The Big 12 enjoyed a fine bowl season, even if their conference champion was not competing for the BCS championship. From a wild Fiesta Bowl to a high-scoring Alamo Bowl, the Big 12 delivered this bowl season.
Here is a rundown of how the Big 12 performed this bowl season.
Best Win: Oklahoma State, Fiesta Bowl
The Big 12 had one team on the BCS stage, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys did not disappoint. After falling behind Andrew Luck and Stanford 14-0, Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon struck twice in a short period of time to tie things up in the second quarter, and the game was back-and-forth the rest of the way. The Cowboys never held a lead in the game until after they had forced overtime with a late touchdown run by Joseph Randle and a missed field goal by Stanford. Quinn Sharp’s 22-yard field goal gave Oklahoma State their first BCS bowl victory.
Honorable Mention: Baylor, Alamo Bowl
Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III did not have a great game, but running back Terrance Ganaway sure did. Baylor’s Ganaway rushed for 200 yards and five touchdowns, including a late 43-yard scoring run to put the cherry on the top.
Worst Loss: Kansas State, Cotton Bowl
One of the best feel-good stories in college football this season was Kansas State but even the upstart Wildcats weren’t enough to match-up with the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas opened up a 19-0 lead in the first half and despite a rally by Kansas State to cut the lead to three points, Arkansas found a way to put them away with 10 second-half points. It was not so much that this was a bad loss, but the Big 12 only had two losses this post season and given the stage the Cotton Bowl is played on, this loss was most notable.
Dishonorable Mention: Iowa State, Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa State was a fringe bowl team with a 6-6 record, and they were paired up with a Rutgers team playing close to home and familiar with the stadium. Iowa State turned the football over three times while rushing for 91 yards.
The Biggest Game: Oklahoma State, Fiesta Bowl (W)
Oklahoma State felt they should have been playing for a national championship against LSU, but a match-up with once-beaten Stanford was still a worthy situation. The Fiesta Bowl once again proved to be one of the most exciting BCS games of the season as well.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State 41, Stanford 38
Cotton Bowl: Arkansas 29, Kansas State 16
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Texas A&M 33, Northwestern 22
Insight Bowl: Oklahoma 31, Iowa 14
Alamo Bowl: Baylor 67, Washington 56
Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers 27, Iowa State 13
Holiday Bowl: Texas 21, California 10
Independence Bowl: Missouri 41, North Carolina 24
- 1-0 vs. ACC
- 0-1 vs. Big East
- 2-0 vs. Big Ten
- 3-0 vs. Pac 12
- 0-1 vs. SEC
Orange Bowl: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33
Poinsettia Bowl: TCU 31, Louisiana Tech 24
TCU will join the Big 12 next season, and West Virginia is fighting to join at the same time. Both picked up bowl wins this postseason, with TCU overcoming a motivated Louisiana Tech. West Virginia may still be scoring touchdowns against Clemson.
Overall Grade: A
When you pile up the wins and compare them to the losses this year it is hard to criticize the Big 12. The conference went in to the bowl season being highly regarded as the best overall conference in college football, and they went out and proved it in bowl play. The conference was undefeated against the ACC, Big Ten and Pac 12. And we recognize the work done by the future conference members as well. A BCS victory in the bag clinches a solid “A” for the Big 12 this season.
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