The Big 12 has played half of its bowl games and things haven’t gone well for the conference so far. In baseball, the Florida Marlins signed a free-agent. And in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens re-signed a former Chief and the Atlanta Falcons started working on their 2020 cap.
Here is your daily Dr. Feelgood…
BIG 12 DISASTER:
Saturday was all about college football and it wasn’t good for the Big 12.
Iowa State finished 5-4 in the Big 12 and 7-5 overall entering the Camping World Bowl game with Notre Dame. Notre Dame took control early and never looked back. Notre Dame led 20-6 at the half on their way to a 33-9 win.
Iowa State turned the ball over twice, once on a fumble by QB Brock Purdy. Purdy has turned the ball over often this season. Brock Purdy completed just 17 of 30 passes for 222 yards. He did nothing on the ground. In general, it was just a rough day all around for the Cyclones.
So after that miserable game, Big 12 fans turned their attention to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta where Oklahoma was trying to upset #1 LSU in the first College Football Semifinal game. Unfortunately for the conference, this game was even worse than the first game.
LSU scored its first touchdown in less than three minutes. Oklahoma looked overmatched early but then scored a touchdown of its own halfway through the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. At this point, it looked like maybe the Sooners could make a game out of it but if you had that thought it quickly disappeared as LSU scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter to lead 21-7 after the first 15 minutes.
LSU didn’t stop there. They scored four more touchdowns in the second quarter and took a 49-14 lead into halftime. Each team would score a touchdown in the third and fourth quarters to give LSU a 63-28 win.
So the Big 12 was embarrassed twice Saturday after Oklahoma State lost on Friday to Texas A&M, although that final was a close 24-21. That’s 0-3 with three games to go. I heard somewhere that the over/under for Big12 bowl wins this season was 1 1/2. With six teams in bowl games that seemed pretty low initially but now even that looks tough.
Kansas State is next up for the conference with Navy in the Autozone Liberty Bowl on Tuesday. The line on that game started with the Wildcats as a 2 point favorite but it has since moved to Navy being a 2 1/2 point favorite. I get that change. Navy’s running game is difficult to stop if you haven’t seen it before. I lean towards Navy in this one.
Later on Tuesday, Texas plays #11 Utah in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. This doesn’t look like a game for the Big 12 to win. Utah is a 12 point favorite and we aren’t sure what Texas is. The Longhorns lost to LSU by just seven points and beat Kansas at home by just two. They beat Kansas State by three and lost to Baylor by 14. I don’t know what Texas is this year other than an unreliable pick. I would take Utah in this game.
So if Texas loses as expected then Kansas State would have to beat Navy for the conference to have a shot at the over. The last team to play is Baylor but they have to face Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Georgia opened as an 8 1/2 point favorite but the line is now down to 5 1/2.
Baylor has lost just two games this season, both of them to Oklahoma. Georgia has also lost just two games. They lost by 27 to LSU and by 3 at home to South Carolina. Georgia has a decent offense and a really good defense. It will be interesting to see if the Baylor offense can breakthrough against the Bulldogs. I don’t know if Baylor will win this game but I can see a path to victory for them. I’ll pick Baylor in this one.
So there is a very outside shot at the Big 12 winning two of its last three games. If they do that they will finish 2-4 in bowl games. But the odds of the Big 12 finishing 0-6 might be as good or better than 2-4 at this point. And if the conference goes 0-6 we will have to listen to how Oklahoma didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. We will hear about how the conference was overrated and it really wasn’t rated very high, to begin with.
The Big 12 has some good teams but the matchups they have had in the bowl season just weren’t good ones for the conference. They have been matched up against better teams.
A conference’s bowl record is as meaningless as a conference’s record in the NCAA tournament. It means something but just barely more than nothing.
So Kansas State it might be up to you. You have the best chance to win according to Las Vegas. Bring home a win for the Big 12 and hopefully, Texas and Baylor will follow
IN THE NEWS:
The Florida Marlins agreed with Corey Dickerson on a 2-year, $17.5 million contract.
The Baltimore Ravens agreed with CB Marcus Peters on a 3-year, $42 million contract extension. The contract includes $32 million guaranteed and will pay him $20.5 million in the first year of the deal. Peters will be able to become a free agent at age 29.
The Atlanta Falcons restructured the contracts of QB Matt Ryan and DT Grady Jarrett to save $12 million in 2020 cap space. The Falcons converted 2020 base salary and bonuses into 2019 bonuses paid out Friday.
WHAT I’M WATCHING: Obviously Sunday is about the Chiefs’ game first and foremost. The NFL, in general, comes second and this weekend we have two local schools with basketball games. I will watch the Chiefs live at noon. I’ll follow that with the Kansas game at Stanford on a delay while I keep an eye on the 3:25pm NFL games. I will try to catch the Kansas State basketball game at home against Tulsa but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get that in.
PODCAST: The next podcast is set to be recorded Sunday night but I might push that off until Monday morning since this is the holidays and my Monday is free. Either way, I will let you know when the podcast is available.
DROP ME A NOTE: You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you. Send me your comments and questions and I might include them in a future column.
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Thanks for reading…