Alamo Bowl Preview: Oklahoma State, Arizona In a Likely Slugfest

Valero Alamo Bowl, December 29, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: A chance for the oil industry to rehab its image after the BP oil spill with a game staged in the nation's worst dome.

The teams: Oklahoma State and Arizona

How Oklahoma State got here: By scoring so much that their offensive coordinator got a head-coach-in-waiting job. At another school. The Cowboys scored fewer than 30 points in a single game and averaged almost 45 -- including 41 in losses to Nebraska and Oklahoma. Of course, if a team has scored 41 points in two losses, you can probably guess what the problem is. Oklahoma State's offense ranks 91st in the NCAA, allowing more than 412 yards a game. But pretty points. Brandon Weeden has thrown for 4,037 yards, 32 TDs and 13 INTs; many of those passes have gone to Justin Blackmon, who will almost certainly pass the 1,700 yard mark in this game and likely add to his 18 receiving TDs. Kendall Hunter, who piled up more than 1,500 yards and rushed for less than 100 in just three of the Cowboys' games, is also pretty good. By the way, Oklahoma State went 10-2 this year. Don't feel bad if you hadn't heard any of that.

How Arizona got here: Via one of the most spectacular implosions of the year. Your humble correspondent was not at all the one who ranked them at No. 4 preseason -- you're completely misremembering that -- but the Wildcats looked like a Pac-10 dark horse at 7-1 when they started playing the conference heavyweights. And losing to the conference heavyweights as part of a four-game losing streak to end the season. The final loss was the worst -- a one-point defeat against hated rival Arizona State, a game that made the Wildcats the only FBS team with a winning record to lose to Arizona State. Despite missing all of two games and part of a third with injury, Nick Foles was good, passing for 2,911 yards, 19 TDs and 7 INTs. But the defense -- supposed to be a Stoops Brothers trademark -- allowed more than 40 points to Stanford and Oregon as part of the season-ending slide.

College football fans care because: Oklahoma State has one of the best offenses around, and it's a preview of what West Virginia's offense will look like next year. Or maybe the year after.

SEC fans care because: It's likely going to reinforce every stereotype we have about Pac-10 teams.

Watch this game if...: You think the Metrodome is currently the worst-looking in-doors stadium in America.

The result: Oklahoma State 52, Arizona 31

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