How did Big 12 teams fare in bowl games this postseason?

Gold and Blue Nation

Recaps of every bowl game involving a Big 12 team, and a look at how the Big 12 stacked up against other conferences

Guaranteed Rate Bowl Trophy on Dec. 28, 2021. (Photo Ryan Decker)

Seven football teams from the Big 12 Conference qualified for bowl games this season.

Four played against ranked teams.

Those seven Big 12 teams played against clubs from all four other Power-5 conferences, and an independent program.

With bowl season wrapped up, let’s take a look back at how teams from the Big 12 fared in their bowl games.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl — West Virginia vs. Minnesota

West Virginia had a hard time handling the physical Minnesota running game. The Golden Gophers ran for 249 yards against the Mountaineers.

Meanwhile, the West Virginia offense was unable to score after the 8:48 mark in the second quarter, when Jarret Doege scored on a dive to the corner of the end zone. It became Doege’s final game in a Mountaineer uniform.

WVU was held to just 66 rushing yards, and just 206 yards of total offense.

Final: Minnesota 18, West Virginia 6

Liberty Bowl — Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State

They could’ve called this one the Mike Leach Bowl.

Former Texas Tech head coach, Mike Leach, was looking to lead his Mississippi State Bulldogs to victory over the Red Raiders.

Instead, Texas Tech ran all over Mississippi State on offense, and collected seven tackles for loss on defense. The Red Raiders also forced a pair of turnovers.

Sonny Cumbie, who began the season as Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator and ended the season with a contract to be the next Louisiana Tech head coach, helped lead the Red Raiders to their first bowl win since 2013.

Final: Texas Tech 34, Mississippi State 7

Cheez-It Bowl — Iowa State vs. No. 19 Clemson

Iowa State didn’t live up to expectations during the regular season.

Brock Purdy was the Big 12’s leading passer, but he and the Cyclones went just 7-5 during the regular season. No. 19 Clemson also didn’t perform up to its standards, finishing the regular season with a 9-3 record.

Dabo Swinney’s defense limited Purdy to just 204 passing yards, and kept the Cyclones running game in check for much of the game.

An offensive touchdown and a pick-six gave Clemson 14-straight points to begin the second half, and that proved to be the difference.

Iowa State had the chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but fumbled on fourth down.

Final: No. 19 Clemson 20, Iowa State 13

Alamo Bowl — No. 16 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Oregon

Two ranked teams, and neither had the head coach they started the season with on the sidelines for this game.

Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops coached the Sooners, while interim head coach Bryan McClendon was in charge of the Ducks.

After a slow start, offenses controlled the middle quarters of this game. Oregon scored 22 points in the third quarter alone, but Oklahoma scored 38 points between the second and third periods.

Oklahoma leading rusher, Kennedy Brooks, ran 14 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns, while Caleb Williams had one of the most efficient games of his young career. Williams tossed for 242 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 77.8 percent of his passes.

OU’s offense could relax in the fourth quarter. Stoops led the Sooners to one last victory.

Final: No. 16 Oklahoma 47, No. 14 Oregon 32

Fiesta Bowl — No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 Notre Dame

Mike Gundy’s crew couldn’t complete a comeback in the Big 12 Conference title game.

Their reward? Playing No. 5 Notre Dame.

What was the situation early on? Another hole for the Cowboys to climb out of.

Did they do it? Yes they did.

Oklahoma State trailed 28-7 late in the second quarter. The Cowboys were able to cut the deficit to 14 points just before halftime.

That started a streak of 30 unanswered points by OK State. The Cowboys scored on four out of five possessions over one stretch, and survived what could have been a costly fumble with 3:07 to play.

Final: No. 9 Oklahoma State 37, No. 5 Notre Dame 35

Sugar Bowl — No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss

The Big 12 Champs capped off their 2021 campaign with a ‘W’.

Dave Aranda’s defense held Ole Miss to just seven points. Ole Miss starting quarterback Matt Corral was knocked out of the game with a leg injury in the first half.

While the Bears threw for just 40 yards on the night, Baylor rushed for 279 yards as a team.

Two of Ole Miss’s three interceptions led directly to Baylor points.

Final: No. 7 Baylor 21, No. 8 Ole Miss 7

Texas Bowl — Kansas State vs. LSU

In just the second-ever meeting between the two programs, running back Deuce Vaughn had a career day.

The Kansas State tailback tallied four touchdowns, as the Wildcats offense dominated time of possession for the entire game.

Vaughn found the end zone three times in the second half.

Not only did the Wildcats shine on offense, but the defense picked off LSU quarterback Jontre Kirklin twice.

Final: Kansas State 42, LSU 20

Big 12 bowl record: 5-2.

How does that compare to the other conferences?

By going 5-2 in bowl games this year, the Big 12 Conference played to a .714 winning percentage in the postseason.

That’s good enough for the fourth-best winning percentage among all conferences, and was the best performance by a Power-5 conference.

The Big 12 also collected more bowl victories than the ACC (2) and PAC-12 (0).

The PAC-12 went winless in the postseason for the second-straight year.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 has been excellent in bowl games over the last two years.

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