With Kansas now bowl eligible, here’s a quick look at the Big 12’s bowl tie-ins for 2022
Thanks to Saturday’s 37-16 win over 18th-ranked Oklahoma State, the Kansas football team and its fans no longer have to wonder if the Jayhawks will end their bowl drought this season.
It’s happening. With six wins in nine games and three more chances to add to their win total before the end of the regular season, the Jayhawks are going bowling again this winter.
Here’s a quick look at their options and what we know about the Big 12 bowl tie-ins, some of which are set in stone and determined solely on how the final conference standings shake out.
According to a Big 12 news release this summer regarding bowl tie-ins for the 2022 season, the Big 12’s bowl partners will have their pick of all Big 12 teams with a .500 record or better for the upcoming postseason after the College Football Playoff selections are made.
The following is the order in which the bowls get to make their selections, with the bowl listed first getting the first choice and so on down the line.
1 – Allstate Sugar Bowl – Dec. 31 in New Orleans, Louisiana
* Big 12 vs. SEC
* The Big 12 champion is automatically placed here unless it is one of the four teams chosen for the CFP semifinals
2 – Valero Alamo Bowl – Dec. 29 in San Antonio, Texas
* Big 12 vs. Pac-12
3 – Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 29 in Orlando, Florida
* Big 12 vs. ACC
4 – TaxAct Texas Bowl – Dec. 28 in Houston, Texas
* Big 12 vs. SEC
5 – AutoZone Liberty Bowl – Dec. 28 in Memphis, Tennessee
* Big 12 vs. SEC
6 – Guaranteed Rate Bowl – Dec. 27 in Phoenix, Arizona
* Big 12 vs. Big Ten
T7 – Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – Dec. 22 in Fort Worth, Texas
* Big 12 vs. AAC/C-USA
T7 – SERVPRO First Responder Bowl – Dec. 27 in Dallas, Texas
* Big 12 vs. AAC/ACC/C-USA
All bowl game matchups will be announced on ESPN on Dec. 4, starting at 11 a.m.
As of today, six Big 12 teams already have reached the six-win mark that guarantees bowl eligibility.
Oklahoma is one win away at 5-4, Texas Tech and Iowa State are both two wins away at 4-5 and West Virginia, at 3-6, needs to win out to make it to a bowl game.
If more than eight Big 12 teams are eligible for play in the postseason, other second-tier tie-ins come into play.
One other interesting note regarding bowl games and the 2022 Jayhawks: It’s still possible for 11 of the 12 teams on KU’s 2022 schedule to become bowl eligible.
Six teams are already there – Duke, TCU, Texas, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
Two teams are one win away — Oklahoma and Houston.
Two teams are two wins away – Texas Tech and Iowa State.
One team is three wins away – West Virginia.
Those numbers, and the potential for 92% of KU’s schedule to be bowl eligible by season’s end, merely underscores how good the Jayhawks have been this season and how impressive this turnaround has been under Lance Leipold.
I saw a Tweet (I think from Kansas Athletics) that noted that KU was the first team in Power 5 history to lose by 50 points or more to two teams in one season (Iowa State and Oklahoma State in 2021) and beat them both the following season.
In addition, The Athletic’s Max Olson pointed out that, entering today, only two Power 5 programs had not made a bowl game since 2017 — Kansas and Nebraska. The Jayhawks will no longer be on that list, and the Cornhuskers, under interim coach Mickey Joseph, sit at 3-6 with three games to play.
Wild stuff, Kansas fans.