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Big 12: Bowl Preview


Bob Stoops will lead Oklahoma into Bowl action. Will Mack Brown do the same for Texas?

After regular season play drew to a close with drama aplenty, the Big 12 will send six teams to College Football Bowl Season.

Selection Sunday served up some treats for football fans across the nation, including Oklahoma meeting Alabama in a matchup of college football heavyweights and Big 12 champions Baylor facing American Athletic Conference champions Central Florida.

BettingSports.com has taken a look at the tale of the tape and ranked all six games. Let’s get this started.

1. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Alabama

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA, January 2, 8:30 p.m. ET

After dashing Oklahoma State’s hopes of a conference title in last Saturday’s Bedlam matchup, No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) is rewarded with a marquee matchup against No. 3 Alabama (11-1, 7-1 SEC) in the Sugar Bowl.

The Crimson Tide knows all about having its hopes crushed thanks to that missed field goal. Will Nick Saban be able to rally the troops and convince them that this game is still worth playing? You bet he will.

For Bob Stoops and the Sooners it will be a chance to compete against a team at the very highest level and wash away what proved to be a disappointing yet successful season.

Alabama is 8-5 in the Sugar Bowl while Oklahoma is 4-2. Both teams lost in their last appearance, the Sooners in 2004 and the Tide in 2009.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide odds

2. AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX, January 3, 8:30 p.m. ET

No. 13 Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) had its championship hopes quashed on Saturday. No. 8 Missouri (11-2, 7-1 SEC) suffered the same fate in the SEC Championship Game. Cue two teams looking to close out the season with something to cheer about. Sadly, only one team will.

Bowl officials must have been tempted to schedule a return of the Missouri-Oklahoma rivalry but with the 15th ranked scoring offense going up against the 16th ranked scoring offense, this former Big 12 rivalry has the potential to be a shootout, something the Pokes have made a habit of come Bowl Season.

Mike Grundy’s team has beaten Mizzou in three straight and four of the last five games, including a 45-24 victory in the final Big 12 meeting between the sides (Oct. 2011).

Oklahoma State is 1-2 in the Cotton Bowl while Missouri is 1-1.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Missouri Tigers odds

3. Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Oregon

Alamodome, San Antonio, TX, December 30, 6:45 p.m. ET

After a miserable start to the year, Texas (8-4, 7-2 Big 12) came within touching distance of a Big 12 title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. A defeat to Baylor on Saturday proved to be the difference. Whether it proves to be the end of the Mack Brown era remains to be seen. One thing is for certain; the Longhorns find themselves in a better game than had they gone to the Fiesta Bowl.

The Longhorns will meet No. 10 Oregon (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) in San Antonio on December 30 in a game that has the potential to be a gem on the bowl roster. One team is a mainstay in the national championship conversation year in and year out. The other is a young upstart that has forced its way into that same discussion in recent years. Both fell short at the final hurdle, Texas is 2009, Oregon in 2010, and both will want to come out of 2013 with a victory.

Texas will look to defeat Oregon in this rematch of the 2000 Holiday Bowl, a game the Ducks took 35-30. That victory remains Oregon’s only success over the Longhorns.

Texas won last year’s Alamo Bowl, defeating Oregon State 31-27. The Longhorns are 2-0 in the game. Oregon will be making its Alamo Bowl bow.

Oregon Ducks vs. Texas Longhorns odds

4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Central Florida

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ, January 1, 8:30 p.m. ET

With the Big 12 title in the bag, No. 6 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) will travel to the Phoenix suburbs to face American Athletic Conference champions Central Florida (11-1, 8-0 American) in the Fiesta Bowl.

These respective champions have followed a similar path this season. Both began the year with an over/under of eight games. Both obliterated that marker. The Knights were expected to finish fourth in the American, while the Bears were picked by bookmakers to finish fifth in the Big 12. It’s safe to say both schools far exceeded expectations by finishing first.

The Bears looked comfortable for much of the season, bar a 49-17 loss to Oklahoma State, while the Knights had a few hairy moments heading down the stretch. Few people expect this to be a close game though, with Baylor a 17-point favorite to win this first ever meeting between the schools.

Both schools will be making their Fiesta Bowl debut.

Central Florida Knights vs. Baylor Bears odds

5. National University Holiday Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Arizona State

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA, December 30, 10:15 p.m. ET

On October 20, Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) was an unbeaten 7-0, ranked No. 10 in the AP poll and eligible for a bowl game. Things took a turn for the worse when Big 12 play really kicked into action, with the Red Raiders falling to the Sooners, Cowboys, Wildcats, Bears and Longhorns in consecutive weeks to close out the season with a five-game losing streak.

No. 14 Arizona State (10-3, 8-1 Pac-12) had a markedly different season to the Red Raiders. Expected to finish sixth in the Pac-12, the Sun Devils had an excellent season and had it not been for a pair of games against Stanford, could very likely have emerged as the conference champion. A 38-14 loss to the Cardinal in the championship game put paid to those hopes.

The two sides will meet in San Diego on December 30, both looking to end the season on a positive note. With two high-octane offenses on the field, fans are all but assured to have a positive reaction of their own.

The Red Raiders and Sun Devils have met just once before, a 31-13 victory for Arizona State in September 1999.

Texas Tech has won three straight bowl games and eight of 10 dating back to 2002. Arizona State defeated Navy in last year’s Fight Hunger Bowl, snapping a three-game losing streak in bowl games.

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders odds

6. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State vs. Michigan

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ, December 28, 10:15 p.m. ET

After Collin Klein led Kansas State (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) to an unexpected Big 12 title a year ago, things were never going to be easy for the Wildcats following his graduation. Bill Snyder led the school to a respectable seven wins and a berth in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

The Wildcats will be up against a Michigan (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) side that truly underachieved. Expected to content for the Big Ten title, the Wolverines managed to drop four of their last five – including rivalry games against Michigan State and Ohio State – to limp into the bowl picture and set up a first ever meeting between the schools.

Michigan has been on the losing end in six of its last eight bowl games, hardly the sort of form that will bestow confidence in bettors. But then again, Kansas State has dropped five straight bowl games and six of the last seven.

In the former incarnations of the bowl (Copper Bowl, Insight Bowl), Kansas State is 1-1. Michigan will make its first appearance in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on December 28 as an underdog.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Kansas State Wildcats odds

For a comprehensive list of College Football Bowl Game odds, click here.

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