Latest bowl projections from USA TODAY Sports features a future rivalry for Oklahoma

At 4-3 on the season, with three losses in Big 12 play the Oklahoma Sooners are now working for bowl eligibility and positioning in their final five games. They just need to win two more to get an opportunity to play in bowl season.

It won’t be an easy task with road trips to Ames, Morgantown, and Lubbock remaining and home games against Baylor and Oklahoma State. What once looked like a favorable schedule hasn’t been for the Sooners.

The Big 12 is deep this season, and they’ve provided some fantastic football on Saturdays. In his latest projections, USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith has seven Big 12 schools playing in a bowl game. Let’s take a look at who it is and where they’re going.

Historical matchup data are drawn from Winsipedia.

First Responders Bowl

Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (9) scores a touchdown against the Mississippi Rebels in the fourth quarter of the 2022 Sugar Bowl at the Caesars Superdome. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor Bears vs. California Golden Bears

A battle of the Bears, the two sides have only played three times, with Baylor holding a 2-1 edge in the all-time series.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Oct 23, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold leads the team onto the field before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Kansas’ offense vs. Minnesota’s defense should create a fun matchup between the two programs. The two sides first played in 1893 and again in 1896, with Minnesota taking the first two matchups. They didn’t play again until 1966, a 16-14 win for the Jayhawks. Kansas holds a 4-3 edge and a three-game winning streak in the all-time series dating back to 1978.

Liberty Bowl

Oct 1, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez (9) runs past running back Deuce Vaughn (22) for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State Wildcats vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

If the two quarterbacks that currently start for these schools actually play in the bowl game, they’ll be squaring off the second time. Adrian Martinez and Spencer Rattler met in 2021 as part of the renewal of the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry. South Carolina holds a 2-1 edge in the all-time series.

Texas Bowl

Oct 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Jovantae Barnes (2) runs for a touchdown during the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Despite sharing a border, Oklahoma and Arkansas have only played 15 times in their respective histories and only twice since 1927. There was a stretch from 1914 to 1919 where they played every year. With Oklahoma’s move to the SEC on the horizon, this could be a new rivalry for the Sooners.

Cheez-It Bowl

Oct 15, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) is tackled by Oklahoma State Cowboys safety Sean Michael Flanagan (18) as cornerback Jabbar Muhammad (7) looks on during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

TCU Horned Frogs vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

This one would be a high-flying offensive affair. Both schools are averaging more than 40 points per game, with quarterbacks playing at a high level. UNC holds a 3-0 edge in the series, with the most recent win coming in 1997.

Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders (3) runs for a touchdown in the first quarter during a college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. Nate Fish, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. USC Trojans

Though many would have liked Oklahoma to get an opportunity vs. USC, we may have to settle for in-state rivals Oklahoma State doing the honors. The two sides have never met, but it would be a fun offensive affair. The last time Lincoln Riley and Mike Gundy shared the same field, the Sooners lost a 9-point second half lead and were held scoreless offensively in the Cowboys’ 37-33 win in Bedlam. Riley left for USC the next day.

Sugar Bowl: New Year's Six

Oct 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws during the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Texas to the Sugar Bowl means they won the Big 12 despite their loss to Texas Tech. They’ve looked good this season, and were it not for the injury to Quinn Ewers, one could argue they’d be undefeated.

Though Texas holds a 6-1 edge in the all-time series, the two sides split a home-and-home series in 2012 and 2013, with Ole Miss claiming the most recent win.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire