Record eight Big 12 teams to appear in postseason bowls

Monday, December 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ A record eight football teams from the Big 12 Conference will appear in postseason bowls this year. Nebraska still has an outside chance to appear in the biggest one of them all _ the Rose Bowl, where the national championship will be decided.

The Bowl Championship Series rankings came out on Monday. Nebraska (11-1) had a surprise No. 3 ranking, which means the Cornhuskers could go to the Rose Bowl if Tennessee (No. 2 in the BCS rankings) loses to LSU on Saturday.

Colorado (10-2) which qualified for a BCS bowl by beating Texas 39-37 Saturday for the Big 12 championship, is ranked No. 4 in the BCS rankings, behind undefeated Miami (No. 1) and Tennessee, which leapfrogged past Florida by beating the Gators on Saturday.

Should Tennessee beat LSU, it will be Tennessee and Miami in the Rose Bowl, and both Nebraska and Colorado would appear in either the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar bowls. Those BCS bowl lineups won't be announced until Sunday.

The six other bowl-bound Big 12 teams got their invitations Monday _ Oklahoma to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas to the Holiday Bowl, Texas Tech to the Alamo Bowl, Kansas State to the Bowl, Texas A&M to the Bowl and Iowa State to the Independence Bowl.

LSU likely would play Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, should the Tigers lose to Tennessee on Saturday. That game is scheduled for Jan. 1.

Texas, which could have earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 in Pasadena by beating Colorado, will instead be in San Diego on Dec. 28, playing in the Holiday Bowl against Washington (8-3).

The Alamo Bowl was Texas Tech's first choice, but it had been believed that the bowl would select Texas A&M to oppose Iowa (6-5). Instead, the Alamo Bowl invited Texas Tech (7-4). Texas A&M suffered from losing its last three games, against Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas.

``We are the best team for them, and they are the best bowl for us,'' Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Kansas State will play Syracuse in the Bowl on Dec. 29 at Phoenix, Texas A&M will play in the Bowl at Houston on Dec. 28 against the winner of Saturday's game between TCU (5-5) and Southern Mississippi (6-4), and Iowa State will play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 27 against an SEC team still to be named.

Previously, the most teams the Big 12 had sent to postseason bowl action was seven teams following the 1998 season. The conference sent six teams each of the past two seasons.