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2012 Cotton Bowl: Arkansas Favored, But Kansas State Hard To Predict

Even the numerical svengali Bill C., SB Nation's in-house stat wrangler, can't get a complete feel for Kansas State. Explaining how the Wildcats defied expectations en route to a 10-win regular season is hard, but it's quite easy to dissect and applaud the potent offense of the Arkansas team they'll face in Friday's Cotton Bowl. Bill C. gives the Razorbacks an advantage in terms of their scoring ability - they scored at least 38 points in eight wins and at least 29 in all ten - in a defensive minded SEC.

But fret not, Wildcats - even Bill C. admits that numbers tend to lie around Bill Snyder's inexplicable machine in Manhattan:

Because their offense has a bit larger advantage over the opposing defense, and because their big-time return men (Johnson on kickoffs, Adams on punts) are healthy, the Hogs get the nod in this one. But using statistics, Kansas State should have gone about 7-5 or 8-4 this year. Instead, their 8-1 record in one-possession games got them into the Cotton Bowl and, with a win, will likely lead them to a Top 10 finish in the polls. If Arkansas gets hot (like Oklahoma did in Manhattan back in October), the score could get out of hand. But you could have said that about quite a few KSU games this year, and it rarely happened.

For the complete breakdown of the Cotton Bowl, check out the official preview here.

For more on the Arkansas Razorbacks, visit Arkansas Expats. For Kansas State news and notes, visit Bring On The Cats. For a look at everything college football, go SB Nation's college football page.

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