2013 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big 12

BCS Know How is taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in preparation for the 2013 season. Our easy-to-digest previews continue with the Big 12. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other conferences.

Conference: Big 12 Conference (Big 12)

Active Since: 1996

Current Member Schools: Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks, West Virginia Mountaineers, Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns. (10)

2013 Bowl Affiliations and Tie-Ins: Fiesta Bowl (BCS), Texas Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Cotton Bowl (7)

2012 Results:
Conference Champion — Kansas State
Conference Runner-up — Oklahoma Sooners
BCS Bowl Results: 2013 Fiesta Bowl — Oregon 35 vs. Kansas State 17
Overall Bowl Record: 4-5

2013 Heisman Hopefuls: Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk, Oklahoma QB Blake Bell

BCS Know How’s 2013 Predictions:
Conference Champion — Oklahoma State Cowboys
Conference Runner-up — TCU Horned Frogs
BCS bids: Oklahoma State — Fiesta Bowl; TCU — Sugar Bowl
Heisman Finalists — None

West Virginia, TCU officially join Big 12 on Sunday

West Virginia and TCU will officially make the switch to the Big 12 on Sunday, marking the latest official move in the seemingly endless train of conference realignment.

West Virginia joins the conference after severing ties with the Big East, while TCU is leaving the cozy comfort of the Mountain West to join the ranks of the misnomered AQ conference.

The two squads replace SEC-bound Missouri and Texas A&M to once again give the conference just 10 member schools.

Both West Virginia and TCU endured some controversy on their way to the Big 12. TCU was originally scheduled for a move to the Big East, but dropped that plan once a spot in the Big 12, a more logical geographic group, opened up. The Big East is suing TCU for reneging on that agreement.

West Virginia left the Big East in a storm of lawsuits and broken agreements, which ends with the school paying the conference a $10-million exit fee, with the Big 12 reportedly kicking an extra $10 million.

The conference membership is now as follows:

Big 12 Conference

Baylor Bears

Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas State Wildcats
Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma State Cowboys
TCU Horned Frogs
Texas Longhorns
Texas Tech Red Raiders
West Virginia Mountaineers

Houston’s Loss Re-Energizes Non-AQ Conference Qualifying Race

With Houston’s upset loss to Southern Miss in the C-USA Championship Game, the race for the automatic bid to the BCS given to the highest-ranking non-AQ conference champion has been thrown into relative disarray.

The BCS selection procedures stipulate that a non-AQ conference champion that finishes in the top 16 in the final BCS standings will be afforded an automatic bid to a BCS bowl. In last week’s BCS standings, however, the highest ranking conference champion of a non-AQ conference, TCU, was outside of the top 16.

Boise State and Houston were ranked far higher, but because neither will be conference champion, neither can claim the automatic bid. Both can still be chosen as at-large teams.

If TCU enters the top 16 on the final weekend, the Horned Frogs will be BCS bowl bound for the third straight season.

BCS Know How’s Postseason BCS Simulation

With the bowl season complete, the time again comes for our annual postseason BCS rankings.

Unfortunately, it seems as though Jeff Sagarin has not released a postseason set of rankings, however all five other computers have. As in years past, we will substitute the AP Poll for the Harris Poll as the Harris does not reveal a postseason rankings.

Sagarin’s delay has caused a delay on our end as well, but here’s a set of rankings anyways.

The same formula that the BCS uses will be utilized here, except we use all five computer rankings.

Mostly, this is just for fun, a good look at what the BCS standings would look like if they were released after the end of the season.

Not surprisingly, BCS national champions Auburn comes in on top, well ahead of the rest of the field. TCU finishes second in a fantastic showing for a non-AQ school.

Oregon drops to No. 3 following their BCS National Championship Game loss to the Tigers, and are followed closely by Pac-10 counterpart Stanford at No. 4.

Postseason BCS Rankings

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Auburn Tigers .9990
2 TCU Horned Frogs .9444
3 Oregon Ducks .9274
4 Stanford Cardinal .8725
5 Ohio State Buckeyes .8304
6 Oklahoma Sooners .7548
7 LSU Tigers .7370
8 Boise State Broncos .7177
9 Wisconsin Badgers .6633
10 Alabama Crimson Tide .6370
11 Arkansas Razorbacks .5977
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys .5921
13 Nevada Wolfpack .5407
14 Michigan State Spartans .4941
15 Virginia Tech Hokies .4045
16 Mississippi State Bulldogs .3794

Big Ten and Mountain West Powers Clash as Wisconsin and TCU Square Off in the Rose Bowl

TCU Horned Frogs (12-0)

How They Got Here: As the highest ranking champion of a non-automatically qualifying conference — No. 3 in the final BCS standings and champions of the Mountain West Conference — the TCU Hored Frogs were awarded an automatic at-large bid to a BCS Bowl.

Because of a new clause in the selection process for the five BCS bowls, TCU was awarded a bid in the Rose Bowl after the “Granddaddy of them All” lost its traditional Pac-10 conference champion, Oregon, to the BCS National Championship Game.

TCU’s 2010 Season: The Horned Frogs started the 2010 season playing second fiddle to Boise State as the non-BCS conference darling of the year. But after starting the season with victories over Oregon State and Baylor, the Horned Frogs cruised through most of their 2010 schedule and after Boise State faltered late against Nevada, TCU was left atop the ranks of the non-BCS conference schools.

Led by quarterback Andy Dalton, the Frogs spent most of their 2010 season looking forward to a meeting with an undefeated Utah Utes squad in Salt Lake City, but that meeting turned into a blowout victory for the Frogs, all but assuring them of an MWC crown.

TCU’s truest test actually came the very next week, as the Frogs struggled to stay ahead of San Diego State, finally prevailing 40-35 before finishing the season against New Mexico with an easy 66-17 victory.

Wisconsin Badgers (11-1)

How They Got Here: Wisconsin finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten conference title, and won the conference on the strength of their finish in the BCS standings. Wisconsin’s No. 5 finish in the BCS was higher than that of Ohio State’s (No. 6) and Michigan State’s (No. 9) and gave the Badgers the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl despite the fact that all three teams finished 11-1 and 7-1 in conference.

Wisconsin’s 2010 Season: After stating the season with victories against out-of-conference opponents from around the country, Wisconsin dropped its first Big Ten conference game against Michigan State in East Lansing.

But from that point on, the Badgers could be considered one of the nation’s hottest teams, running off seven straight victories including an upset victory over Ohio State when the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Badgers ended the season with huge offensive output against its final three opponents — scoring a total of 201 points in their final three games against Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern.

Matchup to Watch: Both teams have 520 points on the season, but TCU’s defense is among the most vaunted in the country.

How will Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien and his stable of running backs — James White (1,029 yards rushing), John Clay (938) and Montee Ball (864) respond to the threat of a strong TCU defense?

And will Dalton and a tremendous core of receivers be able to take control of the game against the Badger defense?

BCS Know How Prediction: Wisconsin’s 201 points in its last few games were an incredible feat, but also sent some negative media coverage the way of Madison. Will the nearly five-week break have a restorative effect on two rough and tough teams or will either be rusty?

TCU 31 vs. Wisconsin 20

BlogPoll Week 14: Unconvinced

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn a whole lot from the ACC or Big 12 Championship Games. Both teams looked both good and bad at times. So I’ll give the winners slight bumps, but for the most part, I can’t say it changes much of my opinion.

The SEC and MAC Championship Games did hold some eye openers though, like maybe Northern Illinois and South Carolina aren’t as consistent as we thought.

Last ballot until post-bowl season.


*******

What I’m Thinking:

  • So Oklahoma and Virginia Tech are both up one spot.
  • South Carolina down bid along with Northern Illinois after their aforementioned losses in championship games.
  • I can’t find a reason to drop Nebraska past Oklahoma State or Texas A&M even with the loss.
  • Florida State only down two spots post-ACC Championship Game.
  • Just one new team this week: Connecticut!!! Yes, after projection the Huskies to make a BCS bowl before the season started and ranking them as high as the mid-teens in the preseason ballot, the Huskies make a return appearance in my ballot. The Huskies are on their way to the Fiesta Bowl and are not ranked in the BCS standings — a first.
  • Conference Breakdown: SEC (6), Big 12 (5), WAC (3), Big Ten (3), Pac-10 (2), ACC (2), MWC (2), Big East (2).

So what do you think? Missing anyone? Giving anyone too much/too little credit? Let me know!

Harris Interactive Poll Week 14: Auburn Leaps Oregon For No. 1

Following their dominating victory over South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game, the Auburn Tigers overtook the Oregon Ducks in the season’s final Harris Interactive Poll.

The Ducks had a blowout victory of their own over instate rival Oregon State, however voters were more impressed with Auburn’s body of work, which helped the Tigers make their way to the BCS No. 1 spot tonight.

The Harris Poll was held until the release of the BCS standings in order to build suspense, but it was easy to determine that Auburn and Oregon would be on their way to the title game.

Not much other movement was evident in the Harris Poll, although some teams saw their support rise and fall.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – December 5th

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Auburn Tigers 2809 .986
2 Oregon Ducks 2773 .973
3 TCU Horned Frogs 2613 .917
4 Wisconsin Badgers 2443 .857
5 Stanford Cardinal 2421 .849
6 Ohio State Buckeyes 2293 .805
7 Michigan State Spartans 2104 .738
8 Arkansas Razorbacks 1992 .699
9 Oklahoma Sooners 1926 .676
10 Boise State Spartans 1800 .632
11 LSU Tigers 1625 .507
12 Virginia Tech Hokies 1623 .569

2011 BCS Bowl Matchups

The 2011 BCS bowl matchups have been announced, with the long-awaited Auburn-Oregon BCS National Championship Game highlighting a slate of five marquee BCS bowl games.

The BCS will begin as it usually does, with the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, followed by the Fiesta Bowl that night.

The Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl will played on January 3 and January 4 respectively, with the title game not coming our way until January 10th.

Represented are the champions of all six BCS conferences, the MWC conference, the Pac-10 runner up, the Big Ten runner up and one of two SEC teams to finish 10-2 but miss out on the opportunity to play in the SEC Championship Game.

Here is your official schedule:

Click bowl names for BCS Know How previews!

BCS National Championship Game

Glendale, Arizona. January 10th, 2011

Auburn Tigers

vs.

Oregon Ducks

Comment: There were stumbles and potential pitfalls on the way, but ever since the initial unpredictability of the early part of the 2010 season, the Ducks and Tigers returned a sense of stability to the top of the rankings — and will meet in Glendale as the two best teams in the country.

The champions of the SEC and Pac-10 respectively, Auburn and Oregon have ruled atop the BCS rankings these past few weeks and put exclamations on their fantastic seasons with dominating performances on the final weekend of the year, and set up to potentially give us one of the most exciting BCS National Championship Games in memory.

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, California. January 1st, 2011

Wisconsin Badgers

vs.

TCU Horned Frogs

Comment: Two teams who have a legitimate claim at being the “hottest” team in the country as the season finishes will have to make do with an invitation to the most prestigious bowl on the BCS slate, the Rose Bowl.

Wisconsin gets to play in Pasadena on the strength of a Big Ten tiebreaker and a strong showing throughout the season, while TCU takes advantage of the much-discussed non-AQ clause in its first year and will join the Badgers on New Year’s Day.

Fiesta Bowl

Glendale, Arizona. January 1st, 2011

Oklahoma Sooners

vs.

Connecticut Huskies

Comment: Few if any prognosticators saw Connecticut as a viable threat to make their way to a BCS bowl in the 2010 season, but here the Huskies are — champions of the Big East at 8-4 overall and headed to Glendale for the Fiesta Bowl.

Waiting for the Huskies will be the Oklahoma Sooners, who will fulfill the Big 12’s contract with the Fiesta Bowl as the conference champion. The Sooners will be looking to break a string of poor performances in BCS bowls following successful seasons and the Huskies will be their next opportunity to do so.

Orange Bowl

Miami, Florida. January 3rd, 2011

Virginia Tech Hokies

vs.

Stanford Cardinal

Comment: South Beach, long the home of a January Orange Bowl between two East Coast teams will see a surprise visit from cross-country invaders Stanford, who automatically qualified for one of the four at-large BCS bowl bids on the strength of their No. 4 finish in the final BCS standings.

The Virginia Tech Hokies will be less of a surprise entrant here, playing in their third Orange Bowl in four years as the champion of the ACC and riding an 11-game winning streak into their bowl date with the Cardinal.

Sugar Bowl

New Orleans, Louisiana. January 4th, 2011

Arkansas Razorbacks

vs.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Comment: Two teams looking on the outside of the automatic bowl bid picture had their lots picked up by the Sugar Bowl, as the New Orleans-based bowl selected a replacement SEC team — Arkansas — and a very attractive at-large opponent — Ohio State — to feature in their tradition-filled bowl.

Both teams finished just short of making runs at their respective conference crowns, but were well rewarded with a bid to the Sugar Bowl to play in a marquee Big Ten-SEC matchup.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 14: Oregon, Auburn Finish Season On Top

With the final weekend in the books, the coaches pushed some added support Auburn’s way, but the Tigers fell just short of getting to No. 1 in the season’s final Coaches’ Poll.

The Tigers finish the season with 24 first-place votes to Oregon’s 34, and the Ducks finish the season at the No. 1 spot they’ve held for more than a month.

TCU picks up one first-place vote to go along with its strong poll support overall to finish a strong No. 3 in the final coaches’ ballot.

The top 12 is unchanged from last week save Oklahoma gaining enough support with their Big 12 championship to move into a tie with Arkansas at No. 8.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – December 5th

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Oregon Ducks 1450 .983
2 Auburn Tigers 1437 .974
3 TCU Horned Frogs 1348 .914
4 Wisconsin Badgers 1276 .865
5 Stanford Cardinal 1239 .840
6 Ohio State Buckeyes 1200 .814
7 Michigan State Spartans 1104 .748
8 Arkansas Razorbacks 1008 .683
8 Oklahoma Sooners 1008 .683
10 Boise State Broncos 914 .620
11 Virginia Tech Hokies 900 .610
12 LSU Tigers 826 .560

Final Projected BCS Rankings: Oregon and Auburn Meet For BCS National Title

The final BCS standings have been released, take a look HERE.

It’s on.

With victories on Saturday afternoon, Oregon and Auburn both clinched spots in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, giving college football fans a dream matchup between two of the most prolific offenses in the country.

Entering the weekend needing to just take care of business, the Tigers and Ducks did more than that — dismantling South Carolina and Oregon State easily — and will play for a BCS title.

If either had fallen, extreme BCS chaos would have ensued, but for a second straight season, we avoid any real controversy on the final weekend and with few other top teams playing, the usual BCS confusion will likely be avoided tomorrow.

However, there still remains the important and somewhat complex task of filling the other BCS bowl bids with AQ conference champions and other at-large teams, and in pursuit of some clarity, here’s what we know so far:

  • TCU, as the highest ranked champion of a non-automatically qualifying conference, will be given an automatic BCS bowl bid.
    • Because the Rose Bowl will lose the Pac-10 champion (Oregon), TCU will fulfill a new Rose Bowl clause, and be headed to Pasadena.
  • Wisconsin, who will likely be the highest ranked Big Ten team in the BCS standings when they are released tomorrow, will be headed to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten’s representative.
  • Stanford — the highest ranked BCS AQ conference member to not win its own conference and still rank in the top four — will automatically qualify for a BCS bowl. We just don’t know which one.
  • UConn, the surprise Big East champs, are also BCS bowl bound, but with no direct ties to any BCS bowl, could be headed to the Sugar, Fiesta or Orange Bowl.
  • Virginia Tech will be on their way to the Orange Bowl as champions of the ACC.
  • Oklahoma will be headed to Glendale to take part in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 champs.

That leaves two openings. Michigan State, Ohio State, Boise State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and LSU will all likely be eligible come tomorrow.

It looks like the Sugar Bowl will want to replace Auburn with another SEC team and Arkansas looks to be that team. The Sugar Bowl will have another at-large opening, and could pick any of the available teams, but will likely bypass Stanford and UConn in favor of a team from the at-large pool — in all likelihood Ohio State. Check out our BCS Bowl projections here.

That’s the bowl picture — it’s messy at best — but the BCS standings shouldn’t be so difficult to digest when they’re released tomorrow.

The BCS standings should look relatively unchanged to the naked eye, and that distance between Auburn and Oregon (.0002 last week) should continue to be paper-thin and could go either way although, of course, who finishes first and who finishes second doesn’t matter in the slightest.

Here’s a shot at what the top-18 will look like when they are released tomorrow at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN:

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week Eight (December 5th)

Rank Team
1 Auburn Tigers
2 Oregon Ducks
3 TCU Horned Frogs
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Wisconsin Badgers
6 Ohio State Buckeeys
7 Oklahoma Sooners
8 Arkansas Razorbacks
9 Michigan State Spartans
10 LSU Tigers
11 Boise State Broncos
12 Missouri Tigers
13 Virginia Tech Hokies
14 Oklahoma State Cowboys
15 Alabama Crimson Tide
16 Nevada Wolfpack
17 Nebraska Cornhuskers
18 Texas A&M Aggies