The second team in the BCS half of the conference-by-conference bowl projection series is the one likely to meet the SEC Champion in the BCS Championship Game: The Big 12.
And yes, writing 12 is easier than XII, even though that may or may not be the official name of the conference on any given day of the week.
A year ago, the Big 12 had three teams with designs on going to the BCS Championship game; ultimately, it was Oklahoma who went to the big one, Texas who replaced them in the Fiesta and Texas Tech who had to settle for quite possibly the most undeserved (in a good way) Cotton Bowl berth ever.
What a difference a year makes. While the Big 12 is still likely to have one of its teams play for the national title, it will take a miracle stroke of luck for a second team to even sniff BCS contention.
Texas could make a “down” year in the Big 12 a distant memory if it can end the SEC’s streak of BCS Championships, while the evident parity could make for some interesting bowl matchups.
The Big 12 has eight eligible teams and eight automatic tie-ins this year, as contractual obligations require the Gator Bowl (which can normally choose between the Big 12 or the Big East) to select a Big East team this season.
Since only one team is earmarked for the BCS, every slot will be filled.