LSU Tigers (10-2, 6-2 SEC) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (9-3, 6-2 Big Twelve)
AT&T Cotton Bowl
January 7 - 8:00 pm - FOX
$3,575,000 payout per team
Texas A&M squares off with the Louisiana State Tigers in the 76th Cotton Bowl, being hosted at Jerry Jones' new monstrosity of a stadium in Dallas. LSU enters the game with a 10-2 record and a third place finish in the SEC. Texas A&M finished the season 9-3 overall, with a 6-2 conference record which was good for a five-way tie for first place in the Big 12. Ole Miss bested Oklahoma State in last season’s Cotton Bowl, a 21-7 victory for the Rebels.
LSU and Texas A&M are re-igniting a rivalry from college football’s golden era. These two teams have faced each other forty-nine times previously, the most recent being a 33-17 Texas A&M victory in 1995. LSU holds the edge in the series with 26 wins, while A&M only has 19 wins. The series has three ties, the most recent coming in 1966. This will be Texas A&M’s eleventh appearance in the Cotton Bowl, most recently a 38-7 loss to Tennessee in the 2005 game. This will be LSU’s fifth appearance in the game, most recently a 35-20 loss to Texas in 2003.
The LSU Tigers have been in the spotlight for much of the season thanks to improbably circumstances at the end of their games. Head Coach Les Miles has even earned his nickname of "The Mad Hatter" this season! The LSU Defense, ranked eleventh in the country allowing under eighteen point per game, will face a potent Aggie passing attack that averaged nearly three hundred yards per game in the air. If the Tigers are to come out victorious they will need to get after the quarterback and force the Aggie offense into third and long situations. This one could prove to be the most memorable of the 2011 bowl game. If Les Miles’ squad has proved anything this season, it’s that they keep things interesting until the final horn sounds.
- SBN Pittsburgh analysis by Aaron Hawley
SBN PITTSBURGH BOLD PREDICTION: LSU 13, Texas A&M 10
Aaron - LSU
Anson - Texas A&M
Jeff - LSU
Texas A&M flirted with the SEC over the summer, but the Aggies will get a chance to beat an SEC team for the first time since 1995 when they face LSU. Texas A&M is 0-3 in the past two seasons against the conference, but the Tigers' defense will make life hard on the Aggies' offense. There's a silver lining for Texas A&M, though. Les Miles will be without his mojo: This game is on artificial turf. -- David Ubben