Making Sense of All the Texas Tech Bowl Game Projections
For the 38th time in program history, Texas Tech is going bowling. Bowl game selections will be announced Sunday, Dec. 3 following the unveiling of the final rankings for the College Football Playoff.
The Big 12 is affiliated with six different bowl games as part of a partnership. Those six bowls are generally passed out between the bowl-eligible teams and are slotted based on who finished best in the conference. Those six bowls are: The Valero Alamo, the Camping World Bowl, the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl , the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, the Cactus Bowl and the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl.
The Alamo Bowl will belong to Oklahoma State if Oklahoma lands in the CFP rankings. With OU making the CFP, that would leave 2nd place TCU with an at-large bid to the Cotton Bowl, which is reserved for the best available teams not in the CFP.
Since the Big 12 has eight eligible teams, that leaves five teams for the final five slots in the Big 12 pecking order: Texas, Iowa State, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas Tech. With all five of these teams very similar, it's hard to pinpoint where each will go.
The caveat here is that if TCU wins the Big 12 championship game, it might mean that the Big 12 gets snubbed from the CFP, pushing Oklahoma back to the Alamo Bowl theoretically and forcing a lower Big 12 team from an affiliated bowl. This is why you'll see a projection like the Belk Bowl or the Independence Bowl from different projectors.
I'll say it now: Don't get your heads up for a Texas A&M Texas Bowl matchup; that's a long shot. To me, the most likely bowl games are the Cactus Bowl and the Heart of Dallas Bowl. If it's not a destination bowl like Hawaii, the bowls try to get regional teams to increase ticket sales and attendance.
The Big 12 also has semi-partnerships with the Gator Bowl and the Sun Bowl. I don't think the Red Raiders will go to the Gator Bowl, but instead the Sun Bowl, the Heart of Dallas or the Cactus Bowl. The team's 6-6 overall record and 3-6 conference record puts Texas Tech near or at the bottom of the food chain.
Below is a list of the four most likely bowls Texas Tech could be invited to and their most likely opponents.