Thursday, December 6, 2012
Big 12 Upset Alert: Bowl edition
By David Ubben
Every week through the season, we looked at one game that might go the opposite way experts expect. That won't stop in the bowl season.
My pick: Texas Tech vs. Minnesota
On paper, this looks like a mismatch. Texas Tech is a two-touchdown favorite against the Golden Gophers, who went just 6-6 this season, winning two of their final eight games and losing star receiver A.J. Barker late in the season amid allegations that he was mistreated.
The line makes sense. Still, this upset alert is all about Texas Tech. Have we seen much evidence that the Red Raiders could beat anyone by double-digits at this point in the season? Tech raced out to a 6-1 start, including a blowout win over West Virginia followed by a triple overtime win in Fort Worth against TCU.
Since then? The Red Raiders were blasted by 31 and 38 points by Kansas State and Oklahoma State, solidly beaten at home by Texas and lost a heartbreaker in overtime to Baylor.
The one win came at home in an emotional game on senior day -- in overtime against 1-11 Kansas. Tech blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter to reach overtime.
I'll give Tech credit. There may be some added motivation in playing in a bowl game after coming off a 5-7 season a year ago.
Still, it was an unassuming finish to a season that held so much promise, and there's certainly no guarantee that Texas Tech will rediscover its midseason magic for the bowl season. Seth Doege and his deep, talented receiving corps should win this game. It's a good matchup for the Big 12 and a game the Raiders have no excuse to lose.
Just don't be all that surprised if it happens.