Top 4 Non-BCS Bowls, No. 1: The Cotton Bowl


The last non-BCS bowl worth watching involves two teams that arguably should’ve been in BCS games and as such, should be very fun to watch: The AT&T Cotton Bowl, starring the Kansas State Wildcats and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

You could argue that the Sugar Bowl—which took place Tuesday night between two abysmal Michigan and Virginia Tech teams—snubbed the Wildcats and the Boise State Broncos when neither received invites for that game. And both teams surely would’ve provided a better game than the won we witnessed. But alas, the BCS is rigged and we all know it; so thanks to their treachery, we have actually seen some pretty decent match ups outside of their realm.

This one should be no different.

Both of these teams finished in the top eight in the final BCS rankings, but losses to powerhouse programs—back to back loses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for the Wildcats, and LSU and Bama for the Razorbacks—kept them out of BCS glory. Also, the Razorbacks kind of got shafted because of a rule that says three teams from the same conference cannot play in a BCS game. However, this game could easily be more fun to watch than the national championship.

We have two teams that finished with only two losses this season, which is huge for the Wildcats, who finished 7-6 just last season. They have made significant strides this season, trying to prove that they can hang in their with the big boys. A win over an SEC team would further strengthen their claim. The Wildcats have found strong leadership in their quarterback, Collin Klein who lead the team in passing AND rushing yards this season. He threw for 1745 yards, 12 touchdowns and five picks, and then added another 1099 yards and 26 TDs of his own on the ground. His team has scored on average more than 33 points per game this season, and he takes credit for a lot of this. However, Klein isn’t terribly accurate—only having a completing percentage of 57.8—something that the Razorback defense is going to hope to exploit.

Arkansas has been led by QB Tyler Wilson, who has also have a stellar season for his team. Wilson threw for  3422 yards, 22 touchdowns and only six picks. He prefers to air it out to his favorite target, Jarius Wright, who had 1029 receiving yards and 11 tubs this year. When he gets the ball in his hands, he averages almost TWO first-downs (16.3 yards) every time. If the K-State defense doesn’t keep a body (maybe even two) on him at all times, it could mean lights out for the Wildcats. Wilson is more accurate than Klein is, so it will be important to get pressure on him and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

Arkansas is 12-23-3 in its bowl appearances, losing 31-26 to Ohio State last year in the Sugar Bowl. Kansas State on the other hand, hasn’t done so well in the post-season, losing three straight bowl games and having a 6-8 all-time record.

The Razorbacks are 3-7-1 in the Cotton Bowl, while the Wildcats have split their two appearances.

Kick off is at 5 p.m. Pacific time Friday evening.

Tune in to FOX to see who wins this Big 12/SEC showdown!