yard touchdown. The go-ahead score was DLT’s first career catch, and McCoy had missed on this exact same play vs. OU.
4. Ash goes down at BYU: We don’t know for certain when Ash suffered his concussion against BYU. But one play stands out: With less than nine minutes left in Provo, Ash scrambled out of the pocket and was hit hard from behind by end Bronson Kaufusi as another defender wrapped up his legs. Ash was helped up, went back down, knelt and put his head down as trainers rushed out. He missed the rest of the game and nearly the entire rest of the season.
3. McCoy’s Red River dime: In another example of McCoy’s infinite irrational confidence, he chucked a 30-yard pass down the sideline and perfectly hit Marcus Johnson in stride off a wheel route. Johnson burned his defender for a 59-yard score to put Texas ahead 17-3. It was a real game-changer both for momentum and for the confidence of the Longhorn offense.
2. The near-fumble at Iowa State: Paul Rhoads and his legion of Cyclone fans had a hard time getting over this one. It’s entirely possible Johnathan Gray lost a fumble at the goal line with less than four minutes left, but no camera angle could confirm this to game officials. and McCoy would later score. Imagine where this season would’ve headed had ISU won the review and the game, sending Texas to a 2-3 record.
1. Chris Whaley’s INT for a TD against Oklahoma: No play better sums up Texas’ six-game Big 12 win streak. Whaley, the 295-pound defensive tackle, slipped back into coverage in a heavy blitz front. Adrian Phillips got to Blake Bell, whose pass sailed wide and right into Whaley’s hands. He rumbled 31 yards for the touchdown that gave Texas a stunning 10-3 lead. Just a crazy, inexplicable play that led to an unexpected rout.
It isn’t just the SEC. The depth of the outgoing QB class means several other high-end programs, including Clemson and Texas, could have first-time starters next season.
UCLA could lose Brett Hundley, if he decides to go pro, but we’ll exclude him for now. Our draft analysts have told me he would be better off returning to school, like Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. But the top of the QB list is weak enough that if the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Hundley has designs on going early, it could be the right time.
Here are the top 10 QB transitions and the succession plans for those teams.
In: Kenny Hill or Kyle Allen
Manziel has not made an announcement about next season, but I’ve been given zero indication that he is even considering a return to school. So how do you go about replacing (this year’s bowl notwithstanding) about 10,000 yards and 88 touchdowns in two seasons? In short, you don’t. Texas A&M’s confidence heading into next year is based on how it has and continues to recruit all positions -- including quarterback.
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Most intriguing game?
Jake Trotter: Kansas State-Michigan could end up being a wild shootout in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and the AT&T Cotton Bowl features two evenly matched, high-quality teams in Oklahoma State and Missouri. But anytime you can get two of the most storied programs together on the same field, it automatically becomes very intriguing. Even if the Alabama is a two-touchdown favorite over Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Brandon Chatmon: Oklahoma against Alabama in a BCS game? Sign me up! Nobody thinks the Sooners have a chance, and they might not. But these two tradition-rich programs don’t meet often and there’s a bunch of prideful people in both locker rooms who will want to represent their conferences well. OSU-Missouri is interesting, Texas-Oregon should be fun but nothing tops a meeting between two of the winningest college football programs of all time.
Max Olson: Oklahoma State-Missouri in the Cotton Bowl. I’m sorry, I can’t choose the Sugar Bowl, because the Sooners have no chance in that game. The Big 12 realignment storylines aside, OSU-Mizzou is just a really nice pairing of balanced teams who are both BCS bowl-caliber. In fact, both would’ve been playing in BCS bowls had they not suffered losses last weekend. And Dorial Green-Beckham vs. Justin Gilbert should be worth the price of admission.
Least intriguing game?
Trotter: Even though it’s a double-digit underdog in three of its six bowl games, the Big 12 doesn’t have a game that’s not intriguing. But I’m not sure Central Florida can hang with Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, which could end up resembling the Oklahoma-UConn siesta of 2010.
Chatmon: Watching Baylor is never boring. Yet their Fiesta Bowl matchup with UCF sits at the bottom of the list of games that will make you want grab a seat and some popcorn with the knowledge you’re going to see a battle. The Bears offense is explosive and fun to watch but things could get out of hand if Bryce Petty and Co. are operating as efficiently as they have for the majority of the season.
Olson: Kansas State-Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The obvious answer is probably the Fiesta Bowl, but Blake Bortles and UCF could make that one interesting. Michigan has lost four of its last five and that lone victory came in triple OT against Northwestern. Kansas State probably has to like this matchup and its chances of getting its first bowl win since 2002.
Of Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, who has the best chance of pulling an upset?
Trotter: It would be great if the Longhorns could send Mack Brown out with a win over Oregon, but I just don’t see enough points in the Texas offense. I’m not sure Tech can slow down Arizona State, either. So I’ll go with Oklahoma. Who knows what’s going on with Nick Saban, and it’s possible Alabama isn’t as locked in for this game having gotten knocked out of the national title game in the Iron Bowl.
Chatmon: The Red Raiders will have the best shot because beating Arizona State isn’t the same task as bringing down Oregon or Alabama, two teams that have cemented themselves among the nation’s top 10 for the past few seasons. Texas Tech is coming off a five-game losing streak to end the year but still features an explosive offense with the potential to create problems for any defense. And Kliff Kingsbury will have a creative trick or two up his sleeve.
Olson: Texas Tech. The other two games are such mismatches that I have to go with the Red Raiders, even despite their five-game slide. If any Big 12 team needed a month off to regroup, review and improve, it’s Tech. We saw what Kliff Kingsbury did to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl last year when given several weeks to prep. If he can get the quarterback situation figured out and Matt Wallerstedt can get his defense to defend the run much better, an upset wouldn’t shock me.
Player to watch?
Trotter: The only way Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State was with big plays from Jalen Saunders. The only chance the Sooners have against Alabama is if Saunders can pull off more big plays, both at receiver and in the kicking game. He is OU’s best chance in this game.
Chatmon: Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. How could you not be looking forward to watching Gilbert take on Missouri’s receivers, particularly Dorial Green-Beckham ? The Cowboys senior has played like an elite corner this season and DBG is emerging as the type of receiver everyone expected him to be when he was one of the nation’s top recruits in the Class of 2012. Basically, it’s an opportunity to watch two future NFL players compete on one of college football’s top stages.
Olson: Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk. Of all the Big 12 players going bowling, it’s Seastrunk and Jace Amaro I’ll be watching because both could opt to go pro early after one final game. Seastrunk will be 100 percent healthy by January, Baylor won’t be afraid to run it 60 times if it’s working (remember the UCLA game last year?) and a huge game on this stage could help his draft stock and sway him to enter the draft. If he comes back, it’s huge for the Bears and for the Big 12.
2. The secrecy pledge is a study in chutzpah, asking media members that do nothing but beat the drum for the Heisman 12 months a year not to talk about their individual vote. The Heisman people also just shoved the pledge under the voter’s nose as he/she cast the electronic ballot: sign this or else, pal. That’s what bullies do. Oh yeah, my second-place vote went to a tattooed quarterback who didn’t win a third national championship this year. And if you led the FBS in rushing, I might have voted you third.
3. I have tried very hard not to get sucked into the Nick-Saban-to-Texas vortex, because I think it’s a case of Texas people saying what they want to hear, combined with Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, roiling the waters on behalf of his client. And did Texas really say that they want to hire a head coach who has won a Super Bowl or a BCS title? If nothing else, that shows a lack of imagination. How many coaches who have won either had done so before that team/school hired them? One: Saban.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The road to the interstate hasn't yet been blocked. Flights still leave the airport daily. Gas stations regularly pump unleaded for around $3 a gallon. And the grocery stores here remained stocked with canned goods and water.
If a disaster is about to occur at the University of Alabama -- and Nick Saban leaving for Texas would qualify -- you wouldn't know it in the sober expression of the town the school inhabits.
The campus is quiet. The most noticeable buzz comes from libraries and coffeehouses, where a growing number of students twitch and hurriedly whisper to one another with a book in one hand and caffeine in another. The only audible plea for an extension is directed at professors as finals are being administered here this week.
Make no mistake, if Saban left, the school and the city of Tuscaloosa would be devastated. He's the largest and most important figure here, without question. His meaning to the community cannot be understated.
It goes beyond coaching a handful of games each fall. This is a town that has always identified with coaches. Paul W. Bryant Drive cuts through the center of UA's campus and runs alongside Paul W. Bryant Museum, and a street over you'll find a statue of Paul W. Bryant standing only a few yards from a bronzed statue of Nicholas L. Saban.
There hasn't yet been a real threat to the statue and the promise it holds. Saban's feet remained entrenched at Alabama amid the swirl of rumors and speculation. As Bill Battle, the school's athletic director, said on Wednesday, "It's business as usual," as the recruiting season kicks into high gear and bowl practice remains a week or so away.
But until Saban signs an extension to stay at Alabama, the level of anxiety will grow here and abroad. The more days that pass until a deal is reached, the more frenzied the rumor mill will become.
The fact remains that Tuscaloosa has been Saban's longest stop as a head coach, and even after seven years, there are many who wonder what kind of loyalty to Alabama exists in him. Would a 62-year-old man -- a man who's "too damn old" by his own estimation -- embark on a rebuilding project at Texas? Would he leave a finely tuned dynasty he's built in Tuscaloosa for a giant question mark in Austin?
Until everything is said and done, there's no way of knowing. There are those here who scoff at the idea that an extension would do anything to stamp out the Saban-to-Texas speculation. Until the Longhorns have a replacement for Mack Brown, the talk will likely continue.
But the truth is this is nothing new. People here are used to Saban's name coming up for coaching jobs, whether it's in college or pros. It was only some eight months ago that he signed an extension through 2020, and even then it wasn't enough to keep his name out of coaching searches.
Frankly, what's happening now is the price of doing business in college football. Alabama and its fans understand that. There won't be any mad dash for supplies around Tuscaloosa between now and the end of this saga. There hasn't been a single bonfire or couch burned in protest.
This is the rumor mill at work, and until it's over we'll all find a way to survive.
The Nick Saban-to-Texas circus makes for some high-flying entertainment while we wait for actual games to resume in college football.
Saban is one of the biggest names in coaching, and the Texas job -- assuming Mack Brown does indeed retire as multiple reports say he will -- is one of the biggest jobs in coaching.
As the saying goes, they do everything a little bigger in Texas.
So what is Saban doing while reports, speculation and rumors run rampant that he's headed to Texas?
He's doing one of the things he does best -- recruit. And that's all he's doing.
His focus right now is seeing as many recruits in a day as he can possibly see. He's not thinking about the Texas job, and he's not thinking about an extension at Alabama.
Saban practices what he preaches, and that's living in a 3-foot prism right in front of him.
Having talked to multiple people close to Saban and close to this situation, nobody I trust expects him to leave for Texas.
Those same people absolutely expect Texas to throw some crazy money at Saban, but there's a reason there are ongoing discussions right now between Saban's representatives and Alabama officials.
Alabama's not going to sit idly by and let Saban walk, not with everything he's meant to that university.
Besides, the only possible way that Saban would leave is if Alabama royally screwed up this process, or if by some chance, there were major administrative changes at the top of the university that adversely affected the way Saban wants to run his program.
Don't look for either to happen.
Alabama knows what a commodity it has in Saban, and the guy who hired him, Robert Witt, is now the chancellor of the University of Alabama three-campus system. They've maintained a close relationship and have a mutual respect for each other.
Stability, Please (Austin-ish) In his tenure at Texas, Mack Brown has garnered a national championship, the 09 Big XII title, another 4 Big XII South titles, 15 bowl appearances, and this year came within a game of winning the Big XII outright. If UT fires/retires him, doesn't that just repeat the blunder Texas made when they fired Fred Akers and entered the Dark Ages for a decade?
Brandon Chatmon The potential for that to happen is there, no question. I'd agree sometimes you don't realize how good you have it until things change. It all depends on who would be the replacement hire.
Coach Claus (North Arctic State) OK, so I gave FSU and Auburn a chance at the NC, I gave millions of fans what they wanted and kept 'Bama out of the NC, the Buckeyes were on the naughty list so I gave them coal from Michigan State, I gave a couple schools their first-ever BCS bowls. What's left on the list?
Brandon Chatmon My million dollar check. I haven't got that yet, but you have until the 25th, Coach Claus, so make it happen.
Bobby (Waco) Bedlam obviously shuffled the BCS slots a bit, but do you think Baylor would have a better chance against Alabama than OU?
Brandon Chatmon Probably. The Baylor Bears are the Big 12 champions for a reason.
Tony (Richmond, CA) How surprised are you that OU left Stillwater with a victory?
Brandon Chatmon I was very surprised. Particularly with the way they did it, having the offense cruise down the field at the end. Impressive win for the Sooners.
Chuck (WVU) The Mountaineers play a pretty tough schedule next year. What record does Dana Holgorsen have to get to keep his job? If we go bowling, I think he stays. Even we if we go 5-7 and are competitive against the top schools, I think he still might get another year. Your thoughts?
Brandon Chatmon I think WVU needs to make a bowl game next season, so 6-6. I like the young players on the roster but they really need a quarterback. I do think Holgorsen is a good guy for the job though, he understands what it takes to win, particularly in the Big 12. I wouldn't be in a hurry to cast him aside if I'm WVU.
Joseph (Minnesota) When the Big 12 has a high scoring game, there is no defense. When the SEC has a high scoring games, then it is just a great football game with great offenses. What gives?
Brandon Chatmon I've wondered the same thing. Though I don't really hear people trying to play the "SEC defense is second to none" card too much anymore.
Chase (Dallas) Gaze into your crystal ball and tell was what the Big 12 record will be for the bowl games.
Brandon Chatmon Good question, I'll say 3-3 but could easily be 1-5 in my opinion. Baylor is my lone lock.
Big 12 champ Baylor led the league with a school-record 10 first team players and earned three individual awards, including Coach of the Year (Art Briles) and Offensive Lineman of the Year (guard Cyril Richardson).
Oklahoma State had a league-high 11 players named to the first or second teams. The awards were voted on by the league’s coaches.
Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year
Art Briles, Baylor
Defensive Lineman of the Year
Ryan Mueller, Kansas State
Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Charles Sims, West Virginia
Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Jason Verrett, TCU; Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Offensive Freshman of the Year
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech
Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Isaiah Johnson, Kansas
Offensive Player of the Year
Bryce Petty, Baylor
Defensive Freshman of the Year
Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma
Offensive lineman of the Year
Cyril Richardson, Baylor
Special teams Player of the Year
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
QB – Bryce Petty, Baylor
RB – Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
RB – Charles Sims, West Virginia
FB – Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR – Antwan Goodley, Baylor
WR - Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
WR – Tevin Reese, Baylor
TE - Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL – Spencer Drango, Baylor
OL – B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OL - Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL - Cyril Richardson, Baylor
OL - Parker Graham, Oklahoma State
PK –Anthony Fera, Texas
KR/PR – Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
DL - Ryan Mueller, Kansas State
DL - Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
DL – Chris McAllister, Baylor
DL - Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
DL - Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
LB - Jeremiah George, Iowa State
LB – Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State
LB – Eddie Lackey, Baylor
DB – Jason Verrett, TCU
DB – Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
DB – Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
DB – Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
DB – Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
P – Spencer Roth, Baylor
QB – Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
RB – James Sims, Kansas
RB – Malcolm Brown, Texas
FB – Kye Staley, Oklahoma State
WR – Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
WR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
WR – Jaxon Shipley, Texas
TE – E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State
OL – Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
OL – Daryl Williams, Oklahoma
OL – Donald Hawkins, Texas
OL – Trey Hopkins, Texas
OL - Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
PK –Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
KR/PR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
DL – Tyler Johnson, Oklahoma State
DL – Chucky Hunter, TCU
DL – Cedric Reed, Texas
DL – Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech
DL – Will Clarke, West Virginia
LB – Ben Heeney, Kansas
LB – Eric Striker, Oklahoma
LB – Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma State
DB – Jacques Washington, Iowa State
DB – Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State
DB – Sam Carter, TCU
DB – Carrington Byndom, Texas
DB – Darwin Cook, West Virginia
P – Nick O’Toole, West Virginia
FPI is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the elements of team offensive, defensive and special teams performance (adjusted for each opponent) that correlate most with future results. Each team’s FPI is used to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup between two teams, as well as the percentage chance of each team winning.
According to FPI, the two most lopsided bowl games involve Big 12 teams, and not in the good way.
FPI gives Oregon a 91 percent chance to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl, and Arizona State equally a 91 percent chance to defeat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.
The Big 12, however, is involved in the two most evenly matched games, as well. FPI gives Kansas State just a 53 percent chance of beating Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and Oklahoma State (despite being 1-point underdogs) a 54 percent chance of defeating Missouri in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
The Cotton Bowl, by the way, is one of only four bowl games with a matchup of teams both ranked in the FPI top 20. The others include the Discover Orange Bowl (Ohio State-Clemson), Capital One Bowl (South Carolina-Wisconsin) and, of course, the VIZIO BCS National Championship (Auburn-Florida State).