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Look for Big 12 to have more bowl-eligible teams than opportunities

11/8/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It’s always precarious trying to slot bowl teams in early November.

And after a week like we just had in the Big 12, it’s even tougher.

Four upsets have scrambled the conference’s bowl order and made the postseason opportunities for the teams no clearer than they were early in the season.

For the first time since 2006, it looks like the Big 12 will only have one team in the BCS. That will cost the league millions of dollars, but result in a true bowl selection for the conference for a change.

No Big 12 teams have been eliminated from bowl contention. And it’s likely that if the conference has more teams than bowl slots, there’s a good chance that the conference should be able to fill another bowl or two, if needed.

The conference’s hottest team is Kansas State. Although the Wildcats need to get to seven victories after notching two triumphs over FCS opponents earlier this season, they should get there with one victory in their final two games.

Here are my projections for the bowls heading into the week’s games.

  • Citi BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Pasadena, Calif. -- Texas vs. BCS team

  • AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 2, 2 p.m., FOX Sports, Arlington, Texas -- Oklahoma State vs. SEC team

  • Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, Dec. 30, 8 p.m., ESPN, San Diego -- Nebraska vs. Pac-10 team

  • Valero Alamo Bowl, Jan. 2, 9 p.m., ESPN, San Antonio -- Texas Tech vs. Big Ten team

  • Brut Sun Bowl, Dec. 31, noon, CBS, El Paso, Texas -- Oklahoma vs. Pac-10 team

  • Insight Bowl, Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m., NFL Network, Tempe, Ariz. -- Kansas State vs. Big Ten team

  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 30, 8 p.m., NFL Network, Houston -- Texas A&M vs. Navy

  • Independence Bowl, Dec. 28, 5 p.m., ESPN, Shreveport, La. -- Missouri vs. SEC team

I also think Iowa State will be bowl eligible with a 6-6 record. Look for some bowl to pick the Cyclones when their conference arrangements fall through.

For a look at our bowl schedule page, check this link.

And for the most recent projections from our bowl gurus Mark Schlabach and Bruce Feldman, go to this link.