Big 12 Bowl Grades
Big 12 Bowl Grade: A
Big 12 Straight Up: 5-0
Big 12 Against The Spread: 4-1
Okay, so it probably should’ve been an A-, but 5-0 is 5-0 is 5-0.
None of the games were in the College Football Playoff, the conference was favored to win every game, it had a few struggles when things should’ve been a lot easier in West Virginia’s win over Army and Oklahoma State’s victory over Miami when QB D’Eriq King went down.
There was the break of Florida missing too many key guys against Oklahoma, and … 5-0 is 5-0 is 5-0. Blasting the Gators, beating the Pac-12 champion, and going unbeaten is amazing no matter what.
Iowa State Bowl Grade: A
Line: Iowa State -4, o/u: 58
Prediction: Oregon 26, Iowa State 24
Final Score: Iowa State 34, Oregon 17
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The Cyclones were favored, so it wasn’t that much of a shocker that they pulled off the win over the Pac-12 Champion, but it’s so much more than that. This was – somewhat arguably – among the biggest wins in the program’s history, and it was certainly the biggest bowl victory.
So you didn’t think Iowa State deserved a New Year’s Six bowl over, say, Indiana, or Coastal Carolina, or maybe BYU? +4 in turnover margin, almost 43 minutes of possession time, and a emphatic 17-point win over a brand name team in the Fiesta Bowl – that’s fantastic.
Oklahoma Bowl Grade: A
Line: Oklahoma -8.5, o/u: 65
Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Florida 30
Final Score: Oklahoma 55, Florida 20
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Of course that wasn’t the Florida team that pushed Alabama so hard in the SEC Championship. That’s not on Oklahoma that the Gators didn’t feel like this game was big enough for several star parts to hang around. You don’t care enough, Florida? Fine, here are 684 yards and 55 points for you.
The Sooners did what they’re were supposed to on the big stage and – outside of two turnovers – were offensively flawless to the point of 1) getting social media to blast away on the SEC, 2) looking like they probably should’ve been the CFP’s No. 4 team which 3) should give them that little extra benefit of the doubt that Ohio State received this year going forward. Oh yeah, and it was Lincoln Riley’s first bowl victory.
Oklahoma State Bowl Grade: B+
Line: Oklahoma State -1, o/u: 62.5
Prediction: Miami 36, Oklahoma State 30
Final Score: Oklahoma State 37, Miami 34
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The Cowboys got the win, but it was a shakier game than it should’ve been. The team and the coaching staff were fantastic for the first 20 minutes getting out to a big 21-0 lead and looking fantastic, but it was way too much of a struggle to put the game away despite Miami losing QB D’Eriq King. No matter what, it was a toss-up game, and Oklahoma State got it.
Texas Bowl Grade: A
Line: Texas -8, o/u: 65.5
Prediction: Texas 37, Colorado 23
Final Score: Texas 55, Colorado 23
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Texas was brilliant. It came out smoking hot, was balanced and explosive, and it managed to overcome the loss of QB Sam Ehlinger with an even more impressive second half than the first. The Longhorns rolled up 638 yards of total offense, they were able to enjoy themselves, and they did exactly what you want out of a team in a bowl game … and then Tom Herman got fired.
West Virginia Bowl Grade: B
Line: West Virginia -7, o/u: 41
Prediction: West Virginia 30, Army 14
Final Score: West Virginia 24, Army 21
Originally this was supposed to be against Tennessee, but it was tough enough with the fill-in. This is one of those any-landing-you-can-walk-away-from-is-a-good-one bowl wins for West Virginia and the conference.
On the one side, it’s inexcusable for a team with Power Five talent to have rushed for just 42 yards against this Army team – granted, it was good, but a Big 12 offensive line is supposed to be able to take over – and need a late score to survive, but it’s Army. You get the win against the always-dangerous team with its always-dangerous style, and you’re happy.