The expanded Big 12 will play with 14 teams in the 2023 season before the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns depart for the SEC in 2024. It’s going to create quite an intriguing dynamic between the three separate groups of teams.
There’s Oklahoma and Texas who are leaving. BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are coming in. Then there are the remaining 8: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU and West Virginia.
College Football News has high hopes for the 14-team Big 12 and believes 11 of the schools are going to be playing in bowl season. The only three it isn’t projecting to a bowl are Iowa State, Houston and West Virginia.
Here’s a look at where the Big 12 is headed in the site’s spring bowl predictions.
Running back Christopher Brooks #2 of the Brigham Young Cougars runs for a touchdown against the SMU Mustangs during the second half of the New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium on Dec. 17, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Cougars defeated the Mustangs 24-23. Sam Wasson/Getty Images
BYU gets a bowl nod in its first season in the Big 12 and will play in Frisco, Texas, against Dallas-based SMU. The Cougars are 4-0 all time against SMU. This would provide a rematch of the New Mexico Bowl from 2022, when the Cougars won, 24-23.
Myrtle Beach Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Troy Trojans
Nov. 12, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana; UCF Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10) passes the ball against the Tulane Green Wave during the fourth quarter at Yulman Stadium. Rebecca Warren-USA TODAY Sports
UCF is also going bowling in their first season in the Big 12 according to College Football News. The Knights will face the Troy Trojans, a team that is 6-3 against the Knights.
Sept. 10, 2022; Morgantown, West Virginia; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) celebrates after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
It’s back-to-back years with a bowl appearance for Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks. They get the honor of facing a UTSA team that’s been building program momentum for the last several years. The two sides have never met.
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Washington State Cougars
Nov. 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant (6) passes the ball against the Temple Owls during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati’s also going bowling in Year 1 in the Big 12 and will head to Shreveport for the Independence Bowl. They’ll face the Washington State Cougars, a team they’ve never played before.
Dec. 4, 2021; Arlington, Texas; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second quarter in the Big 12 Conference championship game at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
College Football News is predicting a reunion of former Big 12 foes for the First Responder Bowl. Missouri is 10-4 all time against the Bears, but Baylor gained the last laugh in the matchup, beating the Tigers, 42-39.
Dec. 3, 2022; Arlington, Texas; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Will Howard (18) holds up the championship trophy as the Wildcats celebrate winning the Big 12 championship after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs overtime at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
This one could be interesting. A team that’s had Oklahoma’s number on the field (K-State) against a team that’s been a thorn in Oklahoma’s side on the recruiting trail (Michigan State). The Spartans are 5-0-1 all time against the Wildcats.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Tyler Shough #12 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. Josh Hedges/Getty Images
This is an intriguing matchup of two teams that can put some points on the board. Texas Tech and South Carolina have never played one another in football. Will Spencer Rattler play in this game or will he have opted out for the NFL draft?
TaxAct Texas Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Nov. 6, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Chandler Morris (14) throws during the second half against the Baylor Bears at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
TCU is one of the teams that replaced Texas A&M when the Aggies departed for the SEC. With the Horned Frogs making the College Football Playoff national championship game in 2022, they’ve proven they were worthy of the call-up. They’ve accomplished more in their short Big 12 run than the Aggies ever did. The Aggies are 56-29-7 against the Frogs and have won 24 straight games. They haven’t played since 2001.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Utah Utes
Nov. 26, 2022; Lubbock, Texas; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (10) throws a pass against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Going to the Valero Alamo Bowl isn’t the goal, but it would cap a much better season than what the Sooners had in 2022.
The Oklahoma Sooners and Utah Utes have played once: a Sooners win in 1977. College Football News has the Sooners going 9-3 in 2023 and missing the Big 12 title game, so the Alamo Bowl seems like the landing spot if that’s how it were to play out.
Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Miami Hurricanes
Nov. 26, 2022; Stillwater, Oklahoma; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Ollie Gordon (0) runs for a touchdown beside West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker Lee Kpogba (8) during a college football game between Oklahoma State and West Virginia at Boone Pickens Stadium. Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports
This could also be billed as the Jimmy Johnson Bowl after the former head coach of both schools. The former two-time Super Bowl-winning coach of the Dallas Cowboys went 29-25 at Oklahoma State before an incredible 52-9 record at Miami, including a 12-0 season in 1987 and an AP national championship.
AllState Sugar Bowl - College Football Playoff: Texas Longhorns vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Dec. 29, 2022; San Antonio; Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian walks off the field with director of football administration Kyrah McCowan after the 2022 Alamo Bowl against the Washington Huskies at Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
College Football News has the Texas Longhorns going 11-1 in the regular season and gaining a berth in the College Football Playoff. The site expects them to win the Big 12 title in 2023.
If their bowl predictions were to play out this way, the Longhorns would have the most experienced quarterback in the College Football Playoff in Quinn Ewers. Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia are all breaking in a new starter this season. Though the defenses they’d face will be stout, Texas would have a chance to do some damage in the playoff before heading to the SEC in 2024.
Jan. 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship game. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
No Bryce Young? No C.J. Stroud? No problem for Alabama and Ohio State as College Football News predicts them to face off in the other playoff semifinal.
In a year when new teams such as USC, Washington or Florida State could break into the semifinals, it’s the same old same old for 2023 with Alabama and Ohio State. At least this year it feels the teams would be on more equal footing with new quarterbacks at the helm.
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