Playing the confidence game with Big 12 teams

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

This is a big day across the country for college football fans as they scramble to set up their bowl picks before Saturday's first games.

While college football doesn't provide the neat symmetry of the NCAA's 65-team men's basketball bracket, it does have more bowl games than first-round basketball games. And a game has been developed to help build interest in the bowls.

It's called the confidence game and it's relatively easy. For each bowl pick, you provide a numeric value on how confident you are about that pick.

So with all of the bowl games, you would rank your picks in order from 1 through 34.

A lot of people across the country are involved in these pools. And they are fun because any of the 34 games may be vitally important. So it behooves you to watch all of the games to see how your picks turn out.

I'm not going to bore you with my picks from 1 through 34. It's a little like hearing my next-door-neighbor tell me about his third wide receiver dilemma every week for his fantasy team.

But since this is a Big 12 blog, I figure that most of my readers would be curious about how I rank the conference's seven bowls. I'll be glad to oblige with my picks on those and where I weighted them in comparison with the others that will play out over the next few weeks.

Here goes. May my luck be good this bowl season.

  • Kansas over Minnesota, Insight Bowl, 33 points -- The Jayhawks are catching a slumping Gopher team at exactly the right time.

  • Texas over Ohio State, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, 31 points -- Being snubbed for the BCS championship game has made the Longhorns angry. They'll want to take it out on somebody.

  • Texas Tech over Mississippi, AT&T Cotton Bowl, 29 points -- Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree will be finally healthy. Who knows, Mike Leach might have a contract by then.

  • Missouri over Northwestern, Valero Alamo Bowl, 28 points -- Chase Daniel and Co. have too many offensive weapons for Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats, who can't get in a shootout with Missouri and expect to win.

  • Florida over Oklahoma, FedEx BCS National Championship Game, 25 points -- The Sooners are dropping like flies with injuries and the game is still three weeks away.

  • Oklahoma State over Oregon, Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, 12 points -- First team to 60 in this game will win. I'm betting it will be the Cowboys.

  • Clemson over Nebraska, Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, 10 points -- This is a winnable game for Bo Pelini's team, but something just doesn't feel right. I don't know. Maybe the Curse of Dabo?

I'd be curious how readers have the games picked and what order they feel confident about their picks