Tuesday, 27 November 2012 00:47

Big 12 bowl projections, round three

Written by Jay Beck

The national championship may now be out of the picture since we last looked at the Big 12's bowl possibilities, but there's still plenty of very, very, good matchups potentially in store for the Big 12 this bowl season.

Take a look at the top four, heck, top six games that may be headed the Big 12's way if everything falls into place after this weekend.  Not bad, not bad at all.

Here's a look at some of the best guesses as to where everybody lands when the bowl games are announced on Sunday night.

Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon

Assuming Kansas State beats Texas on Saturday night, the Wildcats will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl. It may not measure up to the BCS title game had they not stumbled against Baylor, but it's still a great reward on an 11-1 season.

With the winner of the Pac-12 championship game bound for the Rose Bowl, Oregon slips to the Fiesta Bowl as their at large selection for a matchup many had been predicting would played for the national title only a couple weeks ago. It's funny how these things work out and will still be a great game, national title on the line or not.

Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Florida

There still remains the possibility that Kent State or Northern Illinois slips into the top 16 when the BCS poll comes out Sunday night, but for now, let's assume (hope) that doesn't happen and the Sugar is able to select Oklahoma as the final at large team.

Since the Sugar Bowl looks destined to lose the SEC champion to the BCS title game, they'll have first selection to replace either Georgia or Alabama. That leaves open the possibility they could select Oregon, but here's guessing they'll stay in SEC country and select Florida who will receive an automatic selection to the BCS given their top four ranking.

AT&T Cotton Bowl - Texas vs. LSU

Here's where it's gets interesting. Let's assume Kansas State beats Texas Saturday night. That leaves the Longhorns with a 5-4 Big 12 record. Let's also assume Oklahoma State beats Baylor which would leave the Cowboys with a 6-3 Big 12 mark and a third place finish in the conference by themselves.

That leaves open the possibility that Oklahoma State could be headed to Dallas, but let's take a guess here and say the Cotton Bowl will stick with Texas given its proximity to Dallas, not to mention the Longhorns hold head-to-head victory over Oklahoma State if anyone is checking (Joe Bergeron did cross the goal line before he fumbled, right?).

Who Texas would play is up in the air with many assuming Texas A&M will be the pick. That's entirely possible but I'm going with an LSU matchup instead who did beat the Aggies back in October. Either game would draw plenty of eyeballs, however, making it tough to gripe with either selection.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Oklahoma State vs. UCLA

If Texas goes to the Cotton Bowl, that will almost assuredly send the Pokes to San Antonio to play in the Alamo Bowl. TCU could potentially land here, as well, but that would take an Oklahoma State loss to Baylor and a TCU win over OU. Even if that happens, the Cowboys would still have a better record than TCU plus a 22 point head-to-head win over the Horned Frogs.

With Oregon in the BCS plus Stanford in the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12 champion, the Bruins will be the likely matchup for the Big 12. Should UCLA beat Stanford for the rights to go to the Rose Bowl, then Stanford would likely swap positions to take on the Cowboys.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - West Virginia vs. Wisconsin

This is a complete toss up at the moment, on both sides of the equation.

From the Big 12, the BWW Bowl should have their choice of Texas Tech, TCU, and West Virginia who all could have 4-5 conference records depending on how things play out over the final weekend.

All three teams are appealing in their own right, but let's go out on a limb and guess they'll choose Big 12 newcomer, West Virginia.  There's something about the new guy plus Geno Smith and some guy named Tavon Austin that will give bowl reps plenty to like about the Mountaineers.

On the other side, Michigan State or Wisconsin appear to be the most likely opponents with Nebraska, Michigan, and Northwestern likely off the board by the time they get to make their selection.

The Mountaineers vs. the Badgers has a nice ring to it, no?

Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl - Texas Tech vs. Oregon State

This is largely dependent on who the Buffalo Wild Wing Bowl selects, but Texas Tech looks like as good as bet as any to head to San Diego. The Red Raiders bowl resume has taken a bit of a hit over the second half of the season with only one win over their final five games, but a Holiday Bowl matchup against an Oregon State team that was in the heat of the Pac-12 race for much of the season should provide plenty of entertainment the Holiday Bowl has become known for.

Meineke Car Care Bowl TCU - vs. Minnesota

The Horned Frogs could move up a couple spots in the pecking order should they find a way to knock off Oklahoma this weekend, but playing a bowl game in Houston should give TCU a definite home field advantage over the upstart Gophers.

Pinstripe Bowl - Baylor vs. Syracuse

Just a few weeks ago, neither of these teams seemed destined for a bowl game at all. But then Baylor stunned top ranked Kansas State and an added a victory over Texas Tech. Meanwhile, the Orangemen strung together three improbable wins over Louisville, Missouri and Temple to close out the season.

Iowa State could also be an option for the folks in the Big Apple, but considering the Cyclones made an appearance in NYC last season, here's guessing they select Baylor to play Syracuse who also played in the game two seasons ago where they knocked off Kansas State.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - Iowa State vs. Purdue

The Heart of Dallas Bowl may be last in the Big 12's pecking order this season, but that's probably not a bad thing for the Cyclones who will be able to get some more exposure in Texas from a recruiting standpoint.

They'll likely be matched up with Purdue who is the last remaining Big Ten bowl eligible team despite the fact they will be looking for a new head coach leading up to the bowl game.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 01:12
Jay Beck

Jay Beck

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