"Going bowling" is nothing new to the Big 12 Conference, which has gotten used to sending the majority of the teams in the league every year. Eight teams are participating in postseason play again this season, for the sixth time in seven seasons.
Missouri gets the bowling season started for the Big 12 this year, taking on North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday night at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Five more Big 12 schools will be in action next week, followed by bowl action for Oklahoma State and Kansas State, the top two teams in the conference this season, the week after next.
The match-ups for the Big 12 this postseason are such that it is conceivable all eight bowl teams could come away with victories. Only Kansas State (a seven-point underdog to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl) and Iowa State (a two-point underdog to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl) are not favored in their bowl games. The odds makers have Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor as favorites in their contests this postseason.
Here are some other interesting facts, figures and story lines as the Big 12 gets set for another bowl season:
- The Big 12 has had at least seven teams selected for postseason bowls for 12 consecutive seasons, or 13 of the 16 seasons since the conference was formed.
- This is the ninth year that eight teams from the Big 12 have "gone bowling."
- Five conference schools were ranked in the final BCS standings for the third time in four seasons.
- Every team in the Big 12 has been to a bowl since the 2008 season.
- Seven of the 10 Big 12 schools have won a bowl game since 2008.
- The Big 12 is one of only two conferences with 10 or more teams to have every team in the league play in a bowl game over the last four seasons.
- Including the 2011 season, the Big 12 has participated in 116 bowl games since the league expansion in 1996 and 93 since Oklahoma's national championship season in 2000.
- The Big 12 leads all conferences with 77 NCAA nationally-recognized award winners. All-time the conference has produced 97 individual award winners.
- The Big 12 is tied for No. 1 all-time (with the SEC) with 14 teams that have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings.
- At least one team from the Big 12 has finished in the top four of the BCS standings a nation-best 11 times (tied with the SEC).
- Next fall, the Big 12 will feature three conference champions from the 2011 season (Oklahoma State in the Big 12; TCU, champions of the Mountain West; and West Virginia, the top team in the Big East. Including these three teams, four other conference schools finished in the top 25 of the BCS.
- Six quarterbacks in Big 12 history have passed for 10,000 or more career passing yards: Graham Harrell of Texas Tech (15,793), Colt McCoy of Texas (14,824), Chase Daniel of Missouri (12,515), Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (12,429), Landry Jones of Oklahoma (12,218) Todd Reesing of Kansas (11,840) and Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson (10,175).