OU may be headed to Cotton Bowl

Wednesday, November 28th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The executive director of the Cotton Bowl says there are ``all kinds of pluses for us and Oklahoma'' if the Sooners spend New Year's Day in Dallas.

``It would be very exciting for the city and for OU fans to have Oklahoma in our game,'' says Rick Baker. ``The fact that they're defending national champions is very exciting to Fox, our TV network.''

OU plays Texas every year in Cotton Bowl stadium, but has never played in the 65-year-old bowl game.

The Cotton Bowl held its first team selection meeting on Monday and the Southeastern Conference representatives mentioned were 22nd-ranked Louisiana State, No. 25 Auburn or Arkansas.

If LSU and Oklahoma meet, it would send LSU defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs against his former school.

Gibbs spent 29 seasons as either a player, assistant or head coach at OU. He replaced Barry Switzer as head coach and compiled a 44-23-1 record at Norman.

An OU-LSU or OU-Arkansas game likely would produce a sellout in the 68,252-seat Cotton Bowl, which annually sports attendance of more than 75,000 for the OU-Texas game on the Texas state fairgrounds.

Baker called OU-LSU a ``great matchup.''

Big 12 officials historically have not mandated bowl destinations for its members, so OU could politick for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, which the Sooners might prefer and which has the next Big 12 pick after the Cotton. Washington of the Pac-10 already has accepted a Holiday Bowl berth.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione talked with a Holiday Bowl representative after the Sooners' 16-13 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday.

He said Dallas or San Diego were likely destinations, but said there were too many possibilities to speculate.