clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sorting out Kansas State's bowl possibilities

New, 14 comments

There's a lot of confusion now, so let's clear that up.

SHADOWY FIGURES BEHIND THE SCENES PAWWWWWWWL
SHADOWY FIGURES BEHIND THE SCENES PAWWWWWWWL
Jeff Long-USA TODAY Sports

With K-State falling out of the playoff picture (unless 2007 suddenly happens over the next three weeks), conversation has now turned to the question of which bowl the Wildcats will find themselves in over the holidays. The good news is that barring complete insanity on K-State's part, the answer is pretty clear-cut.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the 12 spots in the New Year's bowls will be assigned as follows: the best non-Power 5 conference champion, the five Power 5 conference champions, a team from the ACC to the Orange Bowl, and the five best remaining teams in the College Football Playoff committee rankings. Effectively, barring some craziness like Minnesota winning the Big 10, that means the top 10 (if Florida State is in the playoff) or 11 teams in the final rankings will play on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. There is no jockeying amongst bowls. There are no colorful blazers.

If K-State wins out

K-State will almost certainly regain a place in the top 10 if they manage to win out, as that would entail knocking off Baylor. That would mean a slot in a New Year's Bowl. If TCU wins out, they'd also play New Year's (and possibly a playoff game), and if Baylor's only loss is to K-State they would likely join the party.

If K-State loses once, to Baylor

Barring a collapse by TCU, the Cats would either play in the Alamo or Russell Athletic Bowl. Assuming Oklahoma wins out, it might be that Oklahoma gets the Alamo nod ahead of K-State, but that's okay -- because the Russell is a fun bowl and more importantly K-State has never played a bowl game in Florida. For the fanbase, a bowl trip to a decent bowl in entirely new location would be a fine reward. The Big 12 would get two teams in New Year's bowls.

If K-State loses once, not to Baylor

This is the worst-case scenario for the Big 12 as a conference. TCU would play on New Year's, but K-State wouldn't -- the loss to West Virginia or Kansas would take them out of contention -- and Baylor losing to a K-State team thus diminished might be enough to knock the Bears out of the top 10. In that instance, Baylor probably goes to the Alamo, the Russell has to decide between K-State and Oklahoma, and the odd team out ends up in Houston at the Texas Bowl.

If K-State loses twice

Hey, nobody's going to care which bowl the Wildcats go to at that point, are they? (Answer: #Menphis). But the Big 12 still pulls two big paydays as TCU and Baylor get real bowl bids.