Texas A&M’s first season in the SEC was a rousing success to say the least. Johnny “Football” Manziel captivated the football world by leading his team to an incredible upset win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, helping him become the first player in NCAA history to win the Heisman trophy as a freshman. On Friday, the Aggies face their next challenge and a familiar foe in one of the most highly-anticipated games of the bowl season.
No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 9 A&M will renew their storied rivalry in this year’s Cotton Bowl Classic in what is sure to be the most exciting bowl game of the year this side of the BCS. Despite each team finishing the regular season with an impressive 10-2 record, neither received an at-large bid, setting up this highly-touted bout. No one is complaining now.
“We hit a home run,” Cotton Bowl chairman Tommy Bain said, according to ESPN.com. “When our team selection committee met for the first time a few weeks ago, we circled this matchup as the one we most wanted, and the cards fell in our favor.”
The game will feature two of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Manziel and Landry Jones, both of whom threw for more than 3,000 yards and tossed at least 24 touchdowns this season. However, what set the two apart was Manziel’s ability to create big plays with his legs, as he rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and punched in 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Oklahoma’s offense, which averaged 40.3 points per game (10th in the FBS) will likely be able to score against the Aggies, but the real challenge will be limiting the offense and Manziel’s effectiveness. However, the Sooners say they are ready for such a challenge.
“Another excellent football team, 10-2, ranked eighth or ninth in the country, a team that has won five or six straight games down the stretch,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of Texas A&M. “It begins with their offense and Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner. … It’ll be a special bowl game and we’re looking forward to it.”
With the year magical year that Manziel had, it may be difficult not to look ahead to next year or beyond, but for now, the Heisman winner is focusing on what’s at stake this year and how to defeat the Sooners.
“First and foremost, there’s the Cotton Bowl,” Manziel said. “From there, I have to be the guy who starts the motor for a run at the national title next year.”
It will certainly be an unforgettable evening for those in attendance at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington for the 2013 Cotton Bowl Classic. If you didn’t make it to this game, but still are looking for an incredible bowl experience, check out Fandeavor.com’s offers for the BCS National Championship game on Monday and hurry because the sale ends soon!