Handicapping OU's bowl possibilities

Even with two regular-season losses so far, the Sooners could be in for a compelling bowl matchup.
By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: November 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm •  Published: November 10, 2010

Because the Cotton will be inclined not to invite the Big 12 title loser to back Cowboys Stadium just a month after playing there, the Bedlam winner would probably fall past the Bedlam loser to the Alamo.

Waiting in San Antonio, however, would be one of two potential high-profile matchups. Either sixth-ranked Stanford, or Mike Stoops and Arizona. Having defeated Arizona last week, the Cardinal will finish higher in the Pac-10.

However, in two scenarios, the Alamo could end up with Arizona.

One, Stanford gets a BCS-at large berth, bumping the Wildcats up to the Alamo.

Two, for proximity and ticket sales reasons, the Alamo and Holiday (Pac-10 No. 3) could agree to swap picks, sending Stanford to San Diego, and Arizona to San Antonio for a potential Stoops Bowl.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. BCS at-large

Chances: 10 percent

Potential opponents: Pittsburgh, Boise State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, TCU

The Breakdown: To reach the Fiesta Bowl, the Sooners have to win their remaining games, which include Texas Tech at home, Baylor and Oklahoma State on the road, plus Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.

The way OU has played away from home of late, running through that gauntlet unbeaten doesn't seem too likely.

Still, if the Sooners did run the table, a matchup with Big East champ Pittsburgh would most likely await, since the other BCS bowls get to make their at-large picks before the Fiesta this year. Boise State and the Big Ten at-large (Ohio State, Wisconsin or Michigan State) would probably get scooped up before Pitt. In the past, the Orange has taken the Big East champ, even though it's not contractually obligated to do so. Considering the Panthers are just 5-3, the Orange may opt for a better team this time around.

Insight Bowl: Big 12 No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 5

Chances: 10 percent

Potential opponents: Michigan, Illinois, Penn State

The Breakdown: If OU's road woes continue, and the Sooners lose at Baylor and OSU, they would most likely drop to the Insight, which has moved up in the Big 12 pecking order in the conference's new bowl agreement.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that's it's Tempe in December. And a possible matchup with one of college football's blue bloods, Michigan or Penn State. If OU ends up facing Denard Robinson or Joe Paterno, the Insight instantly becomes a must-see bowl.

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Jake Trotter's Big 12 bowl projections

Fiesta: Nebraska (Big 12 champ) vs. Pittsburgh (BCS at-large)

Cotton: Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Arkansas (SEC West No. 3 or 4)

Alamo: Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 3) vs. Stanford (Pac-10 No. 2)

Insight: Missouri (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 5)

Holiday: Kansas State (Big 12 No. 5) vs. Arizona (Pac-10 No. 3)

Texas: Texas A&M (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Illinois (Big Ten No. 6)

Pinstripe: Baylor (Big 12 No. 7) vs. Syracuse (Big East No. 4)

TicketCity: Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 8) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten No. 7)

Note: By finishing 6-6, both Iowa State and Texas could become replacement teams for conferences without enough eligible teams

Big 12 bowl schedule

Bowl (location);Date;Time

Insight (Tempe, Ariz.);Dec. 28;9 p.m.

Texas (Houston);Dec. 29;5 p.m.

Alamo (San Antonio);Dec. 29;8:15 p.m.

Pinstripe (New York);Dec. 30;2:20 p.m.

Holiday (San Diego);Dec. 30;9 p.m.

TicketCity (Dallas);Jan. 1;11 a.m.

Fiesta;(Glendale, Ariz.);Jan. 1;7:30 p.m.

Cotton (Arlington, Texas);Jan. 7;7 p.m.

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