Texas Longhorns accept invitation to play the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl

Jonathan Ferrey

The Horns are indeed bound for San Antonio for a second year in a row.

Whatever drama there was in the announcement on Sunday evening that the Texas Longhorns will return to the Alamo Bowl this year to take on the high-flying Oregon Ducks was rather dissipated by the time of the official announcement.

Bowl projections early in the morning were pretty universal in anticipating the selection after the BCS-busting of Championship Saturday, an Austin American-Statesman report during the early evening cited a source close to the selection process, and then the expected selection of the Oklahoma Sooners for an at-large bid removed the final impediment for the Horns to make the short trip down I-35 yet again.

Many Texas fans, however, seem uncomfortable with the match up, worried that without the weather playing a role in the Alamodome, the prolific Oregon offense could find even more success than the Baylor Bears did on Saturday in frigid conditions in Waco.

Most the jokes revolve around some variation of Texas taking a worse loss in the Alamo Bowl than the Texas forces suffered against the Mexican army at the original Alamo Bowl.

And the rankings certainly support those who believe the Ducks are a significant danger to blow out the Longhorns -- head coach Mark Helfrich's team sits at No. 10 in the BCS standings, No. 10 in the AP Poll, and No. 11 in the S&P+ ratings. Head coach Mack Brown wasn't joking when he called facing Oregon a 'tremendous challenge."

Led by star quarterback Marcus Mariota and speedy offensive weapon De'Anthony Thomas, the Oregon offense is still producing at an extremely high level, averaging 46.8 points per game (third nationally) and 7.6 yards per play (second nationally), good enough to sit at No. 7 in the adjust S&P ratings.

The defense isn't a team weakness, either, as the unit led by senior safety Ifo Ekpre-Olomo gives up only 25.3 points per game despite the pace of the offense and ranks No. 38 in the S&P+ ratings.

Suffice it to say that looking at this game on its surface, unless the Ducks decide playing hard in this bowl is beneath them after hopes of a BCS bid or national championship appearance, there's certainly the possibility of a blowout, which has only happened once under Brown -- in the 1999 Cotton Bowl against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Overall, Brown's team are 10-4 in bowl games. The last loss, of course, was in the national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide to close out the 2009 season.

Stay tuned, as always, for in-depth previews and breakdowns of Oregon and how the Ducks match up with the Horns.

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