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


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


TaxAct Texas Bowl

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

Date: December 27

Location: Houston, Texas

Big 12 vs. SEC


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


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


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


Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Women's Volleyball, NIL, Team-wide...

Mitch Harper

BYU’s NIL Collective Launches Team-Wide Deal For Women’s Volleyball Program

BYU women's volleyball has a team-wide endorsement lined up through BYU's official collective.

1 hour ago

Jalon Daniels, Kansas, BYU Football...

Mitch Harper

Will BYU Slow Down Kansas QB Jalon Daniels?

BYU looks to shut down the Big 12's preseason offensive player of the year.

14 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Rams WR Puka Nacua Voted As NFL’s ‘Rookie Of The Week’

Puka Nacua received NFL Rookie of the Week honors for his performance during the second week of the 2023 season.

14 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Pat McAfee Celebrates ‘LDS Thursday’ With Guest Host Kyle Van Noy

Pat McAfee nicknamed his show "LDS Thursday" after former BYU star Kyle Van Noy joined the program as an in-person guest host for the day.

14 hours ago

BYU Football, Stretch Y, Pilot...

Mitch Harper

BYU Fan Pilot Draws Message In Sky For Showdown Against Kansas

One BYU football took his support for the Cougars to the skies.

20 hours ago

BYU Football, Injury Report, Kansas...

Mitch Harper

BYU Football Injury Report Entering Big 12 Opener Against Kansas

The latest injury update for BYU football entering its Big 12 opener.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

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