For all the criticism ripping by the beleaguered Big 12, the conference boasts the best percentage of Power 5 bowl teams this postseason.
The Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners are going bowling with conference mates Iowa State, Kansas State, No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 15 Texas Christian University, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
For the third time in conference history, the Big 12 has at least 80 percent of its teams bowl eligible. Ninety percent of Big 12 teams qualified in 2010, with 80 percent the following year.
How did the rest of the Power 5 fare this postseason? The Atlantic Coast Conference has bragging rights for the most bowl-eligible teams with 10 for a 71.4 percentage, according to 247Sports. The Pacific Coast Conference had 75 percent, the Southeastern Conference had 64.3 percent and the Big Ten had 57.1 percent.
Here in Oklahoma, we encourage sports fans to root for OSU and OU this postseason.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are playing for their fourth-straight 10-win season in the Camping World Bowl against No. 22 Virginia Tech. If you need more intrigue, former OSU quarterback Mike Gundy is coaching against ex-Sooner signal caller Justin Fuente, a former Tulsa Union standout. Featuring Unitas Award-winner Mason Rudolph and Biletnikoff Award-winner James Washington, the Pokes vs. Hokies game airs at 4:15 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.
The No. 2 Sooners kick off the College Football Playoff against the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl, “The Granddaddy of Them All,” at 4 p.m. Monday on ESPN. It’s hard to believe OU has never played Georgia on the gridiron before.
The winner of the Rose Bowl will face the champion of the Sugar Bowl, which pits No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama at 7:45 p.m. Monday on ESPN.
An OU national championship would provide a boost to the Big 12’s credibility. It’s been more than a dozen years since Texas claimed such a title, and Oklahoma’s last national championship was way back in Y2K.
The third Big 12 team to win a national championship in football was Nebraska in 1997. That was two decades ago, when Tom Osborne was head coach and well before the Cornhuskers left for the Big Ten.
Go Cowboys, and go Sooners!