After letting go of our own destiny with the pratfall against Stanford, we were in the hands of the bowl selection committees today. And, all things considered, things worked out pretty well. First, Arizona kept its spot in the top 10, thereby receiving a prestige bowl bid. That moved everybody else in the Pac-12 up one spot. And Kansas State was not able to keep its spot in the top 10, so they were available for the Alamo Bowl.
The Alamo Bowl is meant to pair up the #2 team from the Pac-12 against the #2 team from the Big 12. But in this era of committees selecting teams for other bowls, the bowls can get some pretty significant variations. In this case, UCLA (#3 in the Pac-12) is playing Kansas State (#3 in the Big 12). Here is the official tweet:
But Kansas State remains a very attractive opponent. This is a matchup of #14 (College Football Playoff rankings) UCLA against #11 Kansas State. The combined ranking of 25 is actually lower than the combined ranking for the Fiesta Bowl (#10 Arizona against #20 Boise State). This is the most attractive game in terms of rankings outside the prestige bowls.
The Wildcats went 9-3, 6-2 in conference play. Every loss was to a top 20 team. Kansas State lost by six to Auburn. And they lost on the road to TCU and yesterday to Baylor.
We do have one common opponent- Texas. We struggled in the third game of the season, as Jerry Neuheisel had to sub in for Brett Hundley, but we came away with a three point win, 20-17, in "neutral" Arlington. Meanwhile, Kansas State shut out Texas 23-0 in late October.
This will be a good test for the Bruins. Let's hope that we focus and set a foundation for the 2015 season with a W. That was Oregon's formula for success. They played in the Alamo Bowl last year and beat Texas 30-7. And look where they are now. Let's see if we can repeat the pattern.
Go Bruins !! Never surrender !!