COLLEGE STATION, Tex. — Texas and Texas A&M will square off today (ESPN, 5 p.m., PST) in a showdown for the Southwest Conference championship, with the winner going to the Cotton Bowl to play Notre Dame on New Year's Day.
The Aggies, 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the conference, are trying for their third straight appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
A&M quarterback Craig Stump, a fifth-year senior who started in the season opener against LSU before losing his starting job to freshman Lance Pavlas, will start tonight.
Bret Stafford, who has been erratic at times, will start at quarterback for Texas (6-4, 5-1).
Texas hopes running back Eric Metcalf will be able to elude the Aggies' Wrecking Crew defense, headed by linebacker John Roper and safety Chet Brooks. The Aggies lead the conference in total defense.
Metcalf, the son of former Cal State Long Beach and St. Louis Cardinal star Terry Metcalf, goes into the game as the No. 2 all-purpose runner in the nation. He has gained 1,080 yards rushing and has a total of 1,839 yards.
The loser of the game is expected to accept a bid to play Pittsburgh in the Bluebonnet Bowl in the Houston Astrodome on New Year's Eve.