The Big 12 performed well in the 2021 bowl season, going 5-2, including a 4-2 record against the Power Five. The postseason concluded with victories for Oklahoma over Oregon, Oklahoma State over Notre Dame, Baylor over Ole Miss, and Texas Tech over Mississippi State.
A little over a month into the 2022 college football season, College Football News attempted to project this year’s postseason. Based on their projections, eight of the 10 Big 12 teams will play in postseason bowl games. The only two left out are Texas Tech and Kansas.
Let’s take a look at where College Football News is sending the eight representatives from the Big 12.
TCU vs. Purdue: Servpro First Responder Bowl
09/14/2019; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive end Kai Higgins (98) attempts to ground the TCU Horned Frogs running back Darius Anderson (6) in the second half of the game at Ross Ade Stadium. The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 34 to 13. Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
TCU is one of three teams not to make a Big 12 bowl game last season. Many are predicting an improved season for the Horned Frogs, and if College Football News is right TCU will play Purdue. The two sides only met three times. Purdue had wins in 1969 and 1970 and TCU won in 2019.
State of Kansas vs. State of Mississippi: Ticket Smarter Birmingham Bowl
09/14/2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) makes a pass against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
The Big 12 did well against the SEC in 2021 with a 2-0 record. Kansas State beat Louisiana Tech in the Texas Bowl last season, but Mississippi State would take a significant step forward in the competition. The two sides have played four times, most recently a home-and-home in 2018 and 2019, with the away team winning the matchup.
State of Iowa vs. Nebraska: Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Nov 6, 2010; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Jake Williams (83) catches a touchdown pass in the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Jack Trice Stadium. Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
This is one of those games where it just makes sense to play regularly, but since Nebraska broke into the Big Ten a decade ago, a game that spanned from 1896 to 2010 has yet to continue.
West Virginia vs. Tennessee: Auto Zone Liberty Bowl
09/01/2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Will Grier (7) tries to pass the ball in the second half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bank of America Stadium. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
That would be fun. The Postseason Battle of Appalachia. A little over 400 miles separate the two schools. Despite their relative proximity, they’ve only played once, a 2018 win over West Virginia.
Texas vs. Miami: Cheez-It Bowl
Jan 1, 1991; Dallas, TX, USA; FILEPHOTO; Miami Hurricanes tight end Randy Bethel (93) scores a touchdown over the Texas Longhorns in a 46-3 win over Texas at the 1991 Cotton Bowl. RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Texas in the Cheez-It Bowl would be an improvement from their 5-7 season in 2021. However, it would be a disappointing finish for one of college football’s most overrated teams. A showdown with another NIL power broker later in the year would make for an intriguing encounter. Texas and Miami have only met four times, the last time being a 46-3 victory for the Hurricanes in 1991.
Baylor vs. Arkansas: TaxAct Texas Bowl
January 1, 2022; New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA; Baylor Bears running back Abram Smith (7) runs the ball against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half of the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
An old Southwest Conference rivalry was renewed when Baylor and Arkansas faced each other. Given the high expectations for both schools through 2022, a Texas Bowl berth would be disappointing. Baylor is the favorite to win the Big 12 while Arkansas is hoping for a strong 2021 season. Arkansas went from 3-7 in Sam Pittman’s freshman year to 9-4, a top 25 finish and an Outback Bowl win. The Bears and Razorbacks have not played since Baylor’s 9-5 win in 1991.
Oklahoma State vs. Utah: Valero Alamo Bowl
OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) runs the ball during Saturday’s Spring Finals at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman/USA TODAY NETWORK
This game feels like the Spider-Man meme with the two characters pointing at each other. Both are solid offense, but Oklahoma State and Utah thrive on the defensive side of football. The Cowboys and the Utes only played once, back in 1945. The Cowboys won that game 46-6 in Salt Lake City.
USC vs. Houston: Goodyear Cotton Bowl
March 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, United States; USC football head coach Lincoln Riley attends the USC Trojans and Arizona Wildcats basketball game at the Galen Center. The Wildcats won 91-71. Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY sports
Oklahoma fans may not be interested in watching, but they will certainly be tuned in for the outcome. Houston, a future Big 12 member, could give Sooners fans a gift upon entering the conference if they can take out Lincoln Riley and the USC Trojans.
Oklahoma vs Texas A&M: All State Sugar Bowl
Nov 11, 2005; Norman, OK USA; Oklahoma Sooners Safety (1) Reggie Smith reacts after playing against the Texas A&M Aggies at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in the 1st quarter. Tim Heitman – USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2005 Tim Heitman
Based on the predictions, College Football News believes the Sooners will win the Big 12 but miss the College Football Playoffs with two losses. Facing the Texas A&M Aggies in the Sugar Bowl would be a nice consolation prize. The Sooners lead the all-time streak 19-12, but the Aggies clinched the final win, a 41-13 throttling by Johnny Manziel. That day, “Johnny Football” threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns in one of the greatest Cotton Bowl performances of all time.
College Football Playoff
January 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, United States; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) catches a touchdown pass against Alabama Crimson Tide defenseman Brian Branch (14) during the third quarter of the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Hard Rock Stadium. Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Familiar faces reach the college football playoffs in College Football News’ bowl projections. Alabama meets Georgia and Ohio State meets Clemson in a semifinal. CFN predicts that Alabama will take on Ohio State in a matchup of the top two quarterbacks in the country.