You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Ahead of Selection Sunday, the Alamo Bowl is sitting pretty

In the murky world of bowl matchups, there are few sure things leading up to Selection Sunday, but one game that’s sitting pretty is right down the road in San Antonio.

No matter what upsets occur in conference championship games, the Alamo Bowl is set to put together the best pairing shy of the New Year’s Six bowls.

“I think there’s going to be a touch of chaos this weekend,” Rick Hill, the Alamo’s vice president of marketing and communications, told the American-Statesman, “but in almost every scenario, we’re going to get a top-15 matchup.”

The Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29 at the Alamodome, will choose between the Bedlam loser — No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State — or No. 16 West Virginia from the Big 12. The Pac-12 opponent is likely to come from the loser of Friday night’s Pac-12 title game between No. 4 Washington and No. 8 Colorado, or No. 11 USC.

The best guess at the moment is Oklahoma State vs. Colorado, two former Big Eight rivals.

Texas fans, meanwhile, should not expect to see the Longhorns in any bowl, even if they get an invitation as the third-highest-ranked 5-7 team in the Academic Progress Rate used to fill final bowl openings. Multiple bowl officials who didn’t want to be identified told the American-Statesman they’ve heard Texas won’t accept a bid.

Two Texas rivals could meet in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl as Texas A&M and TCU are at the top of many projections for the Dec. 28 game at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Unlike other conferences, the SEC office places its teams, so Texas Bowl officials can’t actually pick A&M. But the Aggies seem a natural fit.

“We’re in a great situation, part of the SEC family, so we know we’ll get an attractive team,” said David Fletcher, executive director of the Texas Bowl. “The Aggies were here last year for our kickoff classic against Arizona State, but they haven’t been in our bowl for five years.”

The Big 12 component is likely to be the winner of the Kansas State at TCU game.

“All six bowl-eligible Big 12 teams are playing Saturday, so a lot can still happen, but we’d be very high on the K-State/TCU winner,” Fletcher said. “TCU, with a win, would be finishing strong, and Gary Patterson is one of the best coaches.

“Kansas State has a fantastic traveling fan base, and Bill Snyder is is a living legend. K-State also is on a winning streak and hasn’t been in our game since 2006.”

The Kansas State-TCU loser could be bound for the Liberty Bowl, although the Wildcats played there last year. Baylor appears headed for the Cactus Bowl.

Even with attractive options, the Alamo will have a hard time duplicating last year’s game, TCU’s 47-41 triple-overtime thriller over Oregon. Yet Hill is excited about the possibilities.

“Amazingly, we’ve never had Oklahoma in our game and we’re in year 24,” Hill said. “They are 1-0 in the Alamodome, having beaten Missouri in a Big 12 title game here. Oklahoma State was in our most attended game, in 2004 against Ohio State. We had hotels doing backflips after that one.

“West Virginia could be a 10-win team on a nice streak and with a fan base that likes to travel.”

On the Pac-12 side, USC,is on an eight-game winning streak and has never played in the Alamo Bowl. Resurgent Colorado hasn’t been there in 14 years.

Hill said it’s also conceivable that Stanford, with star running back Christian McCaffrey, and Washington State, led by former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, could come into play.

The Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth is still hoping to land 19th-ranked Navy, although the Midshipmen could still play their way into a New Year’s Six game.

The Armed Forces has a tie-in with the Big 12, but the league does not have an eligible team to fill that spot. Executive director Brant Ringler said he does not expect Texas to be a possibility. He is hoping to hang onto Navy and trying to arrange the best opponent for the Midshipmen.

“I can’t even begin to tell you the options. There are far too may,” he said. “The Navy situation is really complicated.”

The Midshipmen play Temple in the American Athletic Conference title game Saturday and still play Army on Dec. 10.

“If Navy finishes higher ranked than Western Michigan and earns a New Year’s Six invite, it causes a chain reaction that could go down to maybe a dozen different bowls,” Ringler explained.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

With each hit, showing Cubs what they gave up on
With each hit, showing Cubs what they gave up on

As he watched the World Series last fall, D.J. LeMahieu did not feel much of anything. Before he won a Gold Glove, started an All-Star Game and captured a batting title as the second baseman for the Colorado Rockies, LeMahieu was a Chicago Cub. He spent three seasons in their farm system and two months in the majors. Yet not a single former teammate...
Feyisa Lilesa, marathoner in exile, finds refuge in Arizona
Feyisa Lilesa, marathoner in exile, finds refuge in Arizona

The young boy was getting reacquainted with his father after an absence of six months and climbed on him as if he were a tree. The boy kissed his father and hugged him and clambered onto his shoulders. Then, when a protest video streamed on television, the boy grabbed a stick, and the lid of a pot to serve as a shield, and began to mimic a dance of...
Coach faltered, but his boxer has flourished
Coach faltered, but his boxer has flourished

The FedEx package containing the junior lightweight championship belt, intended for Gervonta Davis, arrived at the gym too early in the day. Davis often trains late into the night, running the streets of Baltimore, and sleeps until midday. So it was his coach Calvin Ford — he sleeps much less, sometimes just an hour a night — who found...
Driesell, 744 NCAA wins short of his dad, is loving life
Driesell, 744 NCAA wins short of his dad, is loving life

Chuck Driesell looked at his watch. It was Friday morning, and that night, the Maret School, where he has been the coach for the past two seasons, was playing Georgetown Day in the first round of the Mid-Atlantic Conference tournament. But that wasn't why he was keeping an eye on the time. "My first class is at 10:30," he said, smiling. "...
Chapman feels at home in Bronx, Betances glad he's back
Chapman feels at home in Bronx, Betances glad he's back

Traded to the Chicago Cubs late last July, Aroldis Chapman remained linked to the Yankees bullpen via cellphone.  Dellin Betances kept in touch with Chapman through texts and occasional calls as the Cubs marched toward October. "And I spoke to him in the offseason, before he signed," Betances said. "I knew he wanted to be here."...
More Stories