Tonight, beginning at 7 p.m. Central Time on ESPN, the BCS bowl pairings will be announced, and the remainder of the 35 or so postseason bowl sites will follow suit. Most of the college football experts have not one, but two Big 12 teams slotted for BCS bowl appearances.
Baylor, which convincingly won 11 of its 12 games this season to earn its first Big 12 championship and third league title in school history, received the Big 12′s automatic bid to a BCS Bowl and will repensent the conference on Jan. 1 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl is one of the five BCS bowl games in the final year of the Bowl Championship Series format. Begining next season, the Football Bowl Subdivision will transition to a four-team playoff format sinilar to the Final Four in college basketball.
It appears that Baylor’s Fiesta Bowl opponent will be Central Florida, the winner of the new American Athletic Conference with an identical 11-1 season record as Baylor. In a bit of a surprise, it is believed that Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2), largely on the basis of its upset win over Big 12 preseason favorite Oklahoma State on Saturday, preventing the Cowboys from winning at least a share of the Big 12 crown and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, is going to the Sugar Bowl to face Alabama.
Alabama, winner of the past two national championships and ranked No. 1 in the country all season until last Saturday when they lost to Auburn in an unbelievable ending featuring a missed field-goal try for the win that was instead run back for the winning touchdown by Auburn with time expired on the game clock.
The win by Oklahoma over Bedlam-rival Oklahoma State was the Sooners 10th win of the season, the 12th time in 15 seasons that head coach Bob Stoops has led his team to 10 or more wins in a season. OU is one of only five teams nationally that have won 10 or more games in each of the past five seasons (Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Stanford are the other four).
Besides Baylor and Oklahoma, four other Big 12 teams also are headed for postseason bowl appearances. Here is where they are projected to go and who there likely opponents will be:
AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 3) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2) vs. Missouri (11-2, 7-1)
Valero Alamo Bowl (Dec. 30) at Alamodome in San Antonio – Texas (8-4, 7-2) vs. Oregon (10-2, 7-2)
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Dec. 28) at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Az. – Kansas State (7-5, 5-4) vs, Nebraska (8-4, 5-3)
National University Holiday Bowl (Dec. 30) at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego – Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5) vs. Arizona State (10-3, 8-1)
In a couple of hours, we’ll know for sure.