Stanford to Sun Bowl; Cal headed to Poinsettia Bowl |

Stanford to Sun Bowl; Cal headed to Poinsettia Bowl

The first Cotton Bowl in it’s new $1.2 billion home will match a couple of former Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterbacks turned coaches.

Mississippi and coach Houston Nutt will face No. 21 Oklahoma State and coach Mike Gundy on Jan. 2 in the first Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

After playing quarterback for Jimmy Johnson in Stillwater, Okla., Nutt also wasa wide receivers coach for the Cowboys when Gundy was the QB.

“My first memory of Mike Gundy was right in the very first two-a-days we noticed a guy who was pretty confident stepping into that huddle,” Nutt said. “Once he got a chance as a true freshman – he took over about midway through – we knew we wanted one person in that huddle and it was Mike Gundy.”

After the BCS fell into place, so did the rest of the bowl lineup Sunday.

Among the other games with marquee matchups are the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., which will pit No. 13 LSU against No. 11 Penn State.

The Chick-fil-a Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve matches No. 12 Virginia Tech and Tennessee, returning to the postseason in Lane Kiffin’s first season as coach.

Florida State’s Bobby Bowden will coach his final game before retirement at the Gator Bowl, facing West Virginia, the school he led before taking over the Seminoles.

The Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 30 matches Nebraska, which came up just short in its bid to upset Texas in the Big 12 title game, against Arizona.

For the first time since 2001, Southern California will not finish its season in the BCS. USC (8-4) after losing its regular-season finale to Arizona, will head north to San Francisco to take on Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26. The bowl game will enable former South Tahoe High football player Nick Garratt, a senior linebacker, to conclude his college career close to home.

The Cotton Bowl will be a return trip of sort for Ole Miss.

The Rebels (8-4) beat Texas Tech 47-34 last season in the final game at the old Cotton Bowl stadium. The victory capped a six-game win streak that returned the school to prominence in Nutt’s first season. This is the first time Ole Miss has been to consecutive bowls since a streak of appearances from 1997-2000.

And it’s the fourth straight bowl appearance for the Cowboys (9-3), who lost to Oregon 42-31 in last year’s Holiday Bowl, and the seventh in the last eight seasons.

The game will be a rematch of the 2004 Cotton Bowl when Eli Manning led the Rebels to a 31-28 win, passing for three touchdowns in his final college game.

While both teams are familiar with the bowl, it will have a very different look this year.

The Rebels got a preview of what to expect while watching Texas’ 13-12 win over Nebraska in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game, which also was played at Cowboys Stadium.

“They can’t wait,” Nutt said. “They were watching the game last night and were looking over the stadium, and talking about it today in the stretch line.”

Sun Bowl

Stanford will be making its first bowl appearance in eight years at the Sun Bowl against Oklahoma.

The 19th-ranked Cardinal (8-4) accepted the bid Sunday to the bowl game in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 31. It will be Stanford’s third trip to the Sun Bowl. It defeated LSU in 1977 and Michigan State in 1996.

The 38-0 win over the Spartans marks the last time the Cardinal won a bowl game. They haven’t played in one since losing the Seattle Bowl to Georgia Tech in 2001.

Led by Heisman Trophy contender Toby Gerhart, the Cardinal finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-10.

This will be the fifth meeting between Stanford and Oklahoma (7-5). The Sooners won three of the first four.

EagleBank Bowl

Temple will play either Army or UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 29 at RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital.

For the Owls (9-3), it will be their first bowl game in 30 years.

Temple’s opponent is contingent on the outcome of the Army-Navy game to be played Saturday in Philadelphia. If Army beats Navy, the Cadets will play in their first bowl game since 1996. If Army loses, Temple will play UCLA (6-6).

Poinsettia Bowl

Utah will try to extend its bowl winning streak to eight consecutive games against California on Dec. 23 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Cal (8-4) hopes to get star tailback Jahvid Best following his frightening concussion last month.

Las Vegas Bowl

BYU is headed for the Las Vegas Bowl for the fifth straight year, this time to face Oregon State.

The 15th-ranked Cougars (10-2) will be playing the Beavers on Dec. 22 in the first meeting of two ranked teams in the bowl game’s history.

BYU (10-2) has gone 2-2 against Pac-10 opponents in the last four Las Vegas Bowls.

The Beavers (8-4) were one win away from playing in the Rose Bowl, but lost to No. 7 Oregon in the Civil War game last Thursday.

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