Oklahoma State’s 12th game of the season lost a little suspense when the Cowboys clinched bowl eligibility against West Virginia.
The Cowboys would still like to lock up their 13th consecutive winning season by beating TCU. A win could also help put OSU in a better bowl.
Of the bowls with Big 12 tie-ins, OSU could land in three to four of them.
A look at OSU’s potential bowl destinations:
USA Today currently projects OSU to go to the Texas Bowl in Houston on Dec. 27.
The potential opponent would be a fun one: Texas A&M.
Here’s why the Texas Bowl is a likely destination: If OSU defeats TCU on Saturday, the Cowboys could be the fifth-most attractive Big 12 team to a bowl game. Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Iowa State will likely be selected before the Cowboys, while, at seven wins, OSU might be a more valuable team than the winner of the Texas Tech-Baylor game.
If the Big 12 gets two teams into either a College Football Playoff spot or the New Year’s Six bowl games, the third-place team would end up in the Alamo Bowl. The fourth-place team — at this point, Iowa State — would be Camping World Bowl-bound. The Texas Bowl has the next choice of teams.
The Texas Bowl is a Big 12-SEC matchup, which is why Texas A&M is the projected opponent. Brett McMurphy of Stadium projects OSU against Mississippi State. Oklahoma State has never played in the Texas Bowl. It did play in the bowl’s predecessor, the Houston Bowl, in 2002, defeating Southern Miss 33-23.
The Liberty Bowl is next on the list of bowls with Big 12 tie-ins. This year, the game is on Dec. 31.
OSU has never played in the Liberty Bowl, which is played in Memphis, Tennessee.
ESPN’s Mitch Sherman projects OSU to go to the Liberty Bowl — also against Texas A&M. Both of the SEC’s former Big 12 teams — Missouri being the other — are potential fits on the SEC side of this bowl.
If only one Big 12 team plays in a New Year’s Six bowl, or if OSU loses on Saturday, it could fall to the Liberty.
The last time OSU flirted with bowl ineligibility, in 2014, it saved its season with a 38-35, overtime win over Oklahoma.
The reward? A trip to the Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Arizona.
That bowl now has a new name — the Cheez-It Bowl — and a new facility. It will be played on Dec. 26 at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix.
OSU defeated Washington in the bowl at the end of the 2014 season. It also went to the bowl game in 2007, when it was the Insight Bowl, and defeated Indiana.
It’s a Big 12-Pac-12 bowl game again this year. ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura projects OSU to play Cal in the game.
Another option includes...
Armed Forces Bowl: The last of the games with Big 12 tie-ins, it seems like a longshot OSU ends up here. If it does, though, it will certainly be one of the stranger bowl games the Cowboys have played in. First, it takes place on Dec. 22. Second, it’s in Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, meaning OSU would play consecutive games in TCU’s stadium. USA Today projects Texas Tech to face SMU in the game.