Best (or worst) in show: Ranking all 34 bowls December 8, 2008 Source: ESPN - "3. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: The Longhorns are still peeved they didn't get a chance to play for the national championship, but they might have received the next-best thing: playing Ohio State in a BCS bowl game. The powerhouse programs have never met in a bowl game..."
Sporting News' bowl capsules: BCS games December 8, 2008 Source: Sporting News - "3. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Texas will win if...the Longhorns can carry the emotion (anger) of 45-35 over the next four weeks. Playing with something to prove is fine, but Texas better play smart, too--especially with a talented team that recently beat you (2006) on the other sideline. Texas has to run with consistency to open up the passing game with QB Colt McCoy. The Longhorns' only loss was directly related to Texas Tech eliminating the Texas run (28 carries, 80 yards) and making the offense one-dimensional.
Ohio State will win if...the Buckeyes can cover physically in the secondary. Texas exploits defenses because wide receivers Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby are so good after the catch. Ohio State cornerbacks Malcolm Jenkins and Chimdi Chekwa must disrupt routes at the line of scrimmage and minimize yards after the catch. Once the Texas offense is controlled, then it's on to running right at the Longhorns' defense with Beanie Wells and Terrelle Pryor, and setting up play-action passes..."
6. The Fiesta Bowl is an interesting matchup, but not an entirely fresh one. There's this small matter of a home-and-home series played by Ohio State and Texas in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. A guy named Vince Young — ever heard of him? — led the Longhorns to victory in Columbus in '05, while a fellow named Troy Smith went into Austin the following year and brought the Buckeyes a bold breakthrough deep in the heart of Texas. This Fiesta fistfight therefore marks the third meeting between these proud programs in the past four seasons. Ohio State-'Bama and Utah-Texas, while enabling fans to travel shorter distances and thereby save both money and fuel in these difficult economic times, would have also created sexier matchups.
5. OSU-Texas does one good thing for humanity: It will prevent the tired Big Ten-SEC storyline from being repeated in the weeks before the Fiesta Bowl. Bucks-Horns won't be decided by speed. It will be decided by intelligence, and more specifically, the wisdom of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Jim Tressel's prized pupil will encounter a tough, smart Texas defense coached up by superb coordinator Will Muschamp. The celebrated Buckeye freshman will have to use his practice time wisely, because he'll need to be supremely prepared for the formidable challenge awaiting him in suburban Phoenix. If Pryor can use his speed to outrun the Horns without having to outthink them, Ohio State could have a big night in Glendale. But if Pryor can't bust loose with his legs, it's likely that Texas will take this tilt. Colt McCoy isn't likely to lose this game; Pryor will need a primo performance to lift his teammates over the top.