Sunday, November 13, 2011
Bowl game could pair OU, Nebraska
By Jake Trotter
The Sooners obviously will be disappointed if they don't make the BCS national championship game. But there could be a worthy consolation prize waiting for them in the Fiesta Bowl.
Another "Battle of the Big Reds."
Yes, the Fiesta Bowl has its eyes on pairing Oklahoma with Nebraska if the Cornhuskers are eligible for a BCS bowl at-large berth, SoonerNation has learned.
Should OU lose in Bedlam -- or win and fail to reach the national title game -- the Sooners are a lock for the Fiesta, provided they defeat Baylor and Iowa State.
Even though OU has been to Glendale three of the last five years, the Fiesta Bowl is still committed to snatching the Sooners if available.
Fiesta Bowl officials are concerned about OU fans feeling some fatigue about another trip to Arizona. The Sooners hammered Connecticut there last year, but the school fell well short of selling out its ticket allotment.
The Fiesta, however, believes that a potential matchup with former conference rivals Oklahoma and Nebraska would become a hot ticket for both fan bases and generate big TV ratings nationally.
With the first BCS at-large selection on the board this year, the Fiesta can make it happen. Of course, Nebraska has to do its part. To be eligible for an at-large berth, a team has to win nine games and finish in the top 14 of the BCS.
At the moment, the Huskers have eight wins and are ranked No. 16. If they beat Michigan and Iowa to end the regular season, they'll be 10-2 and ranked well inside the top 14. That might not be enough to get to the Big Ten championship game. But it will be more than enough to make Nebraska an attractive BCS at-large selection.
The Huskers could still end up winning the Big Ten and making the Rose Bowl. And the Sooners could still make it to the national title game.
But if neither happens, both could have one big-time consolation matchup. And one of college football's former great rivalries could have another day in The Valley of the Sun.
Jake Trotter covers University of Oklahoma football for SoonerNation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. and look for answers every Friday.
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