The Texas Longhorns enter the American college football post-season without a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) bowl game for a third consecutive year.
BCS games are the national champion-ship Game (No.-1 ranked team vs. No. 2 regardless of division); the Sugar Bowl (SEC champion vs. at-large), the Orange Bowl (ACC champion vs. at-large), the Rose Bowl (Pac-12 champion vs. Big 10 champion), and the Fiesta Bowl (Big-12 champion vs. at-large).
Many of the Longhorn faithful feel a three-year miss is unthinkable.
Texas started off the season strong at 4-0. They were perfect and the season showed nothing but promise, until a tight loss to West Virginia, 48-45, which was followed by a mauling in the Red River rivalry, a 63-21 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners. At 8-4, many would consider this a successful year for the 23rd-ranked Longhorns, but many in Austin, Texas, don't.
Texas coach Mack Brown made a decision in Week 13 to bench then-starting quarterback David Ash and switch to Case McCoy. For the Alamo Bowl, Brown has decided to go back to sophomore Ash.
During the season, Ash was 193-of-285 in passing for 2,458 yards, 17 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Decent numbers for sure, but a big challenge is waiting in San Antonio: The defence of Oregon State.
During 2012, the 13th-ranked Beavers came up with 19 interceptions, which were enough to tie Oregon State for sixth- best in the Football Bowl Series (FBS). In all, the Beavers forced 30 turnovers which tied them for 12thin the FBS.
On offence, Oregon State (9-3) had its own quarterback issues, mainly due to injuries. To start, sophomore QB Sean Mannion was hot, leading the Beavers to a 4-0 start before he suffered a knee injury.
At that time, junior Cody Vaztook over under centre until he suffered a sprained ankle. To finish the regular-season, the duo shared the position and wound up ranked 15th in passing yards per game (316 ypg).
Oregon State coach Mike Riley has named Vazhis starter for the Alamo Bowl. Look for Vazto find his top target, Markus Wheaton, early on. Wheaton is ranked 11th overall in the FBS in receiving yards per game.
Folks, this should be a great game played by two excellent programs. Kick-off is set for 3:45 p.m. today, from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio Texas.
Look for the Beavers to cover the spread, and edge the Longhorns.
Other Bowl games today include: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Rice, 6-6 vs. Air Force, 6-6, 8:45 a.m.); New Era Pinstripe Bowl (West Virginia, 7-5 vs. Syracuse, 7-5, 12:15 p.m.); Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Navy, 8-4 vs. Arizona State, 7-5, 1 p.m.) and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Texas Christian, 7-5 vs. Michigan State, 6-6, 7:15 p.m.).
Grant Stefance is a Kelowna resident and life-long sports fan. Follow him on twitter at: @grant_stefance, or by email at: