The Allstate Sugar Bowl was in negotiations with one of its BCS partners to make a possible trade over the weekend that would have sent Oklahoma to New Orleans, but those plans were dashed when the Sooners lost to Oklahoma State, Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan told CBSSports.com Monday.
Oklahoma has been to the Fiesta Bowl three times in the last five years, and it would have been destined for Arizona again if it had beaten OSU. Had the Sooners won, the Sugar Bowl would have selected the Cowboys with the first pick in the at-large process and made the trade, allowable under BCS rules, with the Fiesta.
The Sugar Bowl has come under some criticism in the last 24 hours for selecting Virginia Tech over other higher ranked teams such as Kansas State and Boise State.
â€œI was working with (Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck) Neinas throughout the week prior to selections on a possible Oklahoma trade â€¦â€ Hoolahan told CBSSports.comâ€™s Dennis Dodd. â€œWe had that greased and ready to go.
â€œA lot of time was spent looking at that. A lot of time was spent looking at similar situations regarding Virginia Tech. Virginia Techâ€™s name didnâ€™t come in out of the blue.â€
Dodd pointed out that the Sugar Bowl has had Hawaii, Utah and Cincinnati opposite a Southeastern Conference opponent in three of its last four editions, and going with what Hoolahan called a â€œlong-time friend and partnerâ€ in Virginia Tech may have been a safer choice.
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