AT&T COTTON BOWL STORYLINES
1. Perhaps the best non-BCS matchup of the bowl season comes in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, where former conference rivals No. 13 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Missouri square off Jan. 3 in Arlington, Texas. Both teams were one win away from BCS berths - or in the Tigers' case, perhaps a spot in the national championship game. The Cowboys won the last three meetings when the teams were Big 12 foes after Missouri had won four of the previous five.
2. Expect a shootout from two of the best, most balanced offenses in the nation as Oklahoma State averages 39.8 points and Missouri 39. The Tigers boast a better ground game, but both teams can hurt opponents with the run or the pass.
3. The turnover battle is always critical, but particularly so when each team's success is as reliant on winning it as these two. Oklahoma State has 30 takeaways and is plus-15 in that department, while Missouri has forced 29 turnovers and is plus-16. The Tigers have a streak of 43 consecutive games with at least one takeaway - the longest current streak in the FBS.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox. LINE: Missouri -1
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (10-2, 7-2 Big 12): The Cowboys rotated quarterbacks early in the season but have settled on senior Clint Chelf as their man, and with good reason. Chelf has passed for 1,792 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding 321 yards and six TDs on the ground at a clip of 6.1 yards per carry. The Cowboys are tough against the run - tied for 22nd nationally at 132.9 yards allowed per game - and have a lockdown cornerback in All-American Justin Gilbert, who should be able to neutralize one of Missouri's stable of dangerous receivers.
ABOUT MISSOURI (11-2, 7-1 SEC): The Tigers were quietly one of the best running teams in the SEC thanks to three running backs who each have more than 500 yards on the ground and quarterback James Franklin (474 yards, four touchdowns). If the Cowboys manage to bottle up Henry Josey (1,074 yards, 13 TDs), Russell Hansbrough (660, four) and Marcus Murphy (571, nine), they'll still have to contend with Franklin and Missouri's bevy of talented - and tall - receivers led by Dorial Green-Beckham (55 catches, 830 yards, 12 TDs) and L'Damian Washington (47, 853, 10). Missouri's defense had a great season with All-America defensive end Michael Sam leading the way, but the Tigers were gashed for 677 total yards - 545 on the ground - in their 59-42 loss to Auburn in the SEC Championship game.
PREDICTION: Missouri 37, Oklahoma State 34