Big 12 cup projections from USA TODAY Sports

At this point in the Big 12 schedule, the TCU Horned Frogs are the last team in the conference with a shot at playing for a national championship. Though they don’t have a ranked team for the remainder of their schedule, assuming they get there unscathed, the Big 12 Championship will be the last chance for the Horned Frogs to stake their claim on a berth in the College Football Playoffs.

The reality is the Horned Frogs may need a lot of help to get into the playoffs. As USA TODAY Sports’ Eddie Timanus described in his Week Nine overreactions, the Horned Frogs’ schedule is doing them a disservice.

As for the Horned Frogs, they’ve done their business in West Virginia, but their non-conference achievements aren’t exceptional, and the rest of their Big 12 roster doesn’t give them a chance for major league wins except possibly on championship weekend. Would the resume of an undefeated ACC or Big 12 champion automatically be considered better than, say, an SEC or Big Ten runner-up with a loss, or a 12-1 Oregon team with just that season-opening loss to Georgia, who a clean Pac-12 record? – Timanus, USA TODAY Sports

Being undefeated may not be enough for TCU. They need to impress throughout the track and in the Big 12 title game, which would be their last shot at a ranked victory before the playoff committee decides which teams will be battling for the national championship.

Elsewhere, USA TODAY Sports Erick Smith predicted that seven Big 12 teams will finish in bowl games this season. Let’s take a look at who goes bowling.

Sugar Bowl: TCU vs. Alabama

10/22/2022; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs running back Kendre Miller (33) scores for a touchdown against the Kansas State Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Those two teams haven’t played since 1975, but TCU holds a 3-2 lead in the all-time series. This would be a fun test for the Horned Frogs to wrap up the first season of the Sonny Dykes era.

Alamo Bowl: State of Oklahoma vs. UCLA

Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders (3) gestures before a game during a college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday September 10, 2022. Oklahoma State won 34-17. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

This one has a chance to deliver fireworks, with both Oklahoma State and UCLA averaging 39 points per game. defense optional.

Cheez-It Bowl: State of Kansas vs. State of North Carolina

Oct 1, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez (9) runs past running back Deuce Vaughn (22) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Both defenses only allow 17 points per game, but Kansas State has the more consistent offense.

Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Arkansas

09/11/2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back AJ Green (0) rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas won 40-21. Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Southwest Conference is reborn for a week as Texas and Arkansas would face off for the 80th time in teams history.

Liberty Bowl: Oklahoma vs. South Carolina

11/27/2021; Colombia, South Carolina, United States; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer guides his team in the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium against the Clemson Tigers. Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Two beloved Oklahoma sons come face to face when Brent Venables and Shane Beamer meet on the football field for the Sooners and Gamecocks.

Guaranteed Odds Bowl: Kansas vs. Iowa

Oct 1, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks take the field for the game against the Iowa State Cyclones at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Please tell me Jalon Daniels is back for this one. A duel between an explosive Kansas offensive and Iowa, which boasts one of the best defenses in the country, would provide an intriguing story to start the competition.

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