The 2014 Cotton Bowl Classic is set to get underway on Friday night between No.8 Missouri and No.13 Oklahoma State. It’s expected to be a tight contest, with the Cowboys favored by 2.5 points. Below are a few things to know about the 78th annual Cotton Bowl.
It’s not surprising to see Oklahoma State playing in this game. They’ve participated in a bowl every year, except one, since 2002. During that that time, the Cowboys have gone 6-4 in bowls, including losses in the Cotton Bowl in 2003 and 2009. Last year, they beat Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in an 8-5 season.
Missouri’s journey to this contest was not expected by many experts. The team did not play in the postseason last year, going 5-7. They did reach a bowl game in every season from 2005-2011. The Tigers had a 4-3 record in those bowl games. Missouri’s No.8 ranking this year is their best, since they last played in the Cotton Bowl in 2007. That year, they finished 12-2, beating Arkansas and ending up at No.4 in the AP poll.
Cotton Bowl In The 2000’s
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The most recent Cotton Bowls have not been very competitive. The last six matchups haven’t featured a margin of victory of less than 13 points. Since the start of the new millennium, teams have won by an average of more than 15 points, including five games that were decided by at least three scores. Mississippi has had the most success in that period, winning all three of their Cotton Bowl appearances.
The game will be broadcast on national television at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’s set to air on FOX an hour before the Orange Bowl begins. In 2013, 11.2 million people watched Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M beat Oklahoma, 41-13.
The betting odds may favor Oklahoma State, but this is Missouri’s game to lose. Both James Franklin and Clint Chelf have been in and out of the lineup this season, but the Tigers quarterback has been much more effective when in the lineup, throwing 19 touchdowns and five interceptions. Chelf has had his share of strong performances for the Cowboys, but he’s been far less consistent. Missouri’s two losses came against top 10 opponents, and they have proven to be the better team.
Predicted Score: Missouri 37, Oklahoma State 34