Cheer, Cheer For 'Ol Notre Dame

John Helsley

Oklahoma State sits on the sideline Saturday, while conference championship games take the stage, leaving OSU fans to find other appealing options for their football entertainment pleasure.

Cheer on the Baylor Bears. I mean, it’s the right thing to do, no?

Take in LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, and enjoy his talents, but also his grit. This is no fancy-boy QB looking to strike a pose.

Get a load of No. 1 Ohio State, which looks like a beast, but with the caveat of being from the Big Ten, putting at least a bit of a skeptical eye on whether it’s real.

Or just get away from the tube, do some shopping and some sipping of nog and gear up for Sunday.

Because Sunday there’s reason again to cheer for the Cowboys.

Cheer, cheer for ’ol Notre Dame.

OSU’s bowl destination comes into focus Sunday. And there are options. But one is totally tasty: the Camping World Bowl, against Notre Dame.

Bowl projections offer various scenarios for Big 12 teams, with Saturday’s action still carrying weight. One scenario with at least some degree of viability:

The Cowboys and Irish in the Camping World Bowl, Dec. 28, in Orlando, Fla.

What could be better? Seriously, in an 8-win (so far) season that’s been marred by significant injuries and marked by rebuilding at key positions, what other matchup offers more intrigue and excitement than a pairing with the Golden Domers?

In its complete football history dating back to 1901, Oklahoma State has never played Notre Dame. Never.

The Cowboys have played some big boys, but never the Irish, arguably the greatest program of all-time in terms of wins and tradition and visibility and aura.

In a strictly matchup sense, and one we’ve never seen, there’s no better pairing for the Pokes this holiday season. And by all indications, the Irish are nearly a lock for Orlando.

Now, how likely is OSU-Notre Dame? Probably not great. Not with Texas in play; we all know how everyone eyes Texas, even if it isn’t warranted.

The Camping World folks would drool over such a matchup of blue bloods. But the Alamo Bowl may have something to say about where the Longhorns go or don’t go, especially now that Oklahoma or Baylor is poised to climb into the playoff after Utah gacked up its opportunity on the big stage Friday night. The Horns haven’t played in San Antonio since 2013.

Second on the matchup wish list for the Cowboys: old rival Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl in Houston, where this era of OSU football excellence began with Les Miles taking his second squad for a win over Southern Miss in 2002. The Aggies haven’t been all that since moving to the SEC, but there’s some solid history and appeal with A&M from their Big 12 days together.

The Alamo Bowl could be a possibility with the Big 12 in the playoff, putting the league’s second place team into the Sugar Bowl and elevating a Texas-Notre Dame matchup into an unexpected spotlight that’s just too much to ignore for the conference.

The Cowboys aren’t going to the Liberty Bowl, not after being there a year ago. The other option is the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix, but that bowl may not even get a Big 12 squad as the league is lean on postseason entries.

Only six teams qualified for the Big 12’s seven bowl tie-ins, with TCU, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas all eliminated from postseason play. I’ve long held that this was a down year in conference, and the league’s lack of bowl qualifiers supports that premise.

So the Cheez-It is on the edge, and Kansas State and Iowa State would probably be more likely there anyway. The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, in Dallas, as the final slot, will have to go outside the conference for its two participants.

So enjoy your Saturday.

And cheer on. For ’ol Notre Dame.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Without Spencer (if he isnt healed), Tylan (for sure), and Chuba (Sure sounds like he is thinking about sitting out the bowl game, Im not sure I want to play someone like Notre Dame.

Mississippi State in the Texas Bowl sounds a lot more appealing because our defense can shut down a run team and keep us in the game.