The Northern Illinois Huskies' surprise ascent to the Orange Bowl had a ripple effect on the bowl picture throughout college football.
Once thought to be ticketed to a BCS bowl game, the Oklahoma Sooners were forced from the BCS picture after Northern Illinois earned a bid to to the BCS. Oklahoma's departure from the BCS picture placed them in the Cotton Bowl -- the same Cotton Bowl that the Texas Longhorns had been projected to play in.
Instead of taking on the Texas A&M Aggies in the Cotton Bowl, like the Sooners will, the Longhorns find themselves ticketed to the Alamo Bowl, where they'll take on the Oregon State Beavers.
Wescott Eberts over at Burnt Orange Nation, one of SB Nation's Longhorns blogs, discussed Texas' final opponent of the season.
The Beavers had an impressive season, rising from unranked to 15th in the final AP poll with a 9-3 record. Victories over Wisconsin and UCLA highlight the resume, as well as a close contest against Stanford that saw the Cardinal have to rally from a 23-14 3rd-quarter deficit.
So while Oregon State may not appear to be as formidable an opponent as LSU, Georgia, or Texas A&M would have been, Mike Riley is an excellent coach and the Beavers defense that is among the top 20 in the country in S&P+ and defends the pass extremely well.
Texas underestimates them at their own peril.
Though the Beavers aren't as alluring as an opponent as the Aggies or LSU Tigers would have been, they still figure to be a formidable foe, as Mack Brown and the Longhorns look to notch their second consecutive bowl win.