Not so sweet, OU heads to Cotton

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners have finally run out of BCS selection luck, as cinderella Northern Illinois has secured an automatic spot in one of the big bowls and they're instead headed to the Cotton Bowl.

They'll take on former Big 12 foe Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Jan. 4, 2013 inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"Our players are enthusiastic about winning another Big 12 Championship and look forward to competing against Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "The Cotton Bowl has long been a marquee postseason destination, and we're excited about being selected to play there a second time. Cowboys Stadium is a great venue, and I know Sooner fans will be excited to make the trip to support us."

OU, co-champions of the Big 12 Conference, could have claimed the automatic bid had Texas beaten Kansas State last night, but that didn't happen.

It could have likely locked up a BCS at-large spot had Nebraska beaten Wisconsin for the B1G Title or UCLA won the Pac 12 Championship over Stanford.

Neither of those transpired, letting in the MAC Champion Huskies.

Still, the Sooners are rewarded with a post-New Years bowl, their ninth in the Bob Stoops era.

"The University of Oklahoma is honored to represent the Big 12 Conference in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic," said OU vice president and director of athletics, Joe Castiglione. "The Cotton Bowl possesses a rich history and has a stellar reputation for providing a spectacular experience for student-athletes. The Sooners are excited to compete in this game once again. Our fans and team will enthusiastically embrace the opportunity."

It's the first time they'll have competed in the Cotton Bowl since 2002 when they defeated Arkansas 10-3.

This year's version of the game will pit the 10-2 Sooners against freshman Heisman Trophy hopeful Johnny Manziel and the rest of the ex-Big 12 Aggies.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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