NORMAN — The logo on Texas A&M’s jersey says “SEC” in bright gold. For Oklahoma, however, the AT&T Cotton Bowl won’t feel like a bowl game against a typical out-of-conference opponent.
Memories from early November Big 12 Conference games between the programs are barely a year old. They’re still too vivid in OU’s way of thinking.
“In my mind, it still seems like a Big 12 game, just because they’re only one year removed,” OU quarterback Landry Jones said at Tuesday’s press conference previewing the Jan. 4 game. “If this was 20 years down the line, I’m sure it would be a whole different game with a different feel to it. I’m sure future Oklahoma teams won’t play Texas A&M every year.”
Probably not, but this one is going to play the Aggies for the 19th time in the last 20 years. The last year the teams didn’t play was 1995 — a year before the Big 12 Conference was formed. The teams played a non-conference, home-and-home series in 1993 and 1994.
It wasn’t something the Sooners were thinking about until the bowl announcements were made on Dec. 2. Sooner players thought they were heading to the Sugar Bowl after topping TCU to clinch a share of the Big 12 championship.
Circumstances have changed. Landing in a bowl game played in Arlington, Texas, caught players off guard.
“It’s strange for two reasons,” defensive end David King said. “One, because we’re playing in Dallas and we play in Dallas when we play Texas every year. Two, we did play Texas A&M every year for so many years.”
It doesn’t feel like the typical Big 12-SEC showdown in the Cotton Bowl. The 10th-ranked Aggies, who have fully embraced their move to the SEC and have gone 10-2 this season, still play like a Big 12 team.