Bowl Blitz Invitational #20: 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic — Kansas State @ Arkansas in NCAA Football 12

With four out of five BCS Bowl Games in the books, the attention here at STAT BOX STORIES for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL turns to the few remaining Bowl Games left before next Monday’s 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game in Louisiana.  In the first of these “also-ran” Bowl Game showcases, Matthew Lee–also known by the name “steelerfan” at The Gaming Tailgate–brings us the 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic between the Kansas State Wildcats and Arkansas Razorbacks.

The 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is a match-up of two teams who each felt as though they had been unfairly left out by the BCS Selection process.

The Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2) finished number 6 in the BCS and their losses were to the two teams, Alabama and LSU, who will meet for the BCS National Championship. Meanwhile, the eighth-ranked Kansas State Wildcats (10-2) had losses to Oklahoma and #3 Oklahoma State. BCS rules prohibit any conference from having 3 teams make a BCS game (eliminating Arkansas) and KSU was denied on the basis of money. That is, the ‘Powers That Be’ felt that Michigan and Virginia Tech would fill the Sugar Bowl’s coffers more suitably than K-State.

The Hogs and Wildcats’ collective loss was the Cotton Bowl’s gain as the game, which dates back to 1937, jumped at the opportunity to host a pair of top ten squads.

I decided to take control of the Kansas State Wildcats, because of a ratings disadvantage, so I fired up EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12, loaded my sliders (which can be found at The Gaming Tailgate) and headed to a virtual replica of Jerry World to find out which snubbed school would put their injured feelings aside and play their best game. I had no idea that this contest would produce my first touchdown-less game of NCAA Football in as long as I can remember.

After winning the coin flip and electing to kickoff, K-State was able to force the Hogs into a three-and-out when LE #97 registered a quarterback sack on 3rd and 5 to quickly get the Arkansas offense off the field.

KSU’s opening possession began at their own 38 yard line. The Wildcats showed early on that they were going to feature a variety of Read Option, Speed Option, Jet Sweeps, Middle Screens, Bubble Screens, Draws, and even some of the Wildcat formation. While the drive failed to produce points (K #10 missed a 46-yard field goal attempt), the 7-play, 33-yard drive set the stage for the rest of the evening.

Another three-and-out by the Hogs was followed by a 10-play, 38-yard KSU march that consumed 4:13 and ended with a K# 10 38-yard kick for a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Arkansas finally recorded their initial first down of the contest on their third possession but stalled again shortly thereafter. Following a third three-and-out by the Hogs, KSU put together a 12-play, 61-yard drive and closed the first half with a 32-yard kick and a 6-0 lead.

Midway through the third quarter, The Razorbacks’ offense finally showed some life. Arkansas marched 73 yards in 13 plays and threatened to take the lead from K-State before the Wildcats’ D snuffed the attack inside the KSU 5 yard line and forced a 20-yard field goal by K #18.

Two errant throws by Arkansas QB # 8 in the fourth quarter, the first leading to a Wildcat score and the second coming in KSU’s end zone, coupled with two more Kansas State field goals (44 and 30 yards) sealed the Razorbacks fate and lifted KSU to a 12-3 win. It was the second Cotton Bowl win for Kansas State in school history (2001, 35-21 over Tennessee).

Many thanks to Matt for sharing this very unorthodox result in NCAA Football 12 with us here at STAT BOX STORIES. Although the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL is fast drawing to a close, be sure to return tomorrow as we get another guest contribution for the 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl between the SMU Mustangs and the Pittsburgh Panthers!

Guest Author Bio:

Matthew Lee–better known by the alias “steelerfan”–has been a sports video gamer since 1981.  He attended multiple Community Day events at the EA Tiburon studio in Orlando, Florida during the development of NCAA Football 12, and has been part of the NCAA Football community for over 10 years.  He plays NCAA Football, FIFA, NHL, Madden NFL, and MLB The Show.

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