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The preseason bowl predictions are in, and the Oklahoma Sooners are the trendy pick to make the trip from Norman to San Antonio to represent the Big 12 Conference in this year’s Valero Alamo Bowl.
Phil Steele, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, SB Nation, and Athlon all weighed in with four of the five selecting the Sooners. It would be the first Valero Alamo Bowl appearance for Oklahoma.
Bleacher Report was the only one of the five prognosticators to differ, picking the Kansas State Wildcats. The Wildcats have appeared in the Valero Alamo Bowl once before, losing 37-34 to Drew Brees and the Purdue Boilermakers in 1998.
The preseason picks for the Pac-12 representative are all over the board, with the Stanford Cardinal the only team to be named twice. Arizona State, Oregon, and USC were each selected once and none of the four Pac-12 teams to be predicted have played in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Pac-12 and VAB are entering their fourth year as partners.
Phil Steele and Athlon both picked Oklahoma and Stanford to play in the 21st Valero Alamo Bowl. The two teams previously met in the 2009 Sun Bowl, a contest the Sooners won 31-27.
The Sooners won the 2012 Big 12 title and have posted three straight 10-win seasons. They return seven starters on offense and four on defense, including preseason All-American cornerback Aaron Colvin, but must replace quarterback Landry Jones, who started 50 games in his career and is the Big 12’s all-time passing leader.
The Cardinal were the 2012 Pac-12 Champions and have been to three consecutive BCS bowls. They return six starters on offense and seven on defense, including quarterback Kevin Hogan, who led the team to a 5-0 finish including a win against Oregon who was the nation’s top-ranked team at the time.
Lindy’s did not make a Valero Alamo Bowl game prediction, but projected Texas to finish third in the Big 12, which would place the Longhorns in their second consecutive Valero Alamo Bowl. The magazine projected Stanford and the UCLA Bruins to play for the Pac-12 title, and the loser of that game could potentially appear in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
The Big 12 media preseason poll picked TCU to finish third, meaning the Horned Frogs would represent the league in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Pac-12 has not released its preseason poll.
So, with 36 days until the 2013 college football season kicks off, who is your pick to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl?
Oklahoma Sooners v. Stanford Cardinal (Athlon)
Kansas State Wildcats v. Arizona State Sun Devils (Bleacher Report)
Oklahoma Sooners v. Oregon Ducks (CBS Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners v. Stanford Cardinal (Phil Steele)
Oklahoma Sooners v. USC Trojans (SB Nation)