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Eight Big 12 teams to play in bowls

DALLAS (AP) _ Eight Big 12 teams are headed to bowl games, matching the conference record set by the young league a year ago.

Eighth-ranked Oklahoma, which beat Colorado 29-7 in Saturday's Big 12 Championship game, heads west to play No. 7 Washington State in the Rose Bowl.

It's Oklahoma's first trip to the Rose.

``I know our players are awfully excited about it and we are as coaches,'' coach Bob Stoops said. ``The great history and tradition of the Rose Bowl we all recognize, and to play in it will be special.''

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Kevin Weiberg said he was pleased to have eight teams in bowls for the second straight year and particularly happy to have the league champion in the Rose Bowl.

The conference's highest rated team in the AP Poll, sixth-ranked Kansas State, is also making West Coast travel plans. The Wildcats, also the highest ranked team to be shut out of the Bowl Championship Series, will play Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

``Wherever we go, it's always an honor for us,'' coach Bill Snyder said. ``Whatever the (bowl selection) system is in place, this is how it works. We just see it as being fortunate to be able to play in our 10th consecutive bowl game.''

Ninth-ranked Texas will stay close to home, playing Louisiana State in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where the Longhorns have made more appearances than any other team.

``I'm really proud of Mack Brown and his staff and very excited about what the football team has done this year in a very tough Big 12 Conference,'' said Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds. ``I'm happy for our fans because they can all get to the game.''

Colorado will travel to San Antonio to face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Alamo Bowl.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will play Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl, while Oklahoma State faces Southern Mississippi in the Houston Bowl.

Texas Tech will travel to Florida to play Clemson in the Tangerine Bowl.

Iowa State travels to Boise, Idaho, to play homestanding Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Texas A&M, which fired coach R.C. Slocum and hired Dennis Franchione after a 6-6 season capped by a 50-20 loss to rival Texas, was not among the conference bowl teams.

``We had hoped that we would be able to find a ninth bowl opportunity to cover all of our bowl eligible teams,'' Weiberg said. ``Some of the results late in the season did not allow this to work out.''

The Big 12, which includes teams from the former Southwest Conference and the Big Eight, began play in 1996.
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