By beating Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon, Oklahoma played its way into consideration for a BCS bowl berth. In doing so, the Sooners gave Texas Tech a better shot at a trip to San Diego.
Most bowl invitations will be extended on Sunday, and the scenarios for Texas Tech are these: If one Big 12 Conference team makes the BCS, a return trip to the Texas Bowl in Houston seems in store for the Red Raiders. If a second Big 12 team gets an at-large BCS bid, the Red Raiders could land in the Holiday Bowl.
Even a Holiday Bowl official confirmed that.
“I’d be surprised if we didn’t get Texas Tech in that situation,” Holiday Bowl associate executive director Mark Neville said Saturday. “We like offense, so we’d be very happy with the Red Raiders.”
Neville made the comment after Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 33-24 Saturday in a regular-season finale. Late Saturday, BCS expert Jerry Palm on CBSSports.com projected an Oklahoma-Alabama Sugar Bowl, the Sooners via an at-large BCS bid.
The Sugar Bowl could have a choice of three 10-2 teams: No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 12 Oregon or No. 13 Clemson.
“Right now, we have it narrowed down to Kansas State or Texas Tech,” Neville said, “and it really depends on who is taken before us. With Northern Illinois losing (Friday) night, which conference is going to get two teams up? Is it going to be the Big 12? Is it going to be the Pac-12? So we kind of have to wait on that.
“I agree that Texas Tech would likely be the team (for the Holiday Bowl) if two teams from the Big 12 go up.”
The Big 12’s order of selection after the BCS goes Cotton, Alamo, Buffalo Wild Wings, Holiday, Texas and Pinstripe bowls. The league doesn’t have enough bowl-eligible teams to supply one for the Pinstripe Bowl.
Tech had higher aspirations after a 7-0 start, but lost its last five games to finish the regular season 7-5.
Tech has played in the Holiday Bowl only once, beating California 45-31 to end the 2004 season.
“We’d love Texas Tech,” Neville said. “It’s been a long time. The last time we had Texas Tech was almost a decade ago. We had a great experience with all the Red Raiders fans out in San Diego, and we’ve love to see them back again.”
Whereas the Holiday Bowl has to wait for the Big 12 options to be picked over, it picks behind only the BCS and the Alamo Bowl on the Pac-12 side. That means if the Red Raiders do wind up in San Diego, they could face a ranked opponent — most likely No. 11 Arizona State or No. 12 Oregon. Arizona State is 10-3 after its 38-14 loss Saturday to No. 7 Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game. Oregon is 10-2.
The Holiday Bowl is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. CST Dec. 30. If that doesn’t materialize for Tech, the Red Raiders likely will be in the Texas Bowl, which kicks off at 5 p.m. Dec. 27 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Several bowl projections have had the game being a rematch between Tech and Minnesota (8-4), which would be the third bowl game in eight years between the two teams. Tech beat Minnesota 44-41 in overtime at the 2006 Insight Bowl and beat the Golden Gophers 34-31 last year on a final-play field goal.
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