The Post Season
Oklahoma won Bedlam for its tenth conference title and the last before the championship game is initiated again. And, for everyone who thought that we’d just repeat Bedlam next year, well, that’s what would happen. Even though West Virginia ended 10-2, a game better than the Cowboys, they also lost to Oklahoma State and have an identical conference record. So, if this year happened next year, we’d have Bedlam, Part Duex.
Still hate divisions?
We can spend the offseason analyzing all of that, however, let’s take a quick look at how the post season games will likely play out for the Big 12 this year.
College Football Playoff –
With how dominating Oklahoma has been since their loss to Ohio State, there is still a chance they could make the playoffs. However, every model I run has them peaking at 5th, unable to unseat the Buckeyes. What is hard to determine right now is how much of a bonus a conference championship brings. If it is merely a tie breaker between two similar teams, then Oklahoma would likely jump Wisconsin, who has less Top 20 wins, but would likely lose out to both Penn State with a similar record, mostly due to the fact that Wisconsin is extremely over rated. Ohio State has the edge on both Penn State and Oklahoma, by nearly 20% in most models, due to having one less loss.
If Clemson wins, I think it is highly likely that two Power Five conference champions miss out this year; the Big Ten and the Big 12. Should the unlikely happen and Oklahoma slides into the playoffs, then the below bowl picks just slide up one.
Sugar Bowl –
Missing out on the playoffs pushes Oklahoma to the Sugar Bowl, where they will likely meet Florida. With the SEC being a dumpster fire outside Alabama, this should give the Sooners some momentum moving into next year
Alamo Bowl –
Oklahoma State will likely fall out of contention for the rest of the New Year’s Six Bowls, which puts them in the Big 12’s system. The Alamo Bowl gets first pick and could grab West Virginia who likely will be ranked higher. However, the Cowboys’ fan base is much more local than the Mountaineers, which should give them the edge since they hold the tie-breaker in conference. It features the #2 Big 12 team vs. the #2 Pac 12 team. Currently that is either Colorado or USC. If the Huskies make the playoffs, which it is nearly a certainty they will, then Colorado will go to the Rose and USC will go to the Alamo. That should be a fun game.
Russell Athletic Bowl –
The second ten win season in Holgersen’s stint at West Virginia earns the team a visit to Orlando. Considering the Mountaineers rely on Florida more than any other Big 12 team, this is a great bowl for them. They will match up against the second place team in the ACC. If Clemson is in the playoffs, that puts Louisville in the Orange, dropping either Virginia Tech or Florida State to this bowl.
Texas Bowl –
Kansas State ends up in Houston this year against the SEC, who makes it more difficult to predict because they don’t seed by performance, the SEC office picks the match ups. This is the sixth pick for the SEC, however, which means we’ll likely see either A&M or LSU in this game, due to the proximity and recruiting areas.
Liberty Bowl –
TCU has to Memphis to have the same issue Kansas State has, the SEC hand picking a match up. Being their eighth slot to fill. Hard to tell at the moment, but some likely contenders include an Arkansas rematch or even some local flavor in Vandy.
Cactus Bowl –
Baylor ended the season with six straight losses and finds themselves in Phoenix playing the 7th best team in the Pac 12. This issue with that, however, is there are only six bowl eligible teams in the Pac 12 this year. It would depend on who is left after the bowls are filled, but you’ll likely see a school from the Western US fill the gap, like Boise State or Colorado State.
Armed Forces Bowl –
None, without a waiver. Then you could see either Texas or Texas Tech make the cut. Otherwise the bowl will choose outside the conference.
©2016 Number Monkey Media