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Bowl Game Predictions For Every Big 12 Team During 2023-24 Postseason

Dec 15, 2023, 2:33 PM

Bowl Game Predictions, Big 12, K-State, Avery Johnson...

Bowl Game predictions for all of the Big 12 teams includes Kansas State being led by QB Avery Johnson in the Pop-Tarts Bowl. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYΒ – The Bowl Season is not what it once was.

When I think of the Bowl Season at its peak, I would point to the YouTube video from a user who appears to be a Kansas State fan named “fattycountdownto2008.”

Images of Bill Snyder and Rick Neuheisel in the late 90s accompanied ESPN’s old-school college football theme song. That’s the bowl season in its finest hour. It was a simpler time back then.

There wasn’t any worry about the Transfer Portal, an early signing period, or NIL. It was all about the 15 bowl practices and trying to springboard into the next season with momentum.

These days, bowl games have the intersection of an offseason plus the postseason all in one month. It makes for a chaotic month and bowl game predictions impossible to get correct.

It’s different this year, too, with BYU not participating in the Bowl Season. For only the second time since 2005, BYU is home for the holidays.

BYU’s first year in the Big 12 Conference concluded with a five-game losing streak. This is the first time a BYU team has done that since 1955.

Even though BYU isn’t in the Bowl Season, that’s not stopping us from sharing picks for the rest of the Big 12.

The Big 12 has nine teams participating in bowl games this season. From the Independence Bowl to the College Football Playoff at the Sugar Bowl, there’s a little bit of everything in the Big 12’s bowl game slate this year.

Big 12 Bowl Game Predictions For 2023-24 Postseason

Despite the Bowl Season not being what it was in the past, my viewing habits haven’t changed. You’ll find me watching every minute of these games. Assuming I can get out of some family holiday parties.

Let’s dive into the picks.

Texas Tech vs. Cal: Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Texas Tech QB Behren Morton is expected to be healthy in this game. Plus, Tech running back Tahj Brooks announced he is returning in 2024. Tech had a lot of buzz coming out of a big bowl win last year. A victory over Cal could be a nice boost into the offseason for a team that underachieved.

Texas Tech 34, Cal 27

UCF vs. Georgia Tech: Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl

Friday, December 22, 2023

The Knights won three of their final four regular season games to clinch bowl eligibility, highlighted by a 45-3 beatdown of Oklahoma State. UCF lost starting defensive back Corey Thornton to the Transfer Portal. That’s notable as they will face Georgia Tech QB Haynes King, who has accounted for 3,403 total yards of offense.

UCF 38, Georgia Tech 35

Kansas vs. UNLV: Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki is off to Penn State in the same position, but that shouldn’t derail the ground attack from having success against a UNLV defense that is 87th stopping the run. The Jayhawks haven’t won a bowl game since 2008. They will be motivated for this one.

Kansas 35, UNLV 17

West Virginia vs. North Carolina: Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

West Virginia takes on a North Carolina team without QB Drake Maye, who is off to the NFL. Replacing Maye for North Carolina is expected to be Conner Harrell, who has thrown only six passes in his career. That will be a challenge for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia has their own personnel losses, too. The Mountaineers will be without All-American offensive lineman Zach Frazier, who suffered an injury in the final offensive series against Baylor last month.

This might be one of those bowl games that comes down to the “care factor.” West Virginia has been on a mission to prove doubters wrong all year. Why not again?

West Virginia 21, North Carolina 20

No. 20 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M: TaxAct Texas Bowl

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

We’re getting Big 12 South Division flashbacks for this Texas Bowl.

A lot of attention around the Big 12 is on Doak Walker Award winner Ollie Gordon. The star running back told reporters on Thursday that he will have an announcement regarding his future on his “own time.”

Texas A&M has a new head coach in Mike Elko, many opt-outs, and numerous players in the Transfer Portal. But one thing we know about Oklahoma State is that they will either get blown out or pull off some epic comeback.

Texas A&M 27, Oklahoma State 17

No. 25 Kansas State vs. No. 18 NC State: Pop-Tarts Bowl

Thursday, December 28, 2023

After Kansas State legend Collin Klien left to take the Texas A&M offensive coordinator job, there was concern that QB Avery Johnson would follow. Instead, Johnson unveiled that he will now be wearing uniform No. 2, his old high school number, to show he is the QB of the future for the Wildcats.

Second-Team All-Big 12 QB Will Howard is in the Transfer Portal, so it’s Avery Johnson’s time in Manhattan.

It will be a tough test as he faces an NC State team with a Top 25 defense and 16th nationally in rush defense.

This game might be atop the bowl game watchability chart as there is an edible Pop-Tart mascot. So awesome.

Kansas State 24, NC State 23

No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Arizona: Valero Alamo Bowl

Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Alamo Bowl represents the old Big 12 era, connecting with the future.

Oklahoma is gearing up for its move to the SEC, while Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch views this game as a kickoff to the Big 12 era for the Wildcats.

Oklahoma is experiencing a shakeup on its offensive staff as Jeff Lebby left to be the head coach at Mississippi State. Dillon Gabriel is now going to be an Oregon Duck. So, it clears the path for five-star QB Jackson Arnold to be QB1.

But the better QB in this matchup is Arizona’s Noah Fifita.

Arizona 45, Oklahoma 42

Iowa State vs. Memphis: AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Friday, December 29, 2023

There still hasn’t been any official announcement from Iowa State All-American defensive back T.J. Tampa. Should he play in the Liberty Bowl? I don’t think anyone would fault him for moving on and preparing for the NFL.

Iowa State was one of the best stories in the Big 12 this season. QB Rocco Becht won Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, leading the Cyclones to a 7-5 season. That felt like an unlikely proposition entering the year amidst the gambling scandal.

It will be a challenge to play an actual road game against Memphis. But the Tigers have one of the worst defenses in the nation. That should mean a lot of ISU RB Abu Sama.

Iowa State 35, Memphis 21

No. 3 Texas vs. No. 2 Washington: CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl

Monday, January 1, 2024

Texas left no doubt that they are one of the four best teams in the nation with their dominant showing over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The potential flaw for the Longhorns is their pass defense has been vulnerable at times this season. Texas is 120th in passing yards allowed this season. Now they take on the nation’s number one passing attack, the Washington Huskies, led by Heisman finalist Michael Penix Jr.

Where Texas has the advantage is in the trenches. Washington has an excellent offensive front, but they haven’t faced a player like Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year T’Vondre Sweat.

This matchup has a lot of great storylines, with Steve Sarkisian being a former Washington head coach. Then, each of these programs is getting ready to move to new leagues. It should be a classic.

Texas 30, Washington 27

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 XΒ andΒ Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Bowl Game Predictions For Every Big 12 Team During 2023-24 Postseason