2011 Bowl Predictions: Big 12 Powers Destined to Roll This Winter
The Big 12 conference sent eight teams to bowl games this season.
The conference will be well represented by the amount of teams—and by the amount of winners.
The Missouri Tigers will kick off the conference's first postseason matchup on Monday evening against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl (5:00 PM ET, ESPN2).
Missouri won three straight games to end the season, all of them inside the conference. In the end, the Tigers 11th-ranked rushing attack will be too much for the ACC's North Carolina to contain, and the Tigers will run the Big 12's record to 1-0 in bowl games in 2011.
Here are some other soon-to-be victors from the Big 12 this bowl season:
Robert Griffin III and the 9-3 Bears are as potent an offense that college football fans will see this season. Baylor's matchup with the 7-5 Washington Huskies in the Valero Alamo Bowl (9:00 PM ET, ESPN) on Dec. 29 will prove to be a showcase for the emerging Big 12 power.
Griffin III and superstar WR Kendall Wright lead the nation's fifth-ranked passing attack and seventh-ranked scoring offense against the nation's 99th-worst scoring defense in Washington—yikes.
The Huskies finished the season with a 2-4 mark in their last six games, which suggests that they've likely already played their best football in 2011.
This matchup will have Baylor looking like a national championship contender, offensively at least.
The 7-5 Iowa Hawkeyes will be in way over their heads on Dec. 30 when they face off against the powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners in the Insight Bowl (10:00 PM ET, ESPN).
Which Big 12 QB will have the best bowl performance?
The Sooners were the No. 1 team in the nation preseason and for the season's first few weeks before falling off the national championship map late in the season. The disappointing year overshadowed Oklahoma's No. 4-ranked passing attack and 10th-ranked scoring offense, which averages more than 40 points per game.
Iowa's balanced offensive attack poses little threat to the 9-3 Sooners this bowl season however, especially considering that the Hawkeyes will be away from home, where they are just 1-4 this year.
Texas A&M Aggies
Arguably the best 6-6 college football team suiting up this bowl season, Texas A&M has had some tough breaks this year, including a 30-29 loss to Oklahoma State and two overtime losses to Missouri and Kansas State.
The Aggies will play fellow 6-6 squad Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (12:00 PM ET, ESPN) on New Year's Eve. The Wildcats and Aggies will both travel to Houston for the matchup, which gives Texas A&M a distinct home-field advantage.
It'll be all about offense for the Aggies in this matchup though, just like all the other aforementioned Big 12 teams. Texas A&M has put up points in bunches this season—they score just under 40 per game on average.
It's also worth mentioning that the tragic death of Aggies' offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio, who was killed in a car crash recently, will give the Big 12 squad added inspiration to blowout the Wildcats before they ring in the new year.
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