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Which Bowl Games Could BYU Go To In First Big 12 Season?

Aug 28, 2023, 11:04 AM | Updated: 11:06 am

BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, Big 12 Bowl Games...

BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake holding a bowl trophy last season. Looking at the Big 12 Bowl Games that could be options in 2023. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Which Big 12 bowl games are available to the 14 league members for the 2023 season? That’s a question BYU fans are asking heading into the first year in the league.

Gone are the days of Independence when ESPN pre-determined BYU’s postseason. It was an unusual setup that didn’t have much suspense, but that’s all in the past.

The 2023 season represents the end of what we’ve grown accustomed to in the college football postseason. Beginning next season, the College Football Playoff kicks off the 12-team playoff era, plus bowl tie-ins will likely be restructured with all of the conference realignment moves.

The good news for BYU and Big 12 fans is that the Big 12 has a lot of options and tie-ins in the Bowl Season.

BYU needs to reach the necessary six wins in their first season in the Big 12 before securing one of these postseason bids.

Here’s a rundown of the Big 12 bowl games in 2023.

College Football Playoff

Last season, TCU represented the Big 12 Conference in the College Football Playoff. TCU defeated Michigan in the National Semifinals, giving the league its first Playoff victory since the four-team Playoff was created.

As usual, the Playoff will be decided by the Playoff Committee, with the four selected teams playing in the Rose Bowl or Allstate Sugar Bowl.

New Year’s Six

The Big 12 Conference has an automatic bid to one of the New Year’s Six bowl games. Typically, the Big 12 Champion goes to the Sugar Bowl. But with the Sugar Bowl in the Playoff this year, the Big 12 champ will play in another New Year’s Six. Most likely, they end up in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Among the non-New Year’s Six bowl games, the Alamo Bowl is the highest on the pecking order for Big 12 bowl games.

Date: December 28

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

ESPN

Pop-Tarts Bowl

Who wouldn’t want a victory bath of Pop-Tarts at the newly named Pop-Tarts Bowl?

Date: December 28

Location: Orlando, Florida

Big 12 vs. ACC

ESPN

TaxAct Texas Bowl

An opportunity to face an SEC team at the Texas Bowl.

Date: December 27

Location: Houston, Texas

Big 12 vs. SEC

ESPN

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

One of the bowl games during Kalani Sitake’s playing days as a BYU player was at the Liberty Bowl in 1998. If BYU returns to Memphis this holiday season, they will have an SEC team waiting for them.

Date: December 29

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Big 12 vs. SEC

ESPN

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

It’s the only bowl game in the Big 12’s postseason bids against a Big Ten team.

Date: December 26

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Big 12 vs. Big Ten

ESPN

Armed Forces Bowl/First Responder Bowl

The Big 12 has “flex” tie-ins with the Armed Forces and First Responder Bowls. One of those bids would be the seventh selection in the Big 12’s bowl tie-ins. Both of the games take place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Armed Forces Bowl

Date: December 23

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Big 12 vs. AAC/C-USA

First Responder Bowl

Date: December 26

Location: Dallas, Texas

Big 12 vs. AAC/ACC/C-USA

Independence Bowl

The Big 12 acquired the Independence Bowl when they invited BYU to the league. BYU had a contract with the Independence Bowl while they were an Independent program that would place them in Shreveport for the 2021, 2023, and 2025 seasons.

Now that BYU is in the Big 12, the league picks up the 2023 and 2025 bids.

Date: December 16

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

ESPN

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X (Twitter) and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Which Bowl Games Could BYU Go To In First Big 12 Season?