With only one regular season game left to play for the Texas Longhorns, the bowl projections for head coach Mack Brown's team range rarely widely given all the variables in play, from a Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl bid to the league's fourth bowl slot.
Let's take a look at all those variables and how they impact where the Longhorns play to end the season.
Right now, the SBNation.com projections have the Oklahoma State Cowboys playing in the Fiesta Bowl against the Northern Illinois Huskies -- most projections have the Huskies as the fourth at-large team. So if Texas somehow manages to beat Baylor on Saturday right after Oklahoma takes down Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game, then the Horns will probably find themselves facing off against Jordan Lynch and the MAC power.
The next potential slot is the Cotton Bowl (Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3), impacted by the possibility of Baylor receiving one of those at-large bids, as ESPN writer Mark Schlabach believes will happen. If Baylor wins and Oklahoma State wins, there's an outside shot that Texas could head back to the Metroplex for a third game this season.
However, that's not the most likely outcome, as a Texas win over Baylor and an Oklahoma State win over Oklahoma is the most likely to produce a Cotton Bowl trip for the Horns. If Texas loses and Oklahoma State wins, the Alamo Bowl will have the right to pick between the Sooners and the Longhorns.
Right now, SBNation.com, both ESPN writers, and SI have Oklahoma going against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl instead of taking Texas for a second straight year, which would drop the Horns to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against former rival Nebraska, the school that could never quite figure out how to beat Texas while in the Big 12 and is currently rather decimated by injuries at quarterback and along the offensive line and is fielding a defensive depth chart full of freshmen.
Is it fair that Texas could end up a lower-tier bowl than the team that it destroyed in the Cotton Bowl this season? A team that would finish with more conference losses than the Horns assuming that both lose this season? Could that be what head coach Bob Stoops sold his chin for? Just kidding, he never had a chin to sell and probably not a soul either.
As one might guess by the tone ending the preceding paragraph, no, that wouldn't be particularly fair, as it would mean that Texas is still being judged harshly for non-conference losses that basically happened with another defensive coordinator and so many months ago that those games have almost no bearing on current performance.
Of course, losing so many starters to injury in a season isn't exactly fair either, but these things happen and it's not like an Alamo Bowl appearance is going to convey some incredible prestige onto the football program.
So, as the most likely destination for the Horns, what exactly is the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl? Folks might remember it better as the Insight.com Bowl, the name it held 1997 to 2001 after its first iteration as the Copper Bowl. The beer and wings purveyor took over naming rights in 2012.
Held at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, last season's game featured a narrow Michigan State win over TCU and will be played on December 28 this season.
How do you see it going down, Texas fans?
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