The primary reason why Alabama beat out Oklahoma State for the No. 2 slot in the BCS, and a berth in the national championship, was because the SEC had a superior reputation to the Big 12.
Both the Big 12 (6-1) and the SEC (4-2) have had excellent bowl seasons so far, but the Cotton Bowl in Dallas is the only match-up between schools from the two conferences.
Arkansas, the third-place team in the SEC West, is favored by -7.5 points over Kansas State, the second-place team in the Big 12, which went away with divisions this year.
But while the Big 12 is known for pass-happy spread offenses, the Wildcats, under long-time coach Bill Snyder, are somewhat of an anachronism. Their starting QB, junior Collin Klein, has more rushing TD's (26) than passing TD's (13), as Kansas State prefers to play smash-mouth football at the line of scrimmage behind the 6'5 225 QB.
The Razorbacks, with an offensive guru for a coach in Bobby Petrino and a record-setting QB in Tyler Wilson, play more of a Big 12 style of football. And while defense has become an SEC calling card, Arkansas has won the majority of its games with an offense that averages 37.4 points a game, 14th in the nation.
The Wildcats will try to copy the formula from Arkansas' two losses this year, against LSU and Alabama, by controlling the clock on the ground and slowing the tempo of the game. The Razorbacks, meanwhile, will try to copy the formula Oklahoma used to defeat Kansas State 58-17 earlier in the season, by spreading out the Wildcats defense and making them play from behind.
The odds-makers are giving the edge to the Arkansas offense, setting the over/under for the Jan. 6 bowl game at 64.5.
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