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Big 12 Bowl Predictions: Week 14

As the season comes to a close, here’s a look at how Bowl selections could shake out.

Getty Images - Kevin C Cox

Welcome back to bowl season predictions. As we near the end of the season, bowl projections are getting easier to make, but as always, predictions are dynamic. We’ve got a pretty good idea of where the Big 12 will end up, barring some last second madness, but who they’re going to play is harder to pin down. Especially, as the SEC, who the Big 12 has several bowl tie ins with, tends to hand pick the matchups they like. With just three conference games left to play, here’s how we have it:


Date: Dec 27
Matchup: Big 12 vs Pac-12
Network: ESPN
Projection: Baylor (6-5) vs New Mexico (8-4)

Arizona State lost Arizona, knocking them out of bowl eligibility and only 6 Pac-12 teams will be bowl eligibility. The tie-ins list the MWC as the fill-in conference if either the Big 12 or Pac-12 can’t fill the requirement, so New Mexico, the 3rd best MWC team, ends up here, though it’s really a toss-up between every non-champion bowl eligible MWC team. Baylor stays here because they’re bad.


Date: Dec 30
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: TCU (6-5) vs. Arkansas (7-5)

TCU goes here if they lose to Kansas State, and Baylor loses to West Virginia, which I expect. If the Horned Frogs take Kansas State down, they go to the Texas Bowl. Every SEC team but Alabama is average, and the standings are a mess, so slot Arkansas here because, with conference wins, overall record, and conference record, Arkansas sits at 9th in the SEC.


Date: Dec 28
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: Kansas State (7-4) vs Kentucky (7-5)

A win and Kansas State is here. A loss and they fall to the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky is 8th in the SEC, somehow, so they fall here, for a Texas Bowl cat-fight.


Date: Dec 28
Matchup: Big 12 vs ACC/Notre Dame
Network: ESPN
Projection: West Virginia (9-2) vs Virginia Tech (9-3)

If Virginia Tech loses to Clemson, and West Virginia beats Baylor, this is the matchup, though Lamar Jackson and company could slide in if the Russell Athletic Bowl selection committee prefers that, and Miami is another option as well.


Date: Dec 29
Matchup: Big 12 vs Pac-12
Network: ESPN
Projection: Oklahoma State (9-2) vs. USC (9-3)

This one is locked up unless Oklahoma finds their way into the playoff after a win on Saturday, or if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, both of which I don’t expect.


Date: Jan 2
Matchup: Big 12 vs SEC
Network: ESPN
Projection: Oklahoma (9-2) vs Auburn (8-4)

Oklahoma needs to win Saturday to hold this spot, though with a lot of chaos they could still find themselves in the playoff, but that’s unlikely.

Auburn is already ranked higher than Florida, so a Florida loss in the SEC championship game would put the Tigers here.



Date: December 31
Matchup: 1 vs 4
Network: ESPN
Projection: Alabama (12-0) vs. Washington (11-1)

Washington backs into the playoffs with a close win over Colorado, though their matchup with Alabama is not a friendly one.


Date: December 31
Matchup: 2 vs 3
Network: ESPN
Projection: Ohio State (11-1) vs. Clemson (11-1)

With Washington getting in, that leaves just one spot for a Big Ten team, but which team? Ohio State, despite not winning, or even participating in, their conference championship, has the best non-Alabama resume in the country, and gets in the playoff as long as Penn State doesn’t destroy Wisconsin.

Clemson takes care of Virginia Tech and they lock this spot up, though I don’t love their chances against Ohio State, especially if the Buckeyes find a consistent passing attack in their month of practice time.

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