2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
January 2, 2009, 1pm CST, Dallas, Texas
In yet another example of how screwed up the bowl system is, eighth ranked and one-loss Texas Tech faces twentieth ranked and four-loss Ole Miss in the 2009 Cotton Bowl.
And don’t get me started on how immoral, unethical, and illegal it is to have the Cotton Bowl on January 2nd. The Cotton Bowl is, and always should be, a New Years Day game. How this didn’t come up during the presidential campaign, I’ll never know. Moving it proves that the terrorists have already won.
I generally root for Texas Tech in bowl games, because while strange, they’re still Texans. I’ve actually got a couple of reasons to pull for the Rebels, however.
First, my father-in-law is an Ole Miss alumnus. Believe it or not, I see that as a reason to root for them, not against them.
Second, the Ole Miss quarterback is former Longhorn Jevan Snead. While I was sad to see him leave Texas, I can’t blame a football player for wanting to play football, and he wasn’t likely to take away Colt McCoy’s starting job.
Texas Tech is coming off their best season since, well, ever. They knocked off then top-ranked Texas and dangerous Oklahoma State back-to-back. They also wet themselves against the Oklahoma Sooners and almost lost to the Baylor Bears.
Ole Miss, for its part, had one of the most impressive turn-arounds of the season, going from 0-8 in the SEC last season to a Top 25 ranking this season. Along the way, they beat the Florida Gators at the Swamp, crushed LSU by more than two touchdowns, and almost pulled off the upset against Alabama. Unfortunately, they also lost to Wake Forest (8-5), Vanderbilt (6-7), and South Carolina (7-5).
Neither team has been a paragon of consistency, although Tech certainly deserved to draw better competition (and a better bowl game). The stupid “no more than two teams per conference” rule probably kept them out of a BCS game.
If the Texas Tech fans can navigate the 300 miles or so between Lubbock and Dallas, they’ll have quite the home field advantage. And, as the Cotton Bowl stadium is being remodeled shortly after this game, they can feel free to treat the place like home and tear it to pieces.
On the other hand, the early start time should mean that the fans are not as intoxicated as they are for night games, resulting in fewer batteries raining down on the field.
While Ole Miss has a solid defense, and Texas Tech may well receive more holding calls than it has all season combined, I expect Texas Tech to be too much for Ole Miss. The Rebels simply don’t have the athletes to cover Tech’s spread offense.
I do expect Jevan Snead to have a career day against Tech’s generally porous defense. The Rebels will score, but not as often as Texas Tech does.
Texas Tech has arguably been snubbed even more than Texas in the last few weeks, with being overlooked for the Big 12 Championship and the BCS, neither Crabtree or Harrell being even invited to the Heisman ceremony, and Mike Leach being passed over for every opening this year. If they come out flat as a result, Ole Miss will take them to the woodshed. I believe they will focus this anger and roll the Rebels.
Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Ole Miss 27
Note: Changed a reference from “demolishing the Cotton Bowl” to “remodeling the Cotton Bowl” for accuracy’s sake. Thanks to commenter bbt for pointing out my error.