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Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview: Purdue Just Tries to Keep It Close with Oklahoma State

It's hard to imagine this game being anything other than a blowout win for OSU.


Heart of Dallas Bowl, Tuesday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Why it exists: To stage a game in the actual Cotton Bowl stadium after the game by that name moved to JerryWorld.

The teams: Oklahoma State and Purdue

How Oklahoma State got here: The Cowboys experienced a bit of a rebuilding year after 2011's breakthrough triumph. Running back Joseph Randle anchored the offense with 1,351 yards on the ground as injuries made the quarterback position a revolving door. Three players -- Wes Lunt, J.W. Walsh, and Clint Chelf -- attempted at least 128 passes on the season, and all three had over 1,000 yards through the air. Schedule-wise, OSU had no awful losses but also no terrific wins. The team got better as the year went along, so it probably should take care of business here.

How Purdue got here: Primarily, the Boilermakers got here by beating bad teams. The best record of any of Purdue's pelts belongs to Eastern Kentucky (8-3). After that, it's Marshall at 5-7. The Boilers couldn't even find a way to beat the one marginal bowl team on the slate, as Minnesota beat them by 16. They did push this year's two undefeated teams, as they lost to Notre Dame by three and to Ohio State by seven in overtime, but they weren't competitive in their other four losses. Head coach Danny Hope got fired despite back-to-back bowl seasons, which provides evidence that some ADs actually are able to tell when a bowl bid is completely fraudulent.

College football fans care because: Sometimes everyone, in the darkest parts of their hearts, is interested in watching football's equivalent of a snuff film just for the spectacle of it.

SEC fans care because: Mike Gundy was rumored to be in the running for multiple SEC jobs this winter.

Watch this game if...: You actually get ESPNU, but only until the other games come on an hour after this one kicks off.

cocknfire's pick: Oklahoma State 34, Purdue 14

Line: Oklahoma State by 17