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College Bowl Game Picks: Cotton Bowl Classic

The clock is quickly ticking down on the college football season - but we're left with one last Friday night treat tonight when the Texas A&M Aggies take on the LSU Tigers in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Tonight's game kicks off a pretty awesome football weekend with the NFL playoffs starting tomorrow before Monday night's BCS Championship game between Auburn and Oregon.

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LSU (10-2, 6-2 in SEC) were at one time hopeful to possibly sneak into the BCS championship - even as a one loss team. A second loss to end the regular season to Arkansas doomed the Tigers and also removed them from the BCS picture as well. Les Miles' team has still put together a successful season, largely in thanks to their defense. LSU's defense gives up on average only 17.8 points per game - good for 11th in the FBS. Junior running back Stevan Ridley rushed for 14 touchdowns for the Tigers - but was ruled academically ineligible for the game. Ridley appealed the decision and the NCAA has reinstated him for tonight's game.

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Texas A&M (9-3, 6-2 in Big 12) recovered from a midseason three game losing streak and ended the regular season on a six game winning streak, defeating the Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl champion Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the process. Ryan Tannehill has gone undefeated since taking over at quarterback for the Aggies. 

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Despite Ridley being ready to play for LSU, I'm going to take the Aggies to win in what should be a close game. The Aggies simply have a more balanced team and I expect that to reign supreme tonight in Cowboy's Stadium. 

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.