Big 12 Preview: Bowls

Nine Big 12 teams play in bowl games this year over a nine-day period

BCS RECORD

The Big 12 has made 20 appearances in a BCS game in the 15-year history of the structure. The Conference has placed at least one team in the top four of the final BCS Standings in 11 of 15 years. The Big 12 is 9-10 alltime in BCS games and has advanced two teams in the same season five times (2001, ‘03, ‘04, ‘07, ‘08). The Conference ranks second with seven appearances in the BCS national championship game.


BOWL STRENGTH

The Big 12 is the only league in which 90% of its membership will participate in bowl games, and one of just two conferences with nine bowl teams. That percentage is the highest in college football history. This season marks the seventh in the last eight that at least eight Conference teams played in bowl games. Big 12 teams did not suffer any losses in 2012 that weren't to bowl-eligible teams.


PICKS

  • Baylor rallied after a tough early conference start to make a bowl, but UCLA has too much for the Bears to contend with. The Bruins get the pick as they stay in-state for their postseason appearance.

  • Texas Tech is in a bit of turmoil after losing their coach unexpectedly (to Cincinnati!) but that oculd serve as a rallying point for the Red Raiders. They get the call over the Golden Gophers.

  • West Virginia must battle disappointment with both their season and bowl location as it faces Syracuse in the Lame Duck...er, Pinstripe Bowl. The Big East can't be too happy with this match-up in their "feature" game, can it? WVU gets the narrow call on the strength of three stellar senior offensive players.

  • Texas also had a tumultuous season, while Oregon State enjoyed a revitalization. The Beavers are probably more happy to be in this game, and that counts for a lot in bowl season. OSU gets the nod.

  • TCU squares off with Michigan State in Arizona. The Horned Frogs defense is tough, but do they have enough offense to get the job done? The Spartans do, and thus are the selection.

  • The scenario is similar for Iowa State, which faces Tulsa. The Cyclones have enough defense to hang with almost anyone, and a lesser foe in this game makes them a very narrow pick.

  • Oklahoma State plays Purdue in what might be the biggest mismatch of the bowl season outside of FSU - Northern Illinois. The Pokes should roll in this one.

  • Kansas State will have to figure out a way to contain Oregon's speed in the Fiesta Bowl. They did that multiple times during the regular season, but the Ducks have more than any other foe they faced. Oregon is the pick

  • Oklahoma gets the chance to strike a blow for the Big 12 as it faces Texas A&M. The Heisman hangover could come into play for the Aggies, but the disappointment of missing out on a BCS bid could also weigh on the Sooners. This is as much of a toss-up as you can get in a bowl. Texas A&M gets a close win.


    BAYLOR
    (7-5, 4-5)
    vs. UCLA
    Thu 12/27
    9:45 E/8:45 C
    ESPN
    Baylor has won seven or more games in three straight seasons for the second time in program history and first time since 1949-51, when the Bears combined for 23 victories.

    Baylor's balanced offense leads the nation in total yards, ranks third in passing and 19th in rushing, making it one of three programs nationally ranked in the top 20 in both rushing and passing offense.

    Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl


    IOWA STATE
    (6-6, 3-6)
    vs. Tulsa
    Mon 12/31
    3:30 E/2:30 C
    ESPN
    Iowa State won three road games for the first time since 2001, including a 14-point victory at TCU to break the nation's longest home winning streak.

    The Cyclones were ranked 25th in the initial BCS standings of the season, the school's first-ever appearance in those ratings.

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl


    KANSAS
    (1-11, 0-9)

    Season Complete


    KANSAS STATE (11-1, 8-1) vs. Oregon
    Thu 1/3
    8:30 E/7:30 C
    ESPN
    K-State's trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be its third in program history with the last appearance in 2003 following the school's last Big 12 title.

    The Wildcats will be playing in their 16th bowl game in school history and 14th under Bill Snyder.

    Tostiots Fiesta Bowl


    OKLAHOMA (10-2, 8-1) vs. Texas A&M
    Fri 1/4
    8:00 E/7:00 C
    FOX
    The Sooners will make their 46th bowl appearance, earning their 14th straight bowl bid under head coach Bob Stoops, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation.

    The Sooners have an all-time bowl record of 27-17-1. Oklahoma has won three straight bowl games under Stoops and is seeking to tie a school record with a fourth consecutive bowl victory.

    AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic


    OKLAHOMA STATE
    (7-5, 5-4)
    vs. Purdue
    Tue 1/1
    12:00 E/11:00 C
    ESPNU
    Oklahoma State will face Purdue in a bowl for the second time. The Boilermakers beat Oklahoma State in the 1997 Alamo Bowl in the only previous meeting between the two schools.

    The game will run OSU's record streak of bowl appearances to seven straight years. The Cowboys are 4-2 in bowl games under Mike Gundy.

    Heart of Dallas Bowl


    TEXAS
    (8-4, 5-4)
    vs. Oregon St.
    Sat 12/29
    6:45 E/5:45 C
    ESPN
    This will mark Texas' second appearance in the Alamo Bowl's 20-year history. The previous time came in 2006 when Texas defeated Iowa, 26-24.

    Texas will play in its 14th bowl game in Mack Brown's 15 years. The Horns have won eight of their last 10 bowls and have a 9-4 record under Brown.

    Valero Alamo Bowl


    TCU
    (7-5, 4-5)
    vs. Michigan St.
    Sat 12/29
    10:15 E/9:15 C
    ESPN
    TCU is one of just 10 programs nationally to play in a bowl game in 14 of the last 15 seasons. The Horned Frogs are one of just three teams (Florida, Utah) to win at least six bowl games in the last seven campaigns.

    The Horned Frogs are 13-14-1 in bowl games and 7-4 with Gary Patterson as head coach.

    Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl


    TEXAS TECH
    (7-5, 4-5)
    vs. Minnesota
    Fri 12/28
    9:00 E/8:00 C
    ESPN
    Texas Tech will make its 35th bowl appearance in school history, a number that ranks 17th nationally, and its third in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

    The Red Raiders played in the inaugural game in 2000 at the Astrodome and again in 2003 at Reliant Stadium. Texas Tech's last appearance resulted in a 38-14 win over Navy on Dec. 30, 2003.

    Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas


    WEST VIRGINIA
    (7-5, 4-5)
    vs. Syracuse
    Sat 12/29
    3:15 E/2:15 C
    ESPN
    This will be West Virginia's 11th consecutive bowl appearance dating back to 2002 and its 32nd overall.

    WVU will be playing its fifth college football game at the home of the New York Yankees. The Mountaineers played the second college football game in the original Yankees stadium in 1923, playing to a 13-13 tie with Penn State.

    New Era Pinstripe Bowl