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Four Big 12-SEC showdowns highlight bowl schedule

Camping World: West Virginia is a 7-point favorite over Syracuse in an old Big East battle. The Mountaineers are only Big 12 favorite. Orlando might have wanted Iowa State, too, but has to be happy with West Virginia, which has a natural connection with Florida.

Texas Bowl: The Houston folks picked Baylor instead of OSU. What’s interesting is the SEC’s response. In the Big 12, the bowls pick the teams. In the SEC, the conference assigns teams. So the SEC sent 6-6 Vanderbilt to Houston, where the Commodores are 4-point favorites. This seems to be a case where the SEC is trying for a sweep. Sitting there with Vanderbilt, clearly the SEC’s least potent of 11 bowl teams, the league saw a chance to send the Commodores to a bowl where it had a chance to win. Vandy-Baylor is a game the Big 12 really needs to win.

Liberty: Missouri is an 8-point favorite over OSU, which might be dangerous for the Tigers, since the Cowboys play up or down to their competition. For recruiting purposes, OSU would have preferred Houston. But for competition sake, this is a much better bowl. Mizzou, with quarterback Drew Locke and the old Big Eight ties, is a more glamorous draw than is Vandy. Of course, if OSU had gone to Houston, the SEC might have sent the Tigers there and assigned Vanderbilt to Memphis.

Cheez-Its: TCU and California are pick ‘em for the bowl that has had many names. All of them better than Cheez-Its. Insight. Cactus. Buffalo Wild Wings. This is a battle of 6-6 teams. Both are defensive-minded. Go Frogs.

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