Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Big 12 bowl guide, from blockbusters to snoozers

The Fiesta Bowl winners' trophy is shown Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Connecticut will face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan 1, 2011.

The Fiesta Bowl winners' trophy is shown Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Connecticut will face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan 1, 2011.


Of the dozen football teams in the Big 12 Conference, eight of them received bowl invitations this season.

Sorrentino makes bowl predictions for Big 12 North teams Big 12 blogger Eric Sorrentino makes predictions for the Insight, Holiday and Pinstripe Bowls taking place for Big 12 North division teams in the 2010 college football season.

Sorrentino makes bowl predictions for Big 12 South teams Big 12 blogger Eric Sorrentino makes predictions for the Cotton, Fiesta, Alamo, Texas and TicketCity Bowls taking place for Big 12 South division.

Four teams missed the bowl boat: Kansas, Iowa State, Colorado and Texas.

Yes, Texas. The juggernaut Longhorns, who one year ago played for the BCS Championship, will be sippin’ on eggnog when other teams take the field this holiday season. UT couldn’t play itself into a field of 70 Football Bowl Subdivision teams this season. It was a long 5-7 season in Austin.

The Big 12 bowl slate starts at 9 tonight, when Missouri takes on Iowa in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. The Big 12 has never fared better than 5-3 combined in bowl games.

Hopefully, the following Big 12 bowl guide will be of service when determining what conference games are worth your valuable time.

Big 12’s blockbuster bowl: Cotton, 7 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2011. Texas A&M; vs. LSU in Arlington, Texas.

It’s the only Big 12-related bowl to involve ranked BCS teams (A&M; No. 17, LSU No. 11). The Big 12’s biggest challenge each bowl season is knocking off teams from the SEC. The Big 12 has lost the past five bowl matchups against SEC opponents. A&M; (9-3) vs. LSU (10-2) is the only Big 12-SEC matchup this postseason.

Also remember, the Aggies seriously considered joining the SEC this summer during the realignment process. Can A&M; compete with the big boys?

Momentum is a tough measuring stick during the bowl season because of the long layoff — A&M; hasn’t played since Nov. 25 — but the Aggies are the hottest team in the Big 12, winning their past six games.

Big 12’s NyQuil bowl: Fiesta, 7:30 p.m. on Jan 1, 2011. Oklahoma vs. Connecticut in Tempe, Ariz.

One problem with automatic BCS bowl bids: Teams like Connecticut can win the Big East and (automatically) sneak into a BCS game. How’s this for a Fiesta Bowl resume? The Huskies are 8-4, 2-4 on the road and lost to Temple, Rutgers and Louisville. Oklahoma (11-2), which won the Big 12 Championship, will face a team that’s not even in the top 25 of the latest BCS rankings. This is supposed to be the most high-profile Big 12 battle? No thanks. Take that NyQuil and catch up on your sleep instead.

Big 12’s Night Owl bowl: Insight, 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Missouri vs. Iowa in Tempe, Ariz.

If you don’t have a problem staying up as the clock moves to the next day, this bowl game should be entertaining. Grab some snacks and a comfy couch.

One of the interesting storylines here is the streak. The Big 12 has owned the Big Ten lately in bowl matchups, winning the last six battles dating back to 2007. No wonder the Big Ten wanted Nebraska.

The Tigers have had one of the quietest 10-2 seasons in recent memory. Missouri is looking to win 11 games in a season for only the third time in school history. Iowa (7-5) was a top-10 team earlier in the season, but lost its last three games.

Big 12’s bang-your-head-against-a-wall bowl: Holiday, 9 p.m. on Thursday. Nebraska vs. Washington in San Diego.

Haven’t we seen this game already? Oh, yes, on Sept. 18, when Nebraska (10-3) rolled Washington (6-6), 56-21, in Seattle. That, plus the Huskers leaving for the Big Ten after this season, equals me wanting to listen to the Taylor Swift CD on repeat for three hours rather than watch this snoozefest. And that’s saying something.

Big 12’s chip-on-the-shoulder bowl: Alamo, 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Oklahoma State vs. Arizona in San Antonio.

Congrats, coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State. Your reward for setting a school record with 10 regular-season wins is a trip to the Alamo Bowl. Never mind that the more prestigious Cotton Bowl picked Texas A&M;, a team you beat this season, and a team whose 9-3 record is not as good as your 10-2 mark. Am I missing something here? The Cowboys and their top-ranked offense should play with a chip on their shoulder to prove a point. They’re too good to be playing in this game.

Big 12’s paradox bowl: Pinstripe, 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Kansas State vs. Syracuse in New York.

Location is a big deal for Big 12 North fans who want to travel to watch their team play in the postseason. Bowl games are played in warm climates. Well, except for this one.

The Big 12 signed an agreement to appear in Yankee Stadium’s Pinstripe Bowl, set to make its debut Thursday, through 2013.

It’s fair to say the weather won’t parallel Arizona, Texas or California. Yeah, fine, there’s no place in the country like New York, blah blah. I’m not buying that argument. New York is one of the most expensive places to fly and to stay, and in this economy I’d rather fly to Arizona or Texas, where more money would stay in my wallet and I could dress to go to the game in a T-shirt and jeans. For fans from the Little Apple who want to spend a fortune in the Big Apple and watch the game in unfavorable conditions rather than saving money and watching in HD, more power to you.

Big 12’s oh yeah, they’re playing bowl: Tie between Texas and TicketCity bowls.

The Texas Bowl will pit Baylor (7-5) against Illinois (6-6) at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Houston. Other than the Bears playing in their first bowl game since 1994, there’s not much intrigue here.

The TicketCity Bowl will feature Texas Tech (7-5) against Northwestern (7-5) at 11 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2011, in Dallas. If you’re waking up from a long night out on New Year’s Eve with nothing better to do, I’d sign off on viewing this game, but not under many other circumstances.


Kyle Cornish 11 years, 11 months ago

You guys forgot the Texas Bowl with Baylor.

Hank Cross 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm just glad that UT isn't in a bowl. And I would never put it past Bob Stoopes to lose a bowl game he should win.

TommySmithElbow 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh yes, the Insight Bowl game with the whining maggots from Missouri.

Their recent bowl results:

2006 Sun Bowl LOST to Oregon State (giving up 39 points; see next year)

2008 (2007 season) Beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl (I'm not remotely convinced that they had the defense that could have beaten Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl if roles had been reversed with KU; in fairness, I'm aware that if we had played Oklahoma in the Big XII championship, we most likely would have lost to the Sooners, but then again, that's what the Hokies figured)

2008 (2008 season) Barely beat, IN OT, an overachieving, but easily beatable team FROM THE BIG 10 (with all of the glorious history that Northwestern brought to the game)

2009 SLAUGHTERED by the U.S. Military, with the Village People's "In The NAVY" ringing in their ears throughout the game. Missouri in their full glory at showing that they can't handle prosperity in either football or basketball (0-for-eternity in Final Four APPEARANCES!)

2010 TBD (another illustrious Big 10 team that lost its last 3 games . . . . including games against Northwestern AND MINNESOTA!)

The bottom line: Are you better off going to a bowl game, but getting exposed, than not going at all (once again, 35-13 to NAVY)? It's a question that Washington will be asking itself as it gets a rematch with Nebraska. Of course, Bo could go all Woody Hayes on the sideline . . . . .

(Footnote: We have won our last 3 bowl games and 5 of the last 6, with the unfortunate experience of meeting Philip Rivers being the lone exception)

ctyankee 11 years, 11 months ago

Re: Nyquil Special: OU vs UConn……don’t under-estimate the fight in this dog. After a dismantling of this year’s SEC East winner, South Carolina, in last season’s Bowl Season, this UConn team started the 2010 season with high hopes. However, the season began with a QB on dope and a string of four losses to teams that could be best described as the ‘little sisters of the poor’. After a skunking by Louisville, the Huskies began soul-searching with a new QB and turned practice into a daily street fight. The result….five straight wins…over Big East League leader and favorite Pitt, always on the doorstep of a championship West Virginia (another Big East champ that Stoops’ Sooners underestimated a couple of seasons ago), bowl eligible Syracuse, last year’s Big East Champ, Cincinnati, and an away game at bowl eligible South Florida (where the Huskies had never won).

Yes, Stanford might have been a much better match-up for OU and TCU maybe an even better one, and in fact, I would much rather be making a trip to South Beach than to the land of cacti, but it is all about who picks first and the Fiesta Bowl picked last. Everyone knew this a couple of weeks ago after UConn beat Pitt.

By the way....Randy Edsall knows how to prepare his teams for bowl games.....ask Coach Turner Gill about his last bowl appearance....and Stoops has not won a bowl since when, 2003?

Good luck with your bowl drought, Sooners, but beware of the dog!

tailgater 11 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Tommy. If Missouri had lost all SIX of those straight bowls it's still much better than sitting at home. Looks like they were 3-2 in the last 5 games, so even an Iowa win gets them to .500. We've won 2 conference games in the past 2 years, I wouldn't be casting stones.

TommySmithElbow 11 years, 11 months ago

Tailgater: The point is not being in a bowl, or even just losing, but HUMILIATION (i.e. going .500 when you are the FAVORITE in 6 bowl games). Tonight, an Iowa team depleted by injuries and suspension comes from behind (when they have folded in the 4th quarter all year) and a Big 10 team sticks it to a Big 10 wannabe.

I understand your point about casting stones but that is not my perspective. We excel at basketball. Missouri excels at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and tonight is just another chapter in their continuing history of ultimately screwing up even the best of seasons. (Tyus Edney just scored again while I was commenting.)

And being humiliated in the postseason is NOT better than just participating. For example, think about Oklahoma’s recent BCS Bowl success (lost their last 5) and for how many years this century people will constantly refer to the Boise State debacle (coupled with the West Virginia disaster). Or how the Big 10 is consistently bashed for their postseason performance.

tailgater 11 years, 11 months ago

Obviously you weren't paying attention during the conference realignment debacle. Football and the bowl games make money. It's embarrassing that you take pride in a 10 win team barely losing a bowl game when ours is at home with 3 wins. Your Edney comment is just further proof you should stick to the basketball articles. Except for the National Championship, are the bowl games really anything more than an exhibition? And exposure for recruits, good thing we don't need any of those since we are so stacked with talent.

tailgater 11 years, 11 months ago

And OU is playing in yet another bowl game, and consistently pulling in top notch recruiting classes and preseason top 10 rankings. That Boise loss really ruined them. But you go ahead and hang on to the fact that we won an orange bowl and ignore the part that we haven't been bowl eligible since. Then go find out how many people in Norman would trade us programs.

bad_dog 11 years, 11 months ago

"But you go ahead and hang on to the fact that we won an orange bowl and ignore the part that we haven't been bowl eligible since."

Other than the bowl eligibility that led to a 42-21 victory in the 2008 Insight Bowl, that is...

It's just two years ago, sheesh ;-)

TommySmithElbow 11 years, 11 months ago

In the immortal words of Warren Oates: "Lighten up, Francis!" The most personal of apologies are required when an individual's comments would cause someone to jump to stereotypes like lumping others in the "basketball only" mentality.

Also an apology that to achieve credibility, one should have said "Kerry Meier is smiling somewhere" instead of solely referring to Tyus Edney. Both events were incredible breakdowns at the moment that victory was virtually certain. (For balance, and knowledge, it must be pointed out that we lost two Orange Bowls with goal-line plays late in the game, including having 12 players on the field for the last several plays on January 1, NINETEEN SIXTY NINE; and if they wouldn't have believed that JoJo White's heel was on the line when he pivoted for what would have been the game-winner, we would have won that . . . . apologies again, that last comment only emulates the basketball stereotype.)

Thanks, it adds to the conversation that everyone needs to be reminded how well OU does in the preseason rankings. That's a much greater discussion than the Boise State debacle and the 5 straight BCS losses, on some satellite channel or newspaper article that most are just not fortunate enough to get over the last few weeks.

Isn't hating Missouri a right? If a person can't say something about another school's program unless your own school is doing better at that very moment, then K-Staters could say nothing but blowing sunshine comments about KU basketball because we've won something like 41 of the last 43, and beat them all three times we played their "best team in years" last year. Standing corrected, should all Wildcat fans have no critique of their rivals, but instead should spend their time effusing praise for the mighty Jayhawks!

The point of the whole original comment was that Missouri, at the zenith of their football glory years, have little to show for it in conference championships, BCS bowl victories, or any overall bowl performance assessments (zero, zero, and mediocre, especially given that they were favored in every bowl game of the last 6 years.) And yes, in the world of FULL disclosure, they did beat us the last two years in football, so from some perspective, that could be the big feather in their cap.

Check out "Stripes". It will be personally illuminating on the human condition.

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