The final weekend of the 2023 regular season is fast approaching as Week 13 approaches with four Big 12 schools still reasonably in the hunt for a Big 12 title.
Eight teams in the 14-team league are bowl eligible, while up to three other teams can reach the six-win threshold this weekend.
This has been one of the wildest Big 12 races in conference history, and while it will be the main topic of the weekend, it’s time to start taking a look at the season Bowl.
So how will the Big 12 fare when it comes to bowl games? Here’s how things are shaping up heading into Week 13.
Allstate Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
Georgia (13-0) vs. Texas (12-1)
The loss of Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has opened a pretty big door for Texas if the Longhorns can seize the opportunity. A loss to Florida or Louisville in the ACC championship game would pave the way for a Big 12 champion with a loss to secure a top-four finish. While losers Ohio State/Michigan and Oregon/Washington fall below Texas at some point, the only team standing in UT’s way is Florida State, and I’d bet they will fall at some point. Their reward? A meeting with Georgia, which has not lost in 28 games.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (New Year’s Six)
Missouri (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
Texas’ elevation to the College Football Playoff greatly helps the rest of the Big 12. With the Longhorns entering the Field of Four, the rest of the Big 12 moves up in the bowl game order. With Oklahoma finishing tied for second in the Big 12 and with a 10-win regular season, the Sooners earn a bid for a New Year’s Six Bowl, pitting them against future SEC foe Missouri in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. .
Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma State (9-4) vs. Arizona (9-3)
Who is up for a future Big 12 game in the Valero Alamo Bowl? Ollie Gordon and the Cowboys taking on Noah Fifita and the Wildcats seems like the kind of game I’d stay up for, considering the Alamo Bowl usually starts after 8:00 p.m. local time. Oklahoma State’s fourth loss of the year didn’t come until the Big 12 championship game, so clinching the best non-NY6 Big 12 bowl is perfectly achievable.
Bowl of Pop-Tarts
Kansas State (9-3) vs. Notre Dame (9-3)
Formerly known as the Cheez-It Bowl, the Pop-Tarts Bowl pits one of the best schools in the Big 12 against one of the best teams in the ACC (traditionally). However, Notre Dame fills its role very well here, giving K-State a great opponent to prepare for in one of the most intriguing matchups of bowl season. Sam Hartman vs. Will Howard looks like one heck of a QB matchup.
Bol Texas TaxAct
West Virginia (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
Yes, legally we have to call it the TaxAct Texas Bowl, but anyone who doesn’t call it the Jimbo Fisher Bowl is simply not connected to college football. Fisher, who grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, was recently fired at Texas A&M and could be the man to replace Neal Brown if he were to take over. However, if Brown and the Mountaineers go 9-4, I’m sure he won’t go anywhere this offseason.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Kansas (8-4) vs. Auburn (6-6)
Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks finish the 2023 regular season with a victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats, bringing them to 8-4 on the year and back into a bowl game. For the second straight season, the Jayhawks will travel to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. This year however, the Jayhawks take Hugh Freeze and the Auburn Tigers out of the SEC and will have a fight on their hands to get to 9-4.
Guaranteed Price Bowl
Iowa State (6-6) vs. Wisconsin (7-5)
Iowa and Wisconsin are fierce rivals, and obviously, there isn’t a lot of love for the Hawkeyes in Ames… So, does that make Iowa State and Wisconsin friends? Well, they won’t be in this game, as bragging rights and a winning season will be on the line for the Cyclones. These two teams have met seven times, with the Badgers having a 7-0 record all-time in the series.
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
Texas Tech (6-6) vs. UCLA (7-5)
Joey McGuire and Texas Tech seemed destined to miss a bowl game after an atrocious start to the season, and they will now have a chance to finish the season above .500. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly is holding his position by a thread after trailing USC 38-20 and has a chance to win eight games with a victory in Shreveport, Louisiana. Two sons of the modern offense (Zach Kittley and Chip Kelly) mean points after points. Sign me up.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
UCF (6-6) vs. USF (6-6)
How about a “War on I-4” bowl edition?! The rivalry between UCF and USF has been a lot of fun to watch over the years, but with the Knights leaving American for the Big 12, it was thought to be a thing of the past. Well, one of the beauties of bowling season is being able to play teams you would never expect! Give me the Knights and Bulls battling it out in Dallas, Texas, with a trophy and bragging rights on the table.