Big XII Bowl Tie-ins
- Fiesta Bowl
- Cotton Bowl
- Alamo Bowl
- Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
- Holiday Bowl
- Mieneke Car Care Bowl
- Pinstripe Bowl
- Heart of Dallas Bowl
Kansas State (11-1) and Oregon were on the path toward a possible national championship meeting, when both were upset on the same night in November. The Wildcats fell to Baylor and the Ducks were upset by Stanford. So, their Fiesta Bowl meeting will be something of a letdown, but it will still be one of the marquee bowl matchups of the year.
Oklahoma (10-2) looked to be on its way to a Bowl Championship Series matchup in the Sugar Bowl, before Northern Illinois managed to sneak into the BCS picture via the anti-antitrust rule (that is, the “don’t sue us, smaller conferences, we will throw you a bone if you don’t” rule). So the Sooners will get reacquainted with recent Big XII evacuee Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. (By the way, that’s the Cotton Bowl the event, not the Cotton Bowl the stadium; the Cotton Bowl the stadium is where the Heart of Dallas Bowl is played. Keep it straight. There will be a test.)
The Alamo Bowl is played at the Alamo Dome, not the Alamo the historical site. It will have an appealing matchup with Texas (8-4) taking on Oregon State from the Pac-12.
If you’ve been following at home, you may already know that the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is in Arizona, and the Big XII representative is conference newcomer TCU. The Horned Frogs will face Michigan State.
In San Diego, the team that upended Kansas State will take on the team that just lost twice in a row to Stanford.
Baylor (7-5) faces UCLA in the Holiday Bowl. The Bears were on the brink of not making a bowl at all, before finishing with a major flourish -- defeating Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech (7-5), for its part, will roll across the state to Houston, site of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, to take on Minnesota.
And … you thought that Kansas State’s bowl picture was sort of a letdown … well, consider West Virginia. The Mountaineers were 5-0, ranked near the top nationally and had Geno Smith waiting like a guy in front of a vending machine, watching for his Heisman Trophy to appear in the slot. Next thing they knew they were 5-5 and fighting just to be bowl-eligible. Obviously, they are bowl-eligible (they finished with a pair of wins to go 7-5) since they are playing in the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium in New York City. They will take on Syracuse.
Finally, there’s that game in the Cotton Bowl that’s not the Cotton Bowl. The Heart of Dallas Bowl will feature Oklahoma State (7-5) against Purdue from the Big Ten.