With the welcome relief of a bye week slowing things down, now’s as good a time as any to look at how the Texas Bowl is shaping up. The Mids are now 8-3, and officially accepted the invitation following the Notre Dame win last week. Their opponent will come from the Big 12 as long as the conference has enough bowl-eligible teams. Last year we spent half of the run-up to the EagleBank Bowl looking at the ACC standings and praying to avoid a rematch with Wake Forest. Thankfully, there’s no such problem this year (yet).

Here’s the Big 12 Bowl lineup, assuming only the champ makes the BCS:

  1. BCS (Fiesta)
  2. Cotton
  3. Holiday
  4. Alamo
  5. Sun
  6. Insight
  7. Independence
  8. Texas

It’s possible for more than one team to make the BCS if Texas loses the Big 12 championship game, but still gets selected for a BCS at-large bid. In that case, the Texas Bowl would have the #9 selection from the conference, and we might have to start worrying about having enough teams eligible. If the conference doesn’t have a team available, then Navy’s opponent will be an at-large selection from who knows where.

Here’s how things look in the Big 12 right now:

Bowl eligible: Texas (10-0), Oklahoma State (8-2), Nebraska (7-3), Oklahoma (6-4), Texas Tech (6-4), Iowa State (6-5), Missouri (6-4)

Still alive: Kansas State (6-5), Kansas (5-5), Texas A&M (5-5), Baylor (4-6)

LOL no: Colorado (3-7)

Seven teams are bowl eligible, with four still kicking. None of the four has an easy go of things to finish up the season, so there are no guarantees to get eight eligible teams, let alone nine. Kansas State has 6 wins, but still isn’t bowl-eligible because two of those wins came against I-AA opponents. They play Nebraska next week. Win, and they get a spot in the Big 12 championship game and a chance to play for the Fiesta Bowl. Lose, and they don’t go to any bowl game. Talk about feast or famine… Anyway, the only team I wouldn’t want to play is Texas Tech, since that would be a rematch of the 2003 Houston Bowl. From a football perspective, anyone else in the conference would make a very appealing bowl matchup for the Mids. For obvious reasons, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska aren’t going to be trickling down to the #8 selection. The best-case scenario for Navy would be a team that would bring a lot of fans to the game, creating a better atmosphere for the game and helping the bowl committee financially. That means Oklahoma or Texas A&M. 

A few things need to happen in order for either of those teams to make their way down to the Texas Bowl. They would most likely have to finish 6-6; the bowls that pick ahead of the Texas Bowl will want OU and A&M too, but they won’t be able to select a 6-6 team if a team with a winning record is still available. That also means that a few other schools need a win in the next couple of weeks to guarantee a winning season. So here’s your Birddog Big 12 Texas Bowl Rooting Guide to give you something to follow during Navy’s week off.

1) Oklahoma at Texas Tech: An Oklahoma win gives them a winning record for the season and likely eliminates them from Texas Bowl contention. Same with the Red Raiders, so root for Texas Tech.

2) Iowa State at Missouri: This is the Cyclones’ last game of the season, while Mizzou still has a game against Kansas next week. Root for Iowa State to get a winning record, making it less likely that they will fall to the Texas Bowl.

3) Baylor at Texas A&M: Call in whatever karmic favors you have to pull for Texas A&M.

4) Kansas State at Nebraska: Not that it’s going to happen, but the more bowl-eligible Big 12 teams, the better. Cheer for Kansas State.

5) Kansas at Texas: Don’t bother hoping for the impossible. Texas.

If by some miracle all of this comes to pass, that will leave us with 6 teams with a guaranteed winning record: Texas, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas State. Oklahoma would be 6-5 with a game at home against Oklahoma State left to play. Mizzou would be 6-5 with 5-6 Kansas next on the schedule. Texas A&M would be 6-5, with their season finale against Texas remaining. If Texas wins the conference, that would leave at least 9 teams for the 8 bowl games to pick from. A Missouri win over Kansas would give them a winning record as well, leaving the Independence Bowl and Texas Bowl to pick from OU and A&M, assuming each loses its last game.

Confused yet? That’s the best-case scenario. I think it’s more likely that Kansas, Missouri, or Iowa State will end up playing Navy. Any of those would make for a great game, but I’m not sure if they’d make for a great crowd. Here’s hoping I’m wrong. Kansas and Missouri both drew well in their bowl games last year, after all. I’m just not as sure they’ll turn out for a game against Navy the way a more local team would.


  1. Craig

    Wow. Does anyone know if there is there a website or book where I could find out the basics of how bowl selection works? That flew right over my head.

  2. Dave'69

    As the week rolls on you can do another post speculating on what teams might step in if the Big 12 comes up short of bowl eligable teams. If Notre Dame finishes 6-6 and they don’t want to go to Hawaii again, maybe they will want a rematch.
    (As Larry the Cable Guy says, “God, please forgive me for saying that.”)

  3. It isn’t hard. The bowls pick who they want from the Big 12 in the order listed in the post. They can pick whoever they want, with the only caveat being that all the teams with a winning record have to be picked before any of the 6-6 teams can be selected.

    Bowls want to select the teams that will sell a lot of tickets. Texas A&M probably will. We want enough Big 12 teams to finish with a winning record so that the bowls ahead of the Texas Bowl in the pecking order can’t take 6-6 Texas A&M.

  4. seafox

    I also do not want a rematch with Texas Tech, but for a different reason: The bitterness of the “flopping in the end-zone” incident from the last Bowl Game with NAVY has permanently made me dislike that program. They are forever on my list of teams I hope will lose when looking through the scores each week. They don’t deserve consideration as a worthy opponent of NAVY, period.
    Also have concerns with NAVY being relegated to played a #9 team from ANY Conference. This NAVY team has the potential to be going in 10-3. How far down the chain have we slid, that we are matched with any 6-6 team that just manages to qualify for a Bowl? As alluring as a rematch of the 1960 Orange Bowl with Missouri might be, this NAVY team deserves better than some of the options that are listed. A team that played the likes of Ohio State and Notre Dame like the Mid’s have this year, deserve the best team that can be matched against them, not the lowest qualifying achiever.
    I realize the main point of agreeing to appear in the Texas Bowl before the season commenced, was for the recruiting exposure gained by playing a third game in Texas, but give us an opponent that will really challenge these guys.

  5. DJ

    seafox – As an independent, Chet is forced to make whatever arrangements he can to book what he thinks is a good bowl situation. If Navy finished 7-6, I am sure A&M or Oklahoma would be saying “why are we playing a mediocre Navy team.” If Navy can keep bringing fans to these bowl games, draw decent ratings, and win a few, they stand a chance to book bigger bowls five to ten years down the road. The bowls are also taking a gamble with Navy. If the ball bounces a different way and Navy ended up 6-7 this year, the Texas Bowl would be forced to sift throught a bunch of 7-5 MAC or CUSA teams before they get to the extra Big Ten/12 teams. As it stands, Navy is playing on New Years Eve in a NFL stadium in prime recruiting territory against a school from a major conference, possibly a traditional powerhouse. In my book, that’s a good deal and we should all thank Chet.

  6. DotBone89

    If Texas is in the NC title game, would Big12 #2 go to Fiesta?
    As of right now, UT goes NC game, #12 OSU gets a BCS, then Cotton etc. Or am I wrong about that?

  7. usmc53

    How is the Texas Bowl beneath us? Last time we played in it, we lost 38-14.

    Be thrilled with this situation. The people within the program sure seem thrilled with it.

  8. T.J.

    If Texas goes to the BCS Championship, would the #2 Big-12 team automatically fill their Fiesta Bowl slot? Or would that slot become at-large.

    If the former is true, it seems like we would need 9 Big-12 schools to be bowl eligible in order to play one of them.

  9. Dave'69

    I still remember what a thrill it was to go to Houston seven years ago. I drove more than 800 miles. (I hope I can make it this year.) The bowl community was completely surprised by the fan turnout to a relatively minor turnout from this “small” school in the east. Seven years later I believe that Navy is one of the most desirable bowl teams, as evidenced by our future arrangements. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that we are playing in different cities all over the country each December and I dream of the year when we will play in January. This type of exposure not only helps our recruiting but increases the “recognition factor” that is so important in the “Top 25” voting. If we finish with 10 or 11 wins and one of those is a bowl victory over a NAME opponent and we have a record setting QB returning for his senior year, perhaps some of them will give us enough attention to start the 2010 season in the Top 25. Come on Big 12 – send us the best team you can!

  10. If Texas goes to the title game, there is no guarantee that a Big 12 team would go to the Fiesta. There’s no guarantee that any other Big 12 team would even be eligible for a BCS game.

  11. usmc53

    If Texas is in the BCS Title Game, it’s almost guaranteed that no other Big 12 team will be in the BCS.

    The only other team that could qualify is Oklahoma State (8-2, currently ranked #12 in the BCS).

    No BCS bowl is going to select Oklahoma State.

  12. Elliott

    Is there any chance of someone putting some rough chances of playing each team?


    Kansas 20%

    Nothing too accurate, I just read all that and didn’t get a particularly definite idea of who we are most likely to face!

  13. Witt94

    Even though I would love a aTm vs Navy in the bowl game, I don’t think I can bring myself to root against the Huskers unless they were playing Navy (which they’ve never done).

  14. charles anderson

    Having zilch to do with the Texas Bowl — congratulations, however — and I hope you guys make it 10-3, though damned if I can figure out how anybody at the academy would have any interest at all in playing a mediocre Notre Dame team again, since proving something is pretty much out. You don’t owe ND anything.

    But: I can’t be the only one who thinks it would be cool if Georgia Tech and Navy scheduled a home and home, the sooner the better, while both teams are stocked and playing well. Gotta think that would make for great TV entertainment as well.

  15. Stephen

    Okay, so we’re sacrificing goats to get A&M, is that it?

    I can see it now: “The Brigage of Midshipmen v the Aggie Corps in the stands”. The parties would be homeric.

    That game would epitomize the expression: “Best of friends — AFTER the game ends.”

  16. tman

    SEAFOX, also at Texas Tech bowl game. Other than kids/players acting goofy(unfortunate) about the “explosion”, coach proved he got his lessons from Parsegian(sp) ie: run up the score if possible for rankings with 1st stringers until final whistle and then claim he tried to get everyone in.

    Would not want to give that crowd another opportunity for “fun”.

    Exiting stadium, kids 25 to 8 talked smack and very in your face. Adults in good humor and friendship. Must be generational thing. Corporal punishment is still illegal..right?Too bad.

  17. Bill73

    For Witt94: Sounds like you’re a Nebraska fan. Growing up there I have been since ’62 and Devaney. I always root for them, unless they do end up playing NAVY! (by the way, which team has better record in the past 7 years? Navy, of course!)

  18. laxdog

    can’t believe I might have to root for the Jayhawker’s over Mizzou, then the ‘Horns over the Aggies (my favorite nonA-N rivalry games), just to ensure a Navy – A&M matchup.
    Tough – but I’d do it.

  19. laxdog

    Navy fans shouldn’t look down our noses at any 6-6 Big-12 team.

    Worst case = Big 12 short of Bowl qualifiers, MAC & MWC conf have extra qualifiers (freeing up Temple & AF), & ND finishes 6-6.

    Never happen ? Said same thing last yr – then MD chose to go to Boise.

    What attractive “leftovers” might there be from other confs ?

  20. Witt94

    For Bill73: Yeah, I grew up there and my brother went to UNL and knew Dean Steinkuhler while he was there. My dog’s name is Osborne if that helps with how much I am a Husker fan. In the last 7 years though my love of Navy football has eclipsed Nebraska completely, mostly because of Steve Pederson & Bill Callahan throwing away all that was Husker football. But this is all probably better offline.

  21. Bill73

    For Witt94: Pederson is from my hometown (North Platte), seems to be doing well at Pitt. Nebr. should never have gotten rid of Solich. I’m hoping for Nebr.-Texas Big 12 Championship game, wouldn’t the TCU fans love for the Huskers to pull that one off. Give Osborne an extra biscuit or two if they do.

  22. kevin

    I think Chet did a great job in scheduling this bowl game against a Big 12 opponent. This is an oppurtunity for Navy to defeat a big name school (TAMU) on the flagship ESPN on New Years Eve. Hopefully the next few years Chet will be able to schedule BCS schools or #2 /#3 MWC for bowl games. Last year Air Force and Navy were the only bowl games that featured rematches…

  23. kevin

    Additionally, we badly need A&M to beat Baylor since that is the only winnable game they have left. Without that win they won’t make a bowl. Luckily, the game is at home. The team I don’t want to play is Baylor, since they were always thought of as the garbage of the Big12.

  24. Lots of interesting pre-game headlines could come out of a 10-3 Navy team versus a 6-6 Texas A&M team.

    When was the last time we actually went into a bowl game as a decent sized favorite?

  25. EKWJR

    1. First, as ever, thanks Mike for your efforts at giving us great to stuff to read.

    2. A couple of the possible candidates are bad matchups for Navy. Oklahoma for sure. The Sooners and Texas both possess far more NFL caliber talent than the rest of the Big 12, and Oklahoma has a penchant for running up high numbers if they get a team down. Ask A&M about that.

    3. I think the majority of us are pulling for the “ideal” matchup for this bowl, which would be A&M. It is probably gonna be hard to get them both bowl eligible and through several other invites to the number 8 slot. Baylor is the smaller hill for them to climb, but never count the Aggies out against Texas. It’s one of those things kind of like Navy against Notre Dame. There are a bunch of Aggies that resent that the Great Texas football program ignored them as recruits. Any school whose fight song is about how much they hate their rivals can never be counted out, and A&M is like that.

    4. My bottom line is anybody but the Sooners are fine by me, and I hope by some miracle, it is A&M.

  26. usmc53

    Here’s the perfect scenario over the next 2 weeks. It would leave the Big 12 with exactly 8 bowl-eligible teams, and only one of them (A&M) would be 6-6, meaning that the other 7 bowls would be forced to pick all the other teams, since those teams would all be at least 7-5. A&M would be the only team that could go to the Texas Bowl (I think):

    This week:
    A&M beats Baylor
    Texas beats Kansas
    Oklahoma beats Texas Tech
    Iowa State beats Missouri
    Nebraska beats Kansas State

    Next week:
    Texas beats A&M
    Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma
    Texas Tech beats Baylor
    Missouri beats Kansas

  27. EKWJR

    Was Pitt a dream game this year, Mike? Was the 2006 game against Rutgers a dream game? Sometimes the Jimmy’s and Joe’s are too much for the X’s and O’s, and Oklahoma is one of those situations. I don’t care what their record is. And Stoops is as ruthless a coach as any in college football.

  28. Getting to a bowl game is far, far more important than winning a bowl game, EKW. Once you’re there, why on earth wouldn’t you want the best team possible?

    And that is a ridiculously selective memory.

  29. EKWJR

    Was this year’s or last year’s games against Pitt dream games? Was the 2006 Rutgers game a dream game? Sometimes the Jimmy’s and Joe’s are too much for the X’s and O’s. Granted this Oklahoma team is “down”, but it is full of talent and horrible matchups for Navy at the line of scrimmage and at the offensive skill positions, minimum. And Stoops is IMO as ruthless a coach as there is in football.

    You can bellow all you want and question my manhood, but Oklahoma is not a dream matchup.

  30. EKWJR


    A suggestion for you if you think Oklahoma is a dream matchup.

    Why don’t you drum up an analysis for your loyal reading public and show us how Navy matches up and can handle it? Maybe Oklahoma is injury depleted or something.

    Navy has been able to compete in every bowl it has participated in since 2003, including that first one against TT. But none of the teams that Navy played had elite BCS talent. In the Big 12, the only 2 that do are Texas and Oklahoma.

    20000 Navy fans are not traveling to Houston, at considerable personal expense, to want to watch Navy rush for 80 yards and punt 12 times…

    You seem to think that would not be the case against Oklahoma. I profoundly disagree. It is very possible.

    Don’t know how well the link translates above, but for any interested readers, that is the link to the Oklahoma 2009 stats.

  31. Well, since you’ve decided to fly off the handle about it…

    You honestly think fewer Navy fans would show up to see them play Oklahoma? I don’t think there is enough room in the universe to contain the distance that separates you from being right. People WANT to see “elite BCS talent.” You completely misunderstand the idea of “dream matchup.”

    Oh noes, Navy might lose. So what? It’s just a bowl game. Perhaps you’d prefer to see the Mids play Louisiana-Monroe.

  32. usmc53

    If we can’t play A&M, I’d hope for Oklahoma.
    I’d much rather have a shot at them than Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Tech, or even Missouri.

    Imagine the recruiting value of saying, “We just beat OU in a bowl game.”

    Plus, our guys love to play the “elites.” They were pumped about going to the ‘Shoe to play Ohio State, and they love playing Notre Dame every year.

    Bring on the Aggies or the Sooners, I say.

  33. EKWJR

    Nope. Just not Oklahoma. Ohio State is a class act, and I had no problem playing them. Tressel has ZERO reputation for rubbing bested teams’ noses in the mud. I knew from the git-go that OSU would play us fair and hard, and they did. It was a great experience. Oklahoma, different story. For those folks griping about TT in 2003, TT will look like a class act compared to Oklahoma.

    Overall moot, however. Oklahoma will go somewhere else.

    But I would still appreciate that expert analysis…

  34. Why are you complaining about Pitt and Rutgers, but applauding Ohio State? Could you be more revisionist? You clearly have some axe to grind against Oklahoma.

  35. Dave'69

    Based on EKWJR’s approach, we should have cancelled the ND series 20 years ago and joined the Ivy League. No I don’t think we should play the “elites” every game. I think the 4-4-4 approach works well for us. It would be great if Navy could play a top 25 in this year’s bowl game but since we can’t, bring on a “name” that people associate with the top 25. I agree with usmc53 except I would say, Imagine the recruiting value of saying, “We just PLAYED OU in a bowl game.” This team has already proven it can stay on the field with anyone, and has a shot at beating the best. Bring on the best they have to give.

  36. EKWJR

    I am beginning to be concerned about all the disappointed readers if OU doesn’t show up on Dec 31…

    I guess none of the rest of those Big 12 teams are worthy enough opponents for Navy…

  37. newt91

    hope for A&M… but


    How great would that be – for me (as a fan), for the program, for the kids on the team, for the Texas Bowl! Everyone wins. We’d pack the stadium and have a blast.

  38. kevin

    OU would be a dream. Notre Dame has better recruiting classes than OU so I don’t see the argument that they have too much talent. Hello, Ohio State? Plus, OU never plays a triple option team so they don’t have the experience of defending against it. Even if Navy loses big, it’s still something to say that Navy played OU in a bowl game, but what if, what if Navy wins?

  39. EKW, if you can’t let go of whatever personal grudge you have against Oklahoma, you should at least understand that the rest of us don’t share that grudge. Now you’re just making stuff up.

  40. EKWJR

    It is fairly obvious to me that there are plenty of guys who are excited about OU.

    And if OU shows up, I hope I am pleasantly surprised and Navy can be competitive.

    If OU does not show up, it can be concluded that I, for one – and it appears I may be the only one, will not be disappointed OU is not there.

  41. kevin

    Speaking on recruiting. Navy is routinely close to last in FBS recruiting classes. Should we have a hot female or maybe Chuck Norris do some recruiting for us?

  42. B03

    I’m not following the “80 yds and 12 punts vs. OK defense” comment…

    As of this week:
    OK Defense: #5 in country in total points allowed (12.1) and #6 in total yards (262.4)
    OSU Defense: #6 in country in total points allowed (12.4) and #5 in total yards (258.3)

    Seems like both D’s tops in the country, and Navy put up 340 yds and 4 tds on OSU.

    Sure Navy would be the underdog but an upset wouldn’t be impossible, and the national exposure would be great…
    Just Saying.

  43. usmc53

    Okay, here’s how we can get OU (I think):

    This week:
    Texas Tech beats OU
    Baylor beats Texas A&M

    Next week:
    Oklahoma State beats OU
    Texas Tech beats Baylor

  44. usmc53

    Okay, here’s how we can get OU (I think):

    This week:
    Texas Tech beats OU
    Baylor beats A&M
    Iowa State beats Mizzu (ISU finishes 7-5)
    KSU beats Nebraska (KSU ends up 7-5)
    Texas beats Kansas

    Next week:
    Oklahoma State beats OU (OU ends up 6-6)
    Texas Tech beats Baylor (TT ends up 8-4; Baylor 5-7)
    Texas beats A&M (A&M ends up 5-7)
    Mizzu beats KS (Mizzu ends up 7-5; KS 5-7)

    That way, there are only 8 bowl eligible teams (TX, OSU, Neb, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Mizzu, KSU, and OU), and only OU is 6-6.

  45. usmc53

    In the above scenario, it would also be fine if A&M beats Baylor this week, because that would leave us with 9 bowl-eligible teams, and only OU and A&M would be 6-6, so the Texas Bowl would have to choose one of them.

  46. usmc53

    And here’s how we will definitely get A&M or OU, because both of them will be 6-6, and all other eligible teams are at least 7-5:

    This week:
    TT beats OU
    A&M beats Baylor
    Iowa State beats Mizzu
    Nebraska beats KSU
    Texas beats KS

    Next week:
    OSU beats OU
    Texas beats A&M
    Mizzu beats KS

  47. Mike,

    Back in 2003, I’d agree with you that getting to a bowl game was far, far more important than winning one. However, I think the standards have been raised a bit and while getting there is still more important in the larger picture (deleted far, far), winning the game, after losing three close ones in a row MAY just be equally important this season. And while losing to a potentially 6-6 Texas A&M is definitely no disgrace, if we are 10-3 going into the game, winning the bowl game will be as important as just showing up and enjoying the view. I’d be curious to know if the team goals this year included getting to a bowl game or winning a bowl game.

    As for an opponent, give me the highest ranked team. Even with the military connection, a 6-6 A&M team is just nice because it would be different.

  48. The standards don’t change. That’s what makes them “standards.” Bowl wins are completely overrated. Nothing about the last three years makes this particular bowl any more important to win than the others. Obviously everyone wants to win the game, but would you rather win the GMAC Bowl or lose the Rose Bowl? I would take the latter every single time. The whole point of the reasonable schedule is to put the Mids in a bowl game at the end of the year. Once they’re there, that’s exactly when you want to dare to be great and play the best team possible. There’s nothing to lose at that point.

  49. I don’t think Reggie Campbell will agree that bowl wins are overrated.

    We don’t really have a choice which bowl we play in, so the which bowl would you rather play in argument does not work for Navy.

    Standards, goals, expectations…you can wordsmith me to death, but if you think that there is no difference between 2003 and 2009 as far as the how the outcome will be perceived by coaches, fans, players, etc…then I am a bit surprised…especially if we are 10-3 going up against a 6-6 A&M team.

    Army is like Navy in 2003…dying to get to a bowl.
    After three close loses, Navy players are no longer satisfied with just getting there.

    At least we agree on wanting the best opponent. That’s why A&M does not excite me as much as others.

  50. What players are satisfied with is irrelevant. Every player wants to win every game. We are talking about expectations for the program, and those are the same in 2009 as they were in 2003.

    If you agree that getting the best opponent possible is more important than having an easier path to a win, then you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing anyway.

  51. Dave'69

    There is one significant negative factor to this year’s Texas Bowl, especially if we play Texas AM or OU and specifically if we beat them. Such an outcome will give many more athletic directors reason to take a second look at the TO and at Navy’s coaches. Teams currently at the bottom of BCS conferences will begin to believe what we already know – you CAN win with this offense. And suppose PJ wins big at the Orange Bowl a week later? Success has its problems also.

  52. Dave, you need to stop worrying about that. Teams that are losing will look to hire away coaches that are winning. That’s just how the world works, and it’s going to happen at some point regardless of the result of the bowl game. Just enjoy the ride while you can.

  53. Bill73

    I have read with great interest all of the comments about who Navy should (or shouldn’t) play in the Texas Bowl. Just getting to a bowl game is an accomplishment, but I think winning it is as well – especially with this being our 7th in a row and having lost the last three (plus I would love to get to the record 11 wins!). Truth of the matter is, no amount of speculation (although it is surely fund to do so) will determine who the opponent will be. What will determine our opponent is the results of the games involving Big 12 teams over the next couple of weeks and finally the picks of the seven bowls choosing ahead of the Texas Bowl. While we may have to take whatever team is selected at that point, the important thing is to go down to the game and play to win it, whether it is Oklahoma or Baylor.

  54. Dave'69

    Bill73 – you are right of course – but it’s a bye week and Turkey Day is still 9 days away. What else have we got to do but speculate? If we really “had a life”, would we be wasting all this time on the internet?
    Mike – I understand how it works and I really am enjoying this ride. Let’s hope Wags was right in his column yesterday and the ride goes on and on for a while.

  55. There was no expectation to win a bowl game in 2003 and there were very few people around the program upset when we lost. I guarantee you there will be an expectation to beat a 6-6 Texas A&M team and lots of folks depressed if we don’t. Some people would call that raising the standards…or I guess you could just call it progress.

  56. Stephen

    Look at it this way. We won the NCAA team rushing title four years running. We are unlikely to repeat again. If we played Idaho and UNLV in the same year (I’m looking at YOU, Nevada) maybe we would, but instead we’re taking on Pitt, Wake, Ohio State, and ND. The high level of competition is good for the program and good for our young men.

    On a practical level, we need to get the best bowl we can, even if we’re invited as the “sacrificial victim”, as an adjunct to The Game to help pay for the rest of the athletics program.

  57. kevin

    Stephen, although I concern myself more with winning games rather than winning rushing titles, I do see your point with Nevada. Don’t get me wrong, they have a good offense, but when they have played the good teams on their scheduled they have gotten rocked. We’ll see how good they are on their last game of the regular season vs BSU.

  58. Jimbear NJ

    Personally I’ll love to see Oklahoma. If not OU then Texas A &M. Except for the first one Navy has been in every bowl game they played since the PJ/KN Head coaching run began. Navy’s matched up well with every team. Remember the 9-4 Utah team , Navy barely lost to by 32-35, went 13-0 the next year and hammered Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The concern over Navy being overwhelmed is nice but I think the guys will hang in there.

  59. DJ

    As much as I want to win, getting beat by 30 by Oklahoma is better for the program than beating Northern Illinois or Middle Tennessee State.

    TAMU is a perfect scenario: winnable game against an opponent with a strong tradition and a stadium that will be close to sold out.

  60. EKWJR

    Saw that one, too…watching the clock wind down, sensing history (10 wins), being there to see history being made, as sweet a memory of Navy football as I have ever had…

  61. navyrugger

    Nevada can have the rushing title…….they got spanked by Notre Dame, scoring zero points, and we won. Who would want to trade?

  62. gonavy81

    seafox @ “but give us an opponent that will really challenge these guys.”

    Um, other than Rice, have we played a team this year that hasn’t been a challenge for these guys?

  63. usmc53

    Schlabach and Feldman might be assuming that the Texas Bowl picks before the Independence Bowl, which is incorrect.

    ESPN’s Big-12 blogger made that mistake in a blog post he wrote this weekend; maybe all of ESPN’s people are making the same incorrect assumption.

  64. kevin

    I too was surprised that the prediction wasn’t Iowa St after their loss to Mizzou however I just assumed that they, being professional sports reporters, have a better grasp of the picture than me.

  65. DJ

    I agree, the ESPN predictions seem off, as ISU seems like the logical choice. The only thing I can thing of is that the Big 12 conference has a large say in who goes where, and they like to reward the order of finish and maintain balance. So, they could steer the 4th place north team (ISU) toward the higher bowl, while putting the 5th place south team (TAMU) in the lesser bowl. Only thing I can think of.

  66. EKWJR

    I guess we really are not going to know until Dec 6, and it hinges on the Big 12 Championship Game outcome on Dec 5, if I understand the dynamic going on here since K State managed to tank their bowl hopes.

    Is that correct, or am I missing something?

  67. Armchairsailor79

    I am also hearing talk that Oklahoma State may get a BCS berth if they beat Oklahoma. If so, then the Texas Bowl would be left out of the Big 12mix-9 bowls and only 8 qualifiers. It’s fun to speculate, and should be a lot clearer by Monday. Put me in the hoping it’s A&M category.

  68. Tim

    Iowa State was in the Indy Bowl in 2004; may have been their last bowl, I’m not sure. I was there, and bowl participant turn-out sucked; there were maybe 3,000 ISU fans there (which was 10x more than their opponent, Miami (OH) brought). Most of the stadium was filled with LSU fans looking for a party. Good time, but not what Indy Bowl/city officials were looking for, I’m sure.

    Point being: Zero chance Indy Bowl picks ISU over aTm or any other eligible Big XII team. None.

  69. DJ

    In order after the Texas win over A&M.

    1. Texas A&M. Most tickets to sell.

    2. Missouri. Sells well in Texas.

    3. Oklahoma. A reach but a possibility.

    Nobody wants to touch Kansas with the coaching scandal right now.

    Iowa State would be the most unlikely but the most appreciative of the bid.

  70. T.J.

    Well it looks like it’s going to be Iowa St, Texas A&M, or Kansas (if they win today). Hoping it’s A&M but not sure if any of the Independence bowl would be willing to pick the Cyclones ahead of them.

  71. stuck_in_chicago

    I’m a lifelong Mizzou fan and graduate. Despite the fact that Missouri was basically snubbed by the Insight Bowl, where their conference finish should have placed them (Iowa State – You have to be kidding me), and then passed-over by the Independence Bowl for a team that finished beneath them in the conference (Texas A&M), I’m excited about the Texas Bowl and the matchup with Navy. Missouri is going to bring an extremely exciting offence to Houston. They’re a team that is rebuilding, but yet had a fairly successful season. I plan on attending the game, and am much more excited about the matchup with Navy than I would be playing

  72. stuck_in_chicago

    Sorry about that. I mistakenly submitted my comment before I was finished. Anyway, to continue what I was saying, I am much more excited about the Texas Bowl matchup with Navy than I would be with a matchup with Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. I can’t imagine a more unappealing game than Iowa State vs. Minnesota. 6-6 vs. 6-6. That’s got all the magic of watching grass grow. Hope it’s a great game and that Mizzou fans flock to Houston in droves. Go Tigers! MIZ…ZOU!

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