College football postseason bowl matchups are here and Texas has locked in some great games. The Valero Alamo Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, TicketCity Bowl, AT&T Cotton Bowl, and Meineke Car Care Bowl round out a nice slate of bowl games in Texas.
Here are your 2011-2012 Texas bowl game rankings:
5. Meineke Car Care Bowl - Texas A&M (6-6, 4-5 in Big 12) vs. Northwestern (6-6, 3-5 in Big Ten)
A virtual home game for the Aggies in Houston, but with Mike Sherman sent packing after another dismal season in College Station, the SEC-bound Aggies should be worried against a surging Wildcats team. After a 2-5 start, the Wildcats have won four of their final five games, including a win at then #10 Nebraska, 28-25, on Nov. 5. The Aggies started 5-2 and have sputtered late losing four of their final five games and can still taste the sour defeat at the hands of Texas 27-25 on Thanksgiving.
Prediction - Wildcats 31-27
4. Armed Forces Bowl - BYU (9-3) vs. Tulsa (8-4, 7-1 C-USA)
Both teams are coming into this matchup on fire. BYU has won eight of their last nine games and Tulsa has won seven of their last eight games. An "Armed Forces" Bowl not featuring any of the three Armed Forces schools (Air Force, Army, and Navy) should garner no attention, but wait, these teams can both light up the scoreboard at better than 30 points a game. Look for a high-scoring affair as Tulsa senior QB G.J. Kinne looks to end his career with a bang and a win against the "other" Cougars (lost to Houston 48-16 Nov. 25).
Prediction - Golden Hurricane 38-30
3. Alamo Bowl - Washington (7-5, 5-4 in Pac-10) vs. #12 Baylor (9-3, 6-3 in Big 12)
Well this game is on my watch list simply because of Heisman Trophy front-runner Baylor QB Robert Griffin III aka RG3 as they call him in Waco, Texas. The Bears are playing in the state of Texas and are coming off huge wins in recent weeks to then #5 Oklahoma and then #22 Texas as a part of a five-game winning streak in which RG3 and company have averaged 46.4 points per game. The Heisman hopeful Griffin III has racked up 4,642 total yards and 45 touchdowns to lead the Bears. The Huskies have lost four of their final six games after a 5-1 start and I just don't see the Bears losing back to back bowl games.
Prediction - Bears 45-20
2. TicketCity Bowl - #22 Penn State (9-3, 6-2 in Big Ten) vs. #19 Houston (12-1, 8-0 C-USA)
A tough way to end the season for Houston pits them in the TicketCity Bowl for NCAA All-Time Passing Leader Case Keenum's final game. A good game matchup has the high-powered Cougars facing a defensive minded Joe Paterno-less Nittany Lions team that has lost two of their three games since Paterno was fired. Only a four-hour drive up I-45 for Houston should give them the crowd advantage despite being so close to a trip to the BCS Sugar Bowl in New Orleans Jan. 3 if they had run the table and went 13-0. Penn State only allows 15.7 points per game (5th in NCAA) and Houston scores 50.8 points per game (1st in NCAA), so something has to give.
Prediction - Cougars 34-24
1. AT&T Cotton Bowl - #8 Kansas State (10-2, 7-2 in Big 12) vs. #6 Arkansas (10-2, 6-2 SEC)
A potential BCS game as both teams finish in the Top 8 in the Final BCS Standings and face off in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium in a juicy matchup. The Wildcats are led by dual threat QB Collin Klein (38 total TD) and have had a sensational year under veteran Head Coach Bill Snyder. The Razorbacks only losses all season were to #1 LSU and #2 Alabama and have held serve with tough wins against Texas A&M, Auburn and South Carolina. Tyler Wilson leads the Razorbacks with 3,422 passing yards and 22 TD passes and will sling the rock. Look for a high-scoring affair in a close game. Note: this is Arkansas' second game in Cowboys Stadium this season (1-0 with 42-38 win over Aggies).
Prediction - Wildcats 31-30