According to Las Vegas, the Big 12 is expected to have a monumentally-bad bowl season. In six games the conference's teams are all underdogs. One is a double-digit underdog and two more are picked to lose by a touchdown or more.
So why such low expectations?
Yes, some of that has to do with the individual matchups. Oklahoma State takes on Texas A&M without its starting quarterback. Iowa State draws No. 15 Notre Dame. Oklahoma gets No. 1 LSU. Kansas State has to take on the triple option and No. 23 Navy. Baylor gets a Georgia team many thought was worthy of the College Football Playoff for most of the season in the Sugar Bowl and Texas takes on another CFP contender in Utah.
Still, the actual hard numbers don't seem to jive with that perception. Looking at the hard numbers this season the Big 12 Conference posted the best non-conference record this year (22-5, 81 percent), the best record against the power five (6-5, 60 percent) and the second-best record against the FBS (13-5, 72 percent).
The Big 12's two biggest problems? The conference lost its two marquee non-conference games (Iowa State to Iowa and Texas to LSU) and it is still the only league without a College Football Playoff win.
So even though the numbers suggest the conference is quite possibly the deepest in all of college football, national perceptions have always come from the top down.
For the Big 12 to reverse the current story, the conference needs wins in its biggest bowl games this year.