After a brief hiatus from college football, the bowl season continues Friday night with the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The contest will pit the Arkansas Razorbacks with the Kansas State Wildcats in a battle of Top 10 clubs. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff and will be televised nationally on FOX. Currently the odds have Arkansas as a heavy favorite anywhere from 8.5 to 10 points, depending on the book with the total being set at 64.5 points. Many considered both of these teams to be BCS bowl contenders but they got the shaft when LSU and Alabama were somehow pitted together in the title game.
Free Analysis: Arkansas is one of the best teams in the country and quite possibly might be the third best team in the land. Their only two losses on the season came to LSU and Alabama, who are playing in the BCS title game. Kansas State enters the game won 10 games this season, really beating nobody. Sure, they knocked off Baylor 36-35 at home, but they were boat-raced by Oklahoma and gave up 52 to Oklahoma State in back to back weeks. Arkansas is an offensive juggernaut that can put up more points than both schools from Oklahoma. The Razorbacks were left out of a BCS bowl due to a rule that precludes three teams from a single conference from making a BCS game, and the Wildcats because the Sugar Bowl preferred Michigan and Virginia Tech. Kansas State went 7-6 last year and lost 36-34 to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl and this year the Wildcats were picked to finish eighth in the conference. To be playing in a high profile bowl game such as this is pretty impressive for the team from Manhattan. Paul Petrino will call the plays for the Razorbacks in this contest as offensive coordinator Garrick McGee took the head coaching position at UAB. Defensive coordinator John L. Smith also took a head coaching job, bolting for Weber State. Former Ohio State assistant Paul Haynes was hired to run the defense. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson is going to whip it all over the yard tonight. This season he led the SEC with 3,422 passing yards, hitting for 63 percent of his passes and tossing 22 touchdowns and only six picks on the year. His top target is receiver Jarius Wright, who led the SEC by catching 11 receiving TDs and was second in the conference with 63 catches and 1,029 yards. Kansas State is exactly the opposite of the Pigs. They prefer to run the football and quarterback Collin Klein leads the club in just about everything. Klein threw for 1,745 yards and 12 TDs, which isn't high profile for a quarterback at a Big 12 school but he rushed for 1,099 yards and 26 touchdowns, second in the country behind Wisconsin's Montee Ball, who scored 32 times on the ground. This is the second straight bigtime bowl game for the Razorbacks, who lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl last year. Arkansas is 12-23-3 in its bowl appearances in the school's history. The Wildcats aren't exactly experienced in post season games, going 6-8 all time in bowl games. Kansas State has lost three straight bowl games as well. Defensively, Arkansas might be better equipped for this game after playing in the SEC all year. The Big 12 wasn't exactly very good this season, aside from Oklahoma State and Kansas State, and Arkansas will be the best team the Wildcats have played all season. The Pigs roll up around 38 points per game in the SEC, which is nuts, and their defense surrenders under 23 points a game.
Free Pick: Arkansas is the third best team in the country for a reason. Kansas State is way overmatched in this contest tonight because in games where they saw offenses like the Pigs they were run over. Sure, the Wildcats have a ground game that can eat up clock and Klein can get it into the end zone, but the Razorbacks are going to score points against them. I think Arkansas can win this game by double digits and there's a reason the Pigs are favored right around the 10 point mark. Bobby Petrino has done a great job at the helm of the Arkansas and his offense is going to torch Kansas State tonight. The Wildcats do a great job of running the rock and scoring points of their own, but I'll take the SEC's third best team over anyone in the Big 12. The total is probably something that will intrigue me as well, because I think that Kansas State can score some points as well, but they won't be able to go point-for-point.
Free Picks: Kansas State vs Arkansas Betting
Kansas State offense does not turn ball over and Kansas State defense has had problems against high power offenses plus other factors college football bettors need to know about Kansas State vs Arkansas (Friday, January 6, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Scott Spreitzer and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.