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Big 12 Bowl Season Predictions: Week 8

The season is halfway over, let’s start looking at some bowl projections.

Twitter - @RussellAthBowl

Welcome back to bowl season predictions. Predictions are dynamic, and will almost certainly change week to week based on performance on the field. This is not an “if the season ended today” kind of article, so if a team is currently undefeated that I don’t think is all that good, the expectation that they will eventually lose will be reflected in the picks. Let’s get picking.

LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL

Date: Dec 23
Matchup: Big 12 vs Navy/ACC
Network: ESPN
Projection: Kansas State(3-3) vs Navy (4-1)

I swapped Kansas State into this bowl because of their poor performance against Oklahoma and because of Texas getting back to .500. Playing Navy is a tall task, and even with a good defense, Kansas State would likely struggle in this one.

CACTUS BOWL

Date: Dec 27
Matchup: Big 12 vs Pac-12
Network: ESPN
Projection: Texas (3-3) vs USC (4-3)

This is more of a hopeful prediction than a realistic one, as USC will likely finish with too good of a record to fall to the Cactus bowl, but how great would a 2005 championship rematch be, regardless of the talent of the teams and the bowl.

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL

Date: Dec 30
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: Texas Tech (3-3) vs Georgia (4-3)

I’m Swapping TCU and Texas Tech’s spots this week, as I think Texas Tech will finish below TCU. The Liberty Bowl selects the 5th Big 12 team (though it’ll likely be sixth this year) and any SEC team, and I expect Texas Tech will be the sixth Big 12 team at the end of the year.

ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL

Date: Dec 28
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: TCU (4-2) vs LSU (4-2)

TCU is a good team, but the Big 12th is top-heavy, so I have them falling to fifth and taking on a solid SEC team in LSU. This would be a really fun game, and I hope it happens.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL

Date: Dec 28
Matchup: Big 12 vs ACC/Notre Dame
Network: ESPN
Projection: Oklahoma State (4-2) vs Miami (4-2)

The Russell Athletic bowl prediction sees a full change this week, as I now think Miami, not Florida State, will be the ACC runner-up. Miami makes a lot of sense in this bowl, because of the bowl’s history in Miami. Oklahoma lands here because the Russell Athletic Bowl takes the third (it will be fourth this year, more on this later) Big 12 team, which is where Oklahoma State will likely land, behind Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Baylor.

VALERO ALAMO BOWL

Date: Dec 29
Matchup: Big 12 vs Pac-12
Network: ESPN
Projection: Oklahoma (4-2) vs Utah (6-1)

The Alamo Bowl typically takes the second best Big 12 team, but because I expect West Virginia to grab a NY6 at large bid, Oklahoma should be headed here with a 3rd place Big 12 finish. The second PAC 12 team is usually selected here, but I expect the PAC 12 to have a playoff team, meaning the Alamo Bowl will host the third best team, Utah.

GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL

Date: Jan 2
Matchup: At Large/Group of Five
Network: ESPN
Projection: West Virginia (5-0) vs  Texas A&M (6-0)

Here’s the cause of the slide in each bowl prediction. If West Virginia doesn’t receive an at large bid they’d drop into the Alamo Bowl and each team behind them would drop to one bowl behind. Thankfully for teams 3-7 in the Big 12, West Virginia seems like a great candidate for an at large at this point, as does Texas A&M, they just need to face their fear of Big 12 teams.

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL

Date: Jan 2
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: Baylor (6-0) vs Florida (5-1)

Baylor remains the best team in the Big 12, though I don’t think they’re good enough for the playoff, and I think Florida will finish second in the SEC instead of Texas A&M, as Alabama heads to the playoffs.

BONUS PLAYOFF PICKS

PEACH BOWL

Date: December 31
Matchup: 1 vs 4
Network: ESPN
Projection: Alabama (7-0) vs. Clemson (7-0)

National championship rematch, semifinal edition. Alabama will likely be undefeated, Clemson likely won’t be, putting them at fourth as they just slip in over some familiar Bears.

FIESTA BOWL

Date: December 31
Matchup: 2 vs 3
Network: ESPN
Projection: Ohio State (6-0) vs Washington (6-0)

Basically a 90’s Rose Bowl matchup, except in the semifinals. This would be a fun game to watch because of game play and because of the beautiful jersey combination. (cc: NCAA, if this game happens, please let both teams wear home uniforms, I need it.)

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