Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Which Big 12 bowl performance was best?
By David Ubben
The Big 12 went 4-5 in its bowl games, which was certainly a disappointment, though only a mild one. Which Big 12 team impressed you most in its bowl game?
The Bears beat the second-highest ranked team of any Big 12 team this bowl season, routing No. 17 UCLA, 49-26. The Bears slowed down Johnathan Franklin, holding him to 34 yards on 14 carries, his lowest output and yards per carry of the season. Meanwhile, the offense rolled, racking up 35 first-half points and leaving little doubt after the night was done.
Texas trailed by 10 with less than nine minutes to play, but the Longhorns shook off distractions earlier in the week with an impressive rally spawned by David Ash, who got the Longhorns to within three with a Houdini-like escape and an acrobatic pass to Johnathan Gray. The defensive line helped the Longhorns rack up 10 sacks and beat No. 13 Oregon State, capped by a 36-yard bomb in the final minutes to clinch the Texas win, which was the highest-ranked opponent any Big 12 team beat this bowl season.
Texas Tech was a heavy favorite, but used an impressive late rally to turn a seven-point deficit into a three-point victory in regulation in just 1:10. That's pretty tough to do, and the Red Raiders forced a huge turnover late, their first since Oct. 20, to get a chance to win the game on a last-second kick. Ryan Bustin took advantage, setting off a big celebration in Houston with the 28-yard game winner.
Oklahoma State was by far the most dominant Big 12 team this bowl season, though Purdue hardly looked a worthy opponent. The Pokes forced five turnovers and raced to a 45-0 lead over the 6-6 Boilermakers. Both sides of the ball had one of their best days of the year, and the Heart of Dallas Bowl turned to a laugher.
Did you like TCU's early game effort? Any other Big 12 teams catch your eye, despite losing? I can't say I'd vote here, but you've got the option. Take advantage if you like.