At the end of this season, the Big 12 will bid adieu to Mizzou and Texas A&M and to make room for West Virginia and TCU next season, but before any moving takes place, the conference will send eight of its schools to bowl games this season. Five of the eight representatives from the Big 12 are ranked in the AP and BCS Top 25, including No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Kansas State, No. 12 Baylor, No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 24 Texas.
Many believe the third-ranked Cowboys, who walloped the Oklahoma Sooners 44-10 in the Big 12 Championship game, were snubbed by the BCS system and denied a trip to the Louisiana Superdome to play the top-ranked LSU Tigers. Oklahoma State's lone loss came towards the end of the season, where the Cowboys took a road trip up to Iowa State and lost in double overtime. The Cowboys will meet Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck and the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2.
Kansas State, who lost to Oklahoma State 52-45 earlier in the season, will call on its high powered offense in a BCS bowl game against the sixth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks of the SEC. The Wildcats hope to end their three-game postseason losing streak in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 6.
The Texas A&M Aggies will play in their final bowl game for the Big 12 conference, pitting their gunslinger quarterback Ryan Tannehill against his Big Ten counterpart Dan Persa, the quarterback of the Northwestern Wildcats. However, the Aggies' motivation will be the biggest question of the game, since the team has lost four of its last five games and saw its head coach Mike Sherman fired on Dec. 1 so to begin next season, its first in the SEC, with a completely clean slate. Tim DeRuyter has been named the interim head coach for the Aggies in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, scheduled for New Year's Eve.
Here is the complete schedule for the Big 12's 2011 bowl games. All games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU will be available online via WatchESPN.com.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl - Missouri Tigers (7-5, 5th in Big 12 Conference) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (7-5, 4th in ACC Coastal) - Dec. 26 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl - No. 24 Texas Longhorns (7-5, 6th in Big 12 Conference) vs. California Golden Bears (7-5, 4th in Pac 12 North) - Dec. 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
Valero Alamo Bowl - No. 12 Baylor Bears (9-3, 3rd in Big 12 Conference) vs. Washington Huskies (7-5, 4rd in Pac 12 North) - Dec. 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Iowa State Cyclones (6-6, 8th in Big 12 Conference) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-4, 4th in Big East Conference) - Dec. 30, 3:20 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
Insight Bowl - No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (9-3, 3rd in Big 12 Conference) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5, 4th in Big 10 Legends) - Dec. 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas - Texas A&M Aggies (6-6, 6th in Big 12 Conference) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (6-6, 5th in Big 10 Legends) - Dec. 31, 12:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1, 1st in Big 12 Conference) vs. No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 1st in Pac 12 North) - Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Game will air on ESPN and ESPN3.
AT&T Cotton Bowl - No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats (10-2, 2nd in Big 12 Conference) vs. No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2, 3rd in SEC West) - Jan. 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Game will air on FOX.