Slow start for the Big 12
The Big 12 is off to a slow start in the bowls; 1-2, with Texas beating Arizona State in the Holiday, but A&M losing to Penn State in the Alamo and Colorado, predictably, losing to Alabama in the Independence.
I’m a big believer in using the bowls as a gauge of conference status. We don’t get enough games in non-conference to make a lot of determinations. What we do get when the big leagues play each often are mismatches. Not so in the bowls. Usually good matchups, almost always on neutral fields.
We hit the big bowl stretch today, with 12 games over the next 36 hours. The Big 12 needs a rally; its 1-2 record is tied with the Pac-10 for the worst among the BCS leagues. The SEC is 2-0, the Big Ten and Big East are 2-1, the ACC 1-1.
The OSU-Indiana game is huge for the Big 12. Lose the Insight, and the Big 12 probably finishes behind the Big Ten. New Year’s Day should bring a Big 12 surge, since Missouri over Arkansas in the Cotton and Texas Tech over Virginia in the Gator are two of the easier bowl picks.
Even if the Big 12 wins out and goes 6-2, it’s doubtful it would catch the SEC, which plays nine games and already has won two. So the SEC would have to go 4-3 down the stretch just to give the Big 12 a mathematical chance. And the SEC looks strong in most of its matchups: Kentucky over Florida State today in the Music City, Auburn over Clemson in the bowl formerly known as the Peach, Florida over Michigan in the Capital One, Georgia over Hawaii in the Sugar and LSU over Ohio State in the Big Bowl. The SEC’s only wink leaks appear to be Arkansas and and maybe Tennessee in the Outback against Wisconsin.
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