OSU gets bowl in prime recruiting territory
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, December 03, 2012
12/03/12 at 4:28 AM
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Purdue
The good news is Oklahoma State will play a New Year's Day bowl game on fertile recruiting turf.
The strange news is OSU, which tied for third in the Big 12, got passed over by Big 12-affiliated bowls who selected higher in the pecking order.
The Cowboys learned Sunday that they will play Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, an ESPNU-televised game that will be played 11 a.m. Jan. 1 in the Cotton Bowl.
"It is a good trip for our fans and it's easy for our people to get there," OSU coach Mike Gundy said during a Sunday night teleconference.
"I can't imagine that we won't have a big crowd there."
Purdue went 6-6 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten games during the regular season. The Boilermakers won their last three games to secure bowl eligibility, but that did not save the job of Danny Hope. On Nov. 25, Purdue announced the fourth-year coach would not be retained. Hope posted a 22-27 record at the school and was 13-19 in league games.
Interim coach Patrick Higgins, a receivers coach, will lead the Boilermakers against the Cowboys in the bowl previously known as the TicketCity Bowl.
"This will be an interesting and entertaining game at the historic Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day," Kern Egan, Heart of Dallas board member, said in a press release issued Sunday night.
"Purdue ended the season on a roll with three straight wins while Oklahoma State will enter the game with one of the nation's top offenses. We are thrilled to have both schools competing in our bowl and look forward to hosting both teams and their fans."
OSU and Purdue have met once previously.
The Boilermakers beat the Cowboys 33-20 in the 1997 Alamo Bowl.
Before OSU ended the 2012 regular season with a 41-34 loss at Baylor, bowl projections had the Cowboys going to the Cotton Bowl, Alamo Bowl or Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Gundy was surprised his team was chosen by the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
"That's why I never follow (bowl projections) because the speculation that has been going on for weeks essentially didn't hold to be true for the most part," Gundy said.
"So that's why I never really worry about it. Wherever the conference sends us is where we go and obviously the conference sent us to this bowl and for that reason we prepare and we go play and I'm sure Purdue is excited about being there.
"Bowl games are about competing. The teams that play well in bowl games are the ones that really want to be there and really want to play one more game."
Gundy said he didn't have a clue about why the Cowboys were bypassed by other bowls.
Referring to the Big 12's bowl selection process, he said it obviously doesn't matter where you finish in the league standings.
But, forging ahead, Gundy talked about positives like how playing in a Jan. 1 bowl instead of an earlier bowl will allow OSU coaches to maximize recruiting opportunities before the next dead period begins, and how the Cowboys will get four or five more practice opportunities to develop young players and work on things.
Asked about playing a bowl in prime recruiting territory, Gundy said, "Obviously we thrive in Dallas and central Texas and the Houston area. So we'll be down there for a number of days and we have a lot of people that will come support us.
"We will be visible in that area, which will be marketing Oklahoma State."
Heart of Dallas Bowl
At Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas
11 a.m. Jan. 1
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Heart of Dallas Bowl
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy reacts during their loss against Baylor. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World