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With all but one regular-season college football game in the books, we know who in the Big 12 is moving on to the post-season, and who’s staying home, and for the 15th time in 16 seasons, the Big 12 has seven teams making bowl games. There’s some great matchups to look forward to, but let’s be honest, not they’re not all worth calling in sick to work to watch. (Although, why anyone would miss a single minute of the little football we have left is just crazy.)

So here’s how it works. The sliding scale grades the Big 12 Bowls between one and five TVs. One TV: Take down Christmas decorations, and check the box score in the newspaper tomorrow. Two TVs: Make sure your smartphone is charged so you can say “excuse me” whenever the game tracker tells you that there’s a good drive being assembled. And it goes all the way up to five TVs which means schedule the vacation time now. Do you really want to be the one who has to fake the “where were you?” conversation at the water cooler?

Russell Athletic Bowl

TV3
BAYLOR (9-3) vs NORTH CAROLINA (11-2) DEC 29 LINE: BAY -3
Regardless of who wins, it would be considered a good win over the opposition. Baylor’s quarterback situation could tone down their characteristic offensive output once again, however the Tar Heels have the nation’s 79th total defense as a result of “slowing down” the likes of Wake Forest, Pittsburgh and Duke.

 

Texas Bowl

TV2
TEXAS TECH (7-5) vs LSU (8-3) DEC 29 LINE: LSU -7
It should not have to go much further than Leonard Fournette (158 ypg) vs Texas Tech Run defense (272 ypg allowed) to explain everyone’s fear. It will be up to the Red Raider offense as to whether or not they can keep up in the points department going up against a top 25 Bengal defense.

 

Orange Bowl (CFB Playoff)

TV5
CLEMSON (13-0) vs OKLAHOMA (11-1) DEC 31 LINE: OU -3.5
Rematching last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl, the Sooners are hoping for a better showing than the 40-6 outcome of a year ago. If the stakes were not high enough, surely pinning a revenge factor up against the only remaining unblemished record has the makings for an incredible shot of a second straight year for a Four seed to advance to the title game.

 

Sugar Bowl

TV3
OKLAHOMA STATE (10-2) vs MISSISSIPPI (9-3) JAN 1 LINE: MISS -7
This has potential to be one of the all time greats, but the way the Cowboys and Rebels managed the second halves of their 2015 campaigns, there is an opening for at least one of the two teams (if not both) being a bit fraudulent. There is as good of a chance of this being one-sided for either team, as there is it being even.

 

Liberty Bowl

TV2
ARKANSAS (7-5) vs KANSAS STATE (6-6) JAN 2 LINE: ARK -11
A rematch of the 2011-12 season’s Cotton Bowl, both teams would prefer to have those rosters back. Expect heavy doses of running, and when each team does not, heavy doses of “Why did they stop running?!?!?!”

 

Alamo Bowl

TV4
TCU (10-2) vs OREGON (9-3) JAN 2 LINE: EVEN
Though not your typical Oregon of year’s past, the Ducks seem very much to be in the department of the three teams in the Big 12 that finished right behind Oklahoma. TCU has fared well in these games, and with extra healing time should be ready for a track meet if need be.

 

Cactus Bowl

TV3
WEST VIRGINIA (7-5) vs ARIZONA STATE (6-6) JAN 2 LINE: ASU -1
Though on paper neither team looks great from a record standpoint, viewers should be pleasantly surprised in the average physicality both rosters present from a size and speed standpoint.

 

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