Cotton Bowl 2013: Did Texas A&M Get Shafted with Old Big 12 Matchup vs Oklahoma?

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterDecember 3, 2012

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Not many people expected Texas A&M to have this type of season in its first year in the SEC.

A 10-win campaign, an upset of then-No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a redshirt Freshman quarterback named Johnny Manziel likely headed to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist—not a bad way to start your life in a new conference.

As a reward, the Aggies will play in...the Cotton Bowl, against Oklahoma.

That is, the same place the Aggies have spent the offseason twice since 2005 as members of the Big 12, against a team in which it shared a division with since the inception of the Big 12 in 1994.

The postseason in the SEC won't be as much of a novelty as the regular season was, apparently.

Did Texas A&M get shafted with its postseason matchup?

Well, maybe.

There was talk over the weekend that the Capital One Bowl was eyeing the Aggies regardless of what happened in the SEC Championship Game.

So what happened?

The SEC likely didn't want the SEC Championship Game loser—which deserved to be in a BCS bowl had it not been for the two-team limit—to plummet down the pecking order.

Unfortunately for the Aggies, while that makes sense, it meant a familiar location against a familiar opponent.

With that being said, when you get past the familiarity factor, this game has a chance to be a fantastic matchup between two teams that will draw plenty of attention.

Johnny Manziel will go up against an Oklahoma defense that ranks 44th in the country in total defense and 83rd in rush defense, having given up 181.92 yards per game on the ground.

To put it more simply, it's a chance for Manziel to kick off his 2013 Heisman Trophy campaign, presumably with the 2012 hardware sitting on his bookshelf.

But it's more than that.

Can Aggie defensive end Damontre Moore pressure Sooner quarterback Landry Jones? Will Dustin Harris, Deshazor Everett and the Aggie secondary slow down the vaunted Sooner passing attack that ranks fifth in the country with 341.8 yards per game?

Those are just some of the reasons why ranked the Cotton Bowl third among all bowl games this season.

Aggie fans may be a little disappointed with the venue and the opponent, but this is a big-time game against a high-quality opponent in one of the most prestigious non-BCS bowls in the market.

In other words, it's a great way to further the A&M brand, which has already benefitted immensely from its inclusion into the SEC.