Also, head over here for the fully updated bowl season calendar as it fills in, from the New Orleans Bowl through the Rose Bowl. We’ll also add picks, scores, and more to that calendar over time.
The Valero Alamo Bowl gets going in prime time on Thursday night from San Antonio. This will be the 24th edition of the Alamo Bowl, which features tie-ins with the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences. This year, the teams fulfilling them are Oklahoma State and Colorado, who both lost conference championship games (officially or not) on Championship Weekend.
Whatever happens in this year’s edition of the Alamo Bowl, it will have a difficult time coming close to matching last year’s game. In case you don’t remember, the Alamo Bowl was the game where Oregon blew a 31-0 halftime lead following an injury to Vernon Adams and lost in triple overtime to TCU, 47-41. It was the largest comeback in bowl game history, and we’re probably not due for an encore for quite some time.
Here is everything you need to know in preparation for this year's Alamo Bowl:
Date and time: Thursday, Dec. 29, 9:00 p.m.
TV channel: ESPN
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Last year's score: TCU 47, Oregon 41 (3OT)
Last year's attendance: 71,007
Teams with the most all-time appearances: Iowa, 4
Teams with the most all-time wins: Nebraska, 3
Oklahoma State (9-3, 7-2 in Big 12)
Oklahoma State’s season has been an interesting one. In Week 2, the Cowboys lost to Central Michigan on a Hail Mary and lateral final play, one which the officials later admitted should never have counted. OSU still had to take that loss, though, and two weeks later the Cowboys lost to Baylor, 35-24. OSU rebounded nicely, however, winning its next seven games and setting up an important Bedlam game at the end of the season against Oklahoma.
OSU offensively is led by quarterback Mason Rudolph, who has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. Receiver James Washington has been a good complement for Rudolph, with over 1,000 receiving yards this year. Offensively, the Cowboys rank inside the top 20 according to S&P+.
Oklahoma State got off to a similarly rough start as its rival, Oklahoma, in 2016. The Sooners got the win in Bedlam to end the season, beating OSU 38-10, but the Cowboys still had nine wins on the year with the loss.
Colorado (10-3, 8-1 in Pac-12)
Colorado surprised just about everyone this year. Before the 2016 season, the Pac-12 media predicted the Buffs to finish last in the Pac-12 South with UCLA winning the division. Fast forward to the end of the regular season and the Buffs have clinched the South division with its best season since 2002.
Colorado lost to USC on Oct. 8 then rattled off six straight wins, including the last two over Washington State and Utah, to clinch the division and a shot to win its first Pac-12 title. Colorado lost to Washington in that game, with the Huskies taking the league title.
Buffs quarterback Sefo Liufau has had a great senior year, and freshman Steven Montez has filled in well when Liufau’s been hurt. Running back Phillip Lindsay is great, too, and Jim Leavitt’s defense has gone from terrible a few years ago to an elite unit now. The Buffs really are having a dream season.
There’s no question that Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre will be mentioned in Coach of the Year conversations. He took over a program with losing seasons since 2006, and within four years as the Buffs’ head coach, made it a Pac-12 title contender.